I think the Turkey Trot might be my longest standing race that I have not missed. I am always in town for it, I always brave the winter for it and I am miraculously not injured for it. Looking back it looks like I’ve done the Turkey Trot every year since 2007, next year will be 10 years!
Luckily, last year and this year we have had pretty decent weather for this race. Last year, I easily wore shorts. This year, I also wore shorts but it was probably questionable on if I should have been wearing them as my legs turned bright red.
We started a new tradition last year where Ryan’s cousin comes with us. I love this because I hope it means she’s inspired to run. And she must like it if she came back again this year.
Over the years the Turkey Trot course has changed a bit but always starts and ends in downtown Cleveland. This year was a new course and both the 5K and 5 mile started at the same time.
I was slowly chipping away at my race times so I had high hopes for this race but went in extra conservative and only wanted to run a 37:30. After listening to 3 patriotic songs the race started.
It’s always hard when both the 5K and 5 mile start at the same time because you have to really pay attention to your pace and not get caught up with the 5K paces. I have no idea how I managed to actually go out at a decent pace and not go too crazy.
Luckily, the 5K split off early on so it was easier for me to guide my pace. I am awful at pacing myself by the way. With 2 hills, my pace was extra crazy and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t hit my goal time.
Eventually, the 5K and the 5 mile merge and chaos ensued. Okay, not complete chaos but it was definitely less than ideal. Basically, the 5K runners took up the whole course and the 5 milers were running single file or weaving through the 5K runners. This definitely slowed me down and caused a little frustration. However, I tried to remember a couple things.
One, I was not going to win or even place in my age group for this race. Two, the 5K runners do not realize what is happening and the problem they are causing. Three, it’s the Turkey Trot and it’s supposed to be FUN!
Somehow, I think being slowed down actually helped me out. I felt like I had so much energy for the last mile of the race. I was picking it up like crazy for the last mile and was completely shocked when I crossed the line with 36:56. WAY WAY WAY better than I expected.