My aim going in to the Puente Hills Family YMCA Turkey Trot — phew, what a long title — was to finish the 10K in 53 minutes. That would be a 45 second PR and I’d be running at an 8:31 pace.
It seemed doable even though I haven’t run anything under 9 minute pace in a long time. I’ve kept most of my recent workouts easy and relaxed. I was banking on adrenaline, running with Lori and a flat, fast course to get me to a PR.
Seems like it worked.
Sean and I arrived at the Puente Hills Mall parking lot to find many more runners than last year. Although rain was in the forecast, there was none and it was perfect running weather. I registered, got a free bib thanks to another runner and waited for my sister. I left Sean and went off for the a quick mile warm-up and returned to find Lori just arriving. We watched the kids 1K fun run and then lined up about 4 people deep.
When the gun went off, I knew I was starting out too fast, but I didn’t want to get caught behind slower runners. The start wasn’t too crowded, so that was easy. I watched the speedy cross country kids go and stayed (far) behind them. I knew I had started too fast, but didn’t bother checking my watch for pace or slowing down even though I knew I couldn’t keep going so fast. I ran the first mile in 7:50. I think that might be my fastest mile. Lori stayed with me through the first loop and we slowed down a little, but still well under my goal 8:31 pace. We ran the first 5K in ~25:25. If I was running a 5K, that would’ve been a PR too.
Once we started the second loop, the course was pretty lonely. The race is pretty small, just over 300 runners. All except 60 or so were doing the 5K. Although I could only see one woman who looked about my age up ahead, I knew I wasn’t likely to win a turkey. Still, I knew I was comfortably within reach of a PR.
During the second loop, I drank more water as I felt side stitches forming. I really need to drink more water. I lost Lori somewhere in the 4th mile. I think her foot was bugging her.
I felt tired as I entered the last half mile which goes through the mall parking lot and past the new Buffalo Wild Wings, department stores and movie theater. The parking lot is on a slight incline which made me want to slow down, but I fought it as I knew I could finish under 52:00.
As I came in to the finish line, I ran through walkers finishing the 5K and saw the clock ticking down to 52 minutes and then crossed. I met my goal and finished in an official 51:32. I don’t know why the official time was slightly faster than the finish line clock and my Garmin. Either way, I’ll take the ~2:15 minute PR.
I got some water and talked to Sean and we waited for Lori. She came in about 30 seconds after me. Then I went off for a quick cool down run and returned for the awards.
I placed 2nd in my age group (1st finished in 42 minutes… not even close!). Lori placed 3rd, sorta. She used the free bib from the generous runner whose friend didn’t show and went up an age group. She would have been 2nd in her actual age group, 20-29.
After the race, we changed in to jeans and met up with my cousins for brunch. We spent the rest of the day being lazy, napping and avoiding the rain.
I feel a little sore today, but I don’t mind.