Here's how Saturday's Run with the Turkeys 5k race went down:
Before the race
4:45 am: Alarm went off. Finally got up around 5 am and drank a large glass of water then stumbled into the shower.
5:15 am: Downed a bottle of Ensure followed by another large glass of water.
5:30 am: Took awhile getting dressed because I couldn't decide how warm/cold it was outside. Shorts or tights? A tank with arm warmers or a long sleeve shirt? Finally decided on my spandex boy shorts, a long sleeve pink shirt and black legwarmers. Packed my bag and did not include my watch or iPod.
6:10 am: Left my apartment to head to the suburbs to pick up Mom, then head to the race!
7:45 am: Arrived in Pleasant Prairie. Picked up my race packet, pinned on my race bib, then started warming up: About a mile of slow running, four strides to get my legs moving and dynamic stretching.
8:25 am: Time to line up. As I was shuffling in place waiting for the race to begin, I realized I was going to run fast. I knew I probably wasn't going to get a new PR, but I was going to race my best and hopefully finish well enough for an age group award.
During and after the race
I ended up finishing the race in 23:12, good enough for a 2nd place Age Group win.
I started the race fast - probably too fast, a definite danger that comes with starting at the front of the pack. There were three women in front of me and during the first half mile I chased down one and pulled up next to the second. I managed to stick with her for the next half mile until getting dropped. As I went around a bit of a curve I managed to sneak a peak at the racers behind me - there were several closing in. Eek.
Over the next mile and a half, I got passed by a few racers. And then I passed a few in return. I was tired and my legs were burning but I pretended I was just doing an 800m repeat. Several of them in a row. Without the 400m recovery.
When I got to the home stretch, I knew it was time to start sprinting. Passed one more person and next thing I knew, I was crossing the finish line! I'm always slightly dazed for the first few minutes after a race, so I walked around a bit while sipping the bottle of water a volunteer shoved in my hand before walking back down to the course to cheer on Mom.
Overall, this was a good day for me. There's nothing like the excitement of a race to get motivated to train hard again. Especially if you look at the results and see that the person who won your age group ran slower than your PR.
Next time, it's on!
What's your favorite moment before, during or after a race?