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,
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,
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.
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.
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!
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!