The Cleveland Turkey Trot is one of those races that since I have started running it, I don’t know if I will ever miss it. Besides the tradition of running this race every year, I love the low stress of the race. It’s always easy to get there and navigate. I also have no chance of even placing in my age group so I just run for me. Competing against myself is my favorite!
Like most races I set a goal for myself and for this one it was 37 minutes. I haven’t had the best year in running but I felt like I had this in my tank, it’s a 7:24 pace.
Mile 1: 7:25 – I did my best to go out at a comfortable pace since I normal go way too fast. My first mile was a 7:25, that’s really not too bad considering how I normally run.
Mile 2: 7:38 – There was a slight uphill starting at the end of mile 1 and going into 2 so it was a little hard to stay on pace.
Mile 3: 7:36 – Getting to mile 3 you had to go up and over a bridge so another hill but I had not really dropped off completely and I actually felt really good. Which is kind of rare at this point in a race for me.
Mile 4: 7:29 – Before I even got to mile 4, I felt so good that I started picking up the pace and thought I was flying. Dare I even say that this is the best that I have ever felt at this point in the race.
Mile 5: 6:27 – Now it might have felt like I ran a 6:27 last mile but I think the last mile was just a bit short. I probably would have gone sub 7 still since I did have the race at 4.95. So the last mile was only short by .05.
I ended up running a 36:34, a 7:19 pace, kinda crazy how that pace still worked out even if I did have the course short by .05.
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.
I like to think I have raced in every type of weather condition that there is. I know I have trained in every type of weather condition. However, on Thanksgiving morning, for the annual Turkey Trot, I raced in the coldest, snowiest and slipperiest weather. (Snowiest and slipperiest? Nice made up words Jess).
It was so cold and windy that we ran from our car to the start area and laughed about the weather. That’s what you do when the weather is ridiculous, you laugh at it and at yourself. I admit I feel a little stupid in some of the weather I run in.
After a 1.5 mile warm up the laughing started to stop because the snow was cold, wet and continuously falling. We didn’t know we were going to get snow Thanksgiving morning but had expected the cold. The sidewalks were starting to get slick but I hoped the streets would stay clear with everyone walking and running on them.
The race started after a beautiful rendition of the national anthem by Carrie Vieweg who is a finalist in the Voice of McDonalds singing contest. As I started the race I had no problems even with the snow rapidly falling.
The first mile is almost entirely downhill so I had to remind myself not to go out too fast. Like always but it’s so hard at the Turkey Trot because there are so many talented runners there. However, people were slipping and falling all over the place so I quickly adjusted my pace to guarantee I would stay upright.
By mile 2 I had slowed down to a 7:15 pace and was slowing down even more because I could not get my footing. By mile 3 I had found a guy who was running in a cleared out lane and I ran behind him for a mile. He was running an 8:05 which was a little slower than I wanted but he blocked the wind and snow for me.
That’s not me in the picture but that is Ryan in the blue. It’s a good picture of how snowy it really was.
Ok you really can barely see me in this photo but to the far left you can see my black tights, my pink jacket and my blue and green shoes.
I threw out my goal time early on in this race but as I neared mile 4 I realized my time wasn’t going to be as bad as I thought it was. I thought for sure I was going to run a 42 at this race but I ended up with a 38:27 a 7:41 pace and 13th in my age group. I would love to place in my age group at this race but I never come close. Which I like because it is humbling and gives me something to work towards.
How was your Thanksgiving? Did you run on Thanksgiving? We run about 14 miles every Thanksgiving!
Well now that I am done eating my weight in Thanksgiving dinners I can finally post my Hermes Cleveland Turkey Trot recap. Also, I baked 60 poticas (nutrolls) this week and snuck in a little Call of Duty Black Ops 2. Productivity at it’s finest.
Thanksgiving Day weather was predicted to be in the high 50’s, possibly hitting 60. Due to the race starting at 9:30, it wasn’t quite that warm at the start…or finish. However, that is probably the only bad thing that you can say about this race. P.S. I love Hermes races; they are the bomb! (They didn’t even pay me to say that. That is the beer talking, but I would have said it anyways.)
I was brave on 2 accounts. 1.) I wore capris instead of full tights. I really wanted to wear my new running skirt, but I wimped out. 2.) I went without headphones. I normally race without headphones, unless it is a boring course. However, since the IT band monster attacked, I went back to racing with headphones. They are like my safety blanket when it comes to running. This was my first race back without head phones. Spoiler Alert- I survived.
After a perfect 1.5 mile warm up, I took off a layer of clothing but kept my gloves (with hand warmers) and even went without a running headband. On my way to the start I also saw a runner pooping. I have to say I am pretty impressed with her balls to do so in public on public property; her form was also impressive.
On my way to the start line, I ran into #dirtyrunner friend Anna, who has been running, teaching spinning, and doing Insanity. Obviously we are friends because she is as crazy about working out as I am. Rumor has it her run was fueled by Christmas Ales (yes plural).
As I got towards the front of the start line, I noticed it was starting to get warm already. I was fine in what I was wearing but was suddenly wishing I had a running skirt on. This could have been the last running skirt of the year! Side note: I don’t normally shop on Black Friday but I scored this sweat skirt from Attica Athletic for half price. They are half-price until Monday and they have lots of different colors (they do not include shorts underneath, which is nice because then you can wear the skirt with capris or tights!).
Once the race started, I took off at a speedy 6:15 pace. I kept telling myself “Slow Down! Slow Down!”, but I was getting passed like crazy. There are so many talented runners at the Turkey Trot. This is probably because they get 9,000 runners instead of the couple hundred runners I am used to. After 1/2 mile, I slowed down and my first mile was 6:58.
The first and second mile are both flat. Second mile was a lot slower at a 7:29 pace. I wish that second mile was a little faster because that’s probably the easiest place to make up some time; mile 3 is hilly. On Mile 3, even with the hill down around the Browns stadium and up E. 9th (my least favorite hill combination) I managed a 7:36 pace.
After that last hill, I needed a break and was totally feeling my death face coming on. I tossed my favorite pink gloves at this point (don’t worry I went back and found them after the race). I told myself to slow up my pace, catch my breath, and really pick it up the last mile. Mile 4 was 7:45. At this point I was doing the math in my head and making sure I would make it in in my goal time of anything in the 37 minute range. I picked it up as best as I could for the last mile and fought back the urge to puke the last half mile, pulling out a 7:32 for my 5th mile.
I crossed the finish line in 36:53, a 7:23 pace, 26 out of 733 runners in my age group, and under my goal of “anything in the 37 minute range.” I originally thought I beat my time from last year’s Turkey Trot. Last year I ran a half marathon a couple days before the Turkey Trot and ran a 36:19. Also, I wasn’t coming off an injury last year.
I was extremely happy with this year’s time even if it wasn’t as fast as last year’s. I was so happy with my time that I did a 7.5 mile cool down. 14 miles on Thanksgiving morning is not a bad way to start the day. It gave me an excuse to eat 75% of the canned cranberries.
Anyone else run a race on Thanksgiving morning?
Next race on the calendar is a Lakewood/end of the year favorite, The REINDEER RUN 5K!!!! Just a little excited. Also, it is not the end of the year race for me this year.