Posts Tagged ‘turkey trot’

Five years ago I first ran the local school district’s Turkey Trot 5K. (Five years ago? How can that be?!) I couldn’t run it again until now because the date always conflicted with my fall marathon training. But it fit in nicely this year since my next marathon is not until February 4, the Death Valley Marathon. I didn’t train specifically for a 5K and I only tapered two days for this race, so I didn’t have a great idea of what I should set for my race goal. It’s a hilly course so I knew I couldn’t expect to come close to my 5K PR of 22:19 set at the Downtown Anaheim 5K over a year ago, but I at least wanted to beat my time from the 2011 Turkey Trot, 24:37, and I hoped to come in under 24 minutes.

It was a gorgeous morning for racing. Cool but not cold, sunny but not blinding.


292 finishers participated in this lovely neighborhood race.

The junior high choir sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem, and then promptly at 8 a.m. we set off with the sound of the blow horn. So many youngsters took off at a blistering pace and my job in the beginning was not to trample any little kids. You would think I would learn not to get swept up in the excitement and go out too fast with them, but when I first checked my Garmin the pace said something in the 6 minute mile range! Oops. I reined it in over the rest of the mile and the mile splits for the race ended up being 7:39, 8:02, and 7:57. Maybe someday I’ll master 5K pacing and not suffer so much in the 2nd and 3rd miles!

I raced the big finish line clock down the home stretch to come in just under 24 minutes as I hoped. My Garmin said 23:56. But then I checked the official race results and my time said 24:07. So unsatisfying! That’s the problem with races that are not chip timed, I guess. I shouldn’t care so much, but I do, so I ended up writing the timing company to ask why my result didn’t match the finish line clock (I don’t expect my result to match my Garmin, but I do expect it to come within a few seconds of what the finish line clock said). At any rate, I was happy with my effort in the race and pleased to win 1st in my age group out of 20 women ages 40-49 (I am 45).


The first place medal came with $15 in gift certificates to A Snail’s Pace running shop in Brea.

Saturday is my long run day and my plan called for a long bike ride (this plan from Smart Marathon Training sometimes substitutes long rides for long runs, which I find very refreshing). So after the race I drove to a paved path and rode the ElliptiGO for an hour and 40 minutes.


Oh how I love a dedicated bike path!

That hour and 40 minutes on the ElliptiGO was truly easier and more fun than running a race for 24 minutes, let me tell you! I listened to running podcasts (Another Mother Runner had on Dean Karnazes and The Runner’s World Show talked about Running While Female) and enjoyed all the thumbs-up I got for the ElliptiGO, which remains a curiosity on the trails.

Are you watching the NYC Marathon today? Because I don’t have cable I’ve had to content myself with following the live coverage on Twitter. Hooray for American Molly Huddle coming in 3rd for the women in her marathon debut with a time of 2:28:13!

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NaNoWriMo dawned this morning and I have yet to write a single word of the next great American novel, but I had to stop by here and write a few words about how I won a free race registration for the 1st Annual City Farm 5K/10K Turkey Trot from Race Grader!

city farm turkey trot

It takes place on Saturday, November 16 in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. You might wonder why I would take on a race in November when I’m already committed writing 50,000 words of a novel. The answer: (1) I’m going to keep running during November anyway to maintain [what remains of] my sanity, (2) it’s a unique opportunity to run 6.2 miles in Griffith Park at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning, (3) it will be my first trail race and I’m thrilled about that, and (4) did I mention it’s free?

Anyone else doing a Turkey Trot race? Any other NaNoWriMo participants who exercise to maintain mental health during November?

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Earlier this month I got to experience a race from the sidelines as I cheered on my 10-year-old and husband at the LJEF Family Turkey Trot 5K. It felt strange to be up at 6 on a Saturday morning and not going for a run myself (I got in eight miles later on that day as my last long run before the marathon the following week).

Race starting line

And they’re off!

As I watched my two loved ones line up at the start, my heart rose in my throat. I get nervous before my own races, but even more so for my children’s races. I feel more vulnerable and exposed when I have no control over the outcome. If I do not do well in a race, that’s all on me. If one of my children has a bad experience, it hurts in a different way. Will this affect her self-esteem? Will she want to race again?

I had encouraged my daughter to sign up for the race, but by no means did I force her to do so. In fact, we had several discussions about how if she did not commit and follow through on the training for the 5K, I would not allow her to run it (and furthermore she would be required to work off the $20 entry fee we paid on her behalf). She assured me she wanted to run. She had done the race the year before and wanted to do it again. In the end, I can’t say she dedicated herself to the training as I dedicated myself to marathon training (what, you mean not everyone takes such joy in checking off a training run?), but my husband and I deemed her ready to put in the 3.1 miles.

In retrospect, we should have put as much work into the mental preparation for the race. Yes, it’s “only” a 5K, it’s a turkey trot, it’s for fun and fitness, it’s not life and death. But as many runners can attest, a race can be torture if you’re head isn’t in it. The mind-body connection is never more evident than in a running race. My daughter had trained enough that she was fully capable of running the whole race and beating her time from the previous year. Instead, she struggled physically and mentally. After lots of congratulations and hugs at the finish line, and after a few days passed, I talked over the race with her. Why did she think she hadn’t done as well as the year before, in spite of the fact that she trained harder this time? “Because I didn’t want to be there.” You said you wanted to run. Why didn’t you want to be there? “Because I didn’t want to keep running the whole time.” Ah. Turns out that my daughter ended up being so concerned about the possibility of being told to keep running when she wanted to walk, that she psyched herself out of running well in the first place. (Trust me, that says more about my daughter and her personality than about her dad, who certainly does not push her hard and only wants to support her). I told her I had the perfect solution for that problem. The next race, if she wanted to do one, she would run by herself without her father/pacer at her side. She can run or walk, her choice. Completely up to her. How much do you want to bet she runs the whole way?

Do you have children who participate in races? How do they (and you) handle it? My two oldest have done some 5Ks and a junior triathlon. They tell me they want to do more.

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