Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mesa 10K Turkey Trot Race Report!

One of my favorite sayings is "even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while".  I suppose that for my turkey trot 10K where I PRd by 3 minutes, you could easily say that while I wasn't blind but my hands are hairy I certainly had a bit of luck on my side.

Time: 36:47 (PR by 2:57!!)
Pace: 5:55 / mile (10.15 mph)
Place: 29th out of 2668
AG Place: 7th in the impossible 30-34 age group

Like I mentioned in my 5k/10k racing advice post, I've done the Mesa Turkey trot 3 of the last 4 years. It is a VERY well put on race - one of Arizona's oldest going for nearly 40 years.  Of course, with that kind of stellar coordination, the fast racers always come out.  I seriously have NO idea what the deal is, but last year had two Olympians running and this year had no fewer than 3 people going sub 33:00.  It's probably because of the prizes.

You see, while some races give out trophies, Lap Dances, plaques, medals, or even beer mugs for their age group awards, the Mesa Turkey Trot gives meat for all of the winners. Lots and lots of meat.

Mmmm, tastes like winning

As per my own advice, as soon as I got there and got checked in, I headed out for a warm up mile.  Nothing too fast, but just fast enough to remind my legs what running feels like.  I had done 8 miles the day before with some fast strides at race pace, so I wanted to see if I had any residual fatigue left in them. (I would have liked to go a bit shorter, said no man ever.)  Just like the dolphin trainers at Sea World always say, everything felt good so I was ready to roll.

I got lined up 2 rows back from the start when all of a sudden a big group of kids pushed their way to the front pushing me back further.... then another group of moms/dads/kids all with matching shirts.... and some local cross country kids.... and so on and so on.  Before I knew it, I was easily 10 rows back.  While normal competitive Adam would have used the pint sized turkey trotters to pole vault to the front, I tried to grit my teeth and remind myself: This is just a turkey trot, this is just a turkey trot...

Although, I did ask the group of shirtless cross country kids how fast they were looking to go (as they were commenting on each others chest hair shave job - no lie) to which the alpha male immediately spouted off "sub 33" with a smerk and a glance top to bottom sizing me up.  Fine, I'll stay where I was.


Miles 1-2: As I stood at the starting line, I was NERVOUS. I was set to be one of the top 50 finishers and I was sweating like I was worried about not finishing. That's what he said. No matter how experienced I get, it happens to be before almost every single race.

Once the race started, as expected, I zigged and zagged past all of the rather ambitious people who started at the front.  Not exactly running tangents, but it did force me to start off a bit slower.  My goal pace was 5:59/mile which would put me at a 37:11 finish. Mile one went by without a hitch and mile 2 felt almost easy. I had a quick flash of fear about blowing up and walking at mile 5, but I decided to roll with it.  It would make for a good blog post either way.

Picture courtesy of Missy - NO clue what mile this is at but 
based on the look on my face, let's assume mile eleventy-billion

Miles 3-4: The start of mile 3 was a gradual downhill which had me running something like 5:10 pace. Not good. If I ran that for very much longer I'd end up crapping my pants like that one guy in the picture we've all seen. So, I pulled it back slightly and crossed the 5K mark in 18:30 - my second fastest 5K ever.  I really need to run more 5Ks.....

When I turned the corner at the start of mile 4, I saw something that I didn't think I would see.... Alpha male sub 33:00 cross country dude!!  Of course, there was no way that I wasn't going to pass him.  So, even though I only said 10 words during the race, those 10 words were all to cross country dude. "Keep it up dude, 33 min is right around the corner" as I blasted by him.  Hee hee.  Nothing spells motivation like r.e.v.e.n.g.e.

I was really starting to feel the burn in my lungs around the end of mile 4. In fact, I don't really remember a lot from that mile. Hmmm.  I'm sure I did fine.

Miles 5-6: Ok, here is when things get a little fuzzy.  I know that I continued to hold pace, I remember grunting a lot, and with about 3/4 of a mile left, my hands started to tingle.  (So, basically like prom night all over again.)  I knew that I would be close to a good finish but for some reason my oxygen depleted brain thought that I would finish around 37:30.

