I was already awake and listening to the rain when Lori texted me at 5:55 on Sunday morning.
“It’s raining right now.”
“Do you think we should just not do it?”
I hoped she’d want to back out of the annual Puente Hills YMCA Turkey Trot 5K/10K. I’m sure we both preferred our warm beds to the cold and rainy morning.
But Lori, always a trooper, didn’t back out. Instead she suggested we wear trash bags over our running clothes to keep us relatively dry.
Ten minutes later I was dressed and headed east with Sean to pick up Lori before making our way to our final destination, the Puente Hills Mall (yes, in the suburbs a 5K/10K starts in a mall parking lot).
Thankfully, the rain had stopped by the time we registered and lined up for the race. As expected, the turnout was low, a good sign for us. There were even fewer people running the 10K, which gave us a better chance at winning a turkey. In previous years, Lori had placed second and just missed winning a turkey.
The race itself was rather uneventful and led to a great run. I didn’t have time to set up my iPod Shuffle so I ran without music. I didn’t miss it since I was running with Lori for most of the race and occasionally talking. On the last mile we started loudly humming “Eye of the Tiger” and cheering on other runners just to be silly.
In previous weeks I’d been running the 10K distance at least once a week and doing speed work. It paid off as I clocked faster miles and finished with a personal record. My first mile was a little over 8 minutes, but I doubt the accuracy of the mile marker. I’m not that fast even on a relatively flat course on a cloudy, cool morning. But, I was running with Lori and I’m sure she pushed me to a faster 5K (26:26) and 10K time overall. I finished at 53:45 just behind Lori who had more energy for a sprint at the finish line. That’s a personal record for me.
At the finish line, we met up with Sean, who had been cheering us on and snapping pictures and then waited for the awards. Based on Sean’s assessment that few, if any, of the women who finished ahead of us in the 10K looked to be in our age groups, we expected to win something. And we did.
I placed second in my age group. Lori placed first in hers and took home her first turkey. I like small community races.
We celebrated with breakfast at our local greasy spoon and then went home and napped.