Monday, December 9, 2013

Alexandria Turkey Trot: Race Report

This race happened over a week ago. Good thing no one pays me for this because I fail at being prompt.

This was taken milliseconds before I ran into the porta-potty, and about 1.5 minutes before the race start. We planned ahead.

Nick and I ran the Alexandria Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. It was my 4th time running it (2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013), and Nick's 3rd time. The last 2 years, we've run it right after another race- either a local 5k (last year) or a huge DC 5K (in 2011). Those years were mildly miserable. We were rushed and had wicked tired legs. This is an ok strategy for a Turkey Trot, because it's supposed to be a fun day anyway, but it makes for a lot of stress on an otherwise glorious day of eating.

This year, it was 2 days pre-NCR, so we decided not to run 2 races in the same day. I'm so wise. We chose the 5 miler because it's just generally more fun and I figured I'd be highly likely to try and race the local 5k and trash my legs. 

So, I clearly like this race since I've done it for so many years. It has a nice big, warm waiting area in a nearby school. They have Quaker granola bars, those 80 calorie wonders that you can eat 45 of and still not feel satiated. Now in fun flavors like sugar, and sugar with brown things in it (seriously, their "peanut butter and whatever" flavor is not the least bit peanutty. Don't lie to yourselves). Parking is a bit of a hassle, but it is free and getting out of the streets after the race is always easy. Then it's just a quick 40 mile drive back home. Considering where we live, anything less than an hour is a win for me.

The first mile was sort of slow because we were caught up in the 1000 people who all thought that lining up at the front was a good idea. I am reminded every year that Turkey Trotters are the most fun racers you'll ever meet, because everyone is happy and friendly on Thanksgiving morning, but THEY SUCK AT RUNNING. Nick and I were dodging people left and right and did the ol' reliable "run on the sidewalk" trick for the first quarter mile or so. The crowd didn't thin out to a normal number of people until around the 2 mile mark. We chugged along, still passing people. The race flew by pretty quickly because there are a lot of twists and turns (annoying if you're trying to run super fast), and you run by joyful people drinking and cheering up a storm in front of their houses. It is a nice atmosphere. I didn't want to run way fast, because I didn't want to tear up my legs, so we just went relatively quickly and finished in 41:XX, around an 8:12 pace. 8:12 also happens to be my marathon goal pace. We all know how that worked out.

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