I did start to sprint with everything that I had with about 3/4 mile left - running around a 5:20 pace.  Honestly, that probably means that I could have pushed a bit harder on the other parts, but I'll let it slide for now.  But, with a few sharp turns, I had finished.  PR!

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Finally, here is a picture of me at the finish.  There is a funny story about it - taken about 5 min after I had finished.  I'll admit I was staggering around because I really like to capture how I was "feeling" having just crossed the finish line (read: tingly).  I found a guy who seemed competent enough and asked him if he would take my picture...... nothing.  He looked at me and shook his head no.  REALLY??  NO??  At a turkey trot?  Random.

Not to be discouraged, I went a few more people down and asked an older guy who seemed friendly enough.  He sort of looked at me and said "sorry son, I'd really love to but I am vision impaired and am afraid I wouldn't take it right." GAH!  STRIKE TWO.  Thankfully, the vision impaired dude's grandson said that he would take it.  He had to have been about 10.  Grabbed the phone like he had done 10,000 times before and snapped the below.  Third time is a charm.  See??  Blind squirrels do find PRs once in a while!


20 comments:

Pat said...

Well done. I thought your finish photo would have mr. 33 crossing the finish line in the background.

Pam said...

LOL @ the guy that refused to take your picture. You do kind of have a baby face. Maybe he thought Chris Hansen was gonna pop out from behind a tent.

Beth said...

Great Job!!!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

lol Good job! that is pretty funny about everyone refusing to take your pic. It's not like they were going to be in it with you!

abbi said...

Great job! Who knee people were so opposed to taking photos.

Gracie said...

1. Awesome PR, poor cross country dude! lol
2. That grandson was vision impaired, too, there's a chick sitting on your shoulder.

Sue's Ramblings said...

Fantastic!

SlimKatie said...

I LOVE that you got to waste the sub-33 guy as you passed him! Great job on the PR. That pace is lightening fast to me!

And seriously, not one, but TWO people turned you down to take your picture?? You look so nice and harmless.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

OMG you asked a blind guy to take your photo, bad blogger :)

Running On Candy said...

You should come to Long Island...you would place for sure...the impossible AG for me here is the 40-45 LOL

SupermomE12 said...

I can't believe TWO people said no about taking your picture. Hilarious. You can't make that stuff up. AWESOME race though. Congrats on the killer time and PR. :)

Liz Hall said...

What do you get if you are a vegetarian. :) Congrats on your speedy finish. :)

Mike said...

Congrats on the smokin fast PR Adam! Awesome racing for sure.

JnetRuns said...

Awesome job, and so glad you passed the alpha male guy! I see you carry a handheld, are you able to drink while running at that speed? I have a hard time drinking while running (have a hard time walking and chewing gum at the same time, to be honest)so have to take walk breaks which slows me down even more (my 5k time is about your 10k time).

Melissa Cole said...

Well Done!It always feels good to hit a PR - especially when you absolutely destroy your old one!! I have to say the best part of your blog for me was your starting line comments. I am ALWAYS nervous and I still get worried I won't finish, even though I know I will cause I've done it like a gazillion times before (ok, not quite that many, but some days it feels like it). My family don't get it, but I was so glad to read I'm not the only one who feels like that. Kept up the good work.

Monique said...

Yay! Congrats on finishing it and with a pretty good time. Go you!

Small runner said...

Funny that I do have my share of weird face pics during a run. I got conscious about it when one of my FB friends laughed about it (even noticed my shorts were so wet and said that I peed in it, haha!). Since then I try to smile whenever I see a camera (nothing yet on the wet shorts - i really do sweat a lot)

Btw, you're really fast!

Nelly said...

Wow, you destroyed that race! And you may be a better judge of this, but this may be your best race ever. I'm assuming that your recent BQ marathon may also be your best race.

Lol your pre-race interactions with the fast high schoolers!

And a blind guy taking your pic? haha

Yo Momma Runs said...

Daaang, it's like lightning streaking through that course. And I feel like the older I get the more competitive the age groups are. Women 35-39 are somehow much faster than 30-34 women.

TNTcoach Ken said...

A photo with no other runners in it! Dude, with those times I would having been sitting at Mile 5!