A Turkey Could Have Run Faster Than Me

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to fellow American readers!

So, I ran a turkey trot this morning, the Dick Meighan 5K.

It kinda sucked, and I debated not writing about it since it was just a race “for fun” that sucked, but I have written about every other race I’ve run since I started this blog, so why stop now?

My alarm went off at 7:15 for a 9am start to give me time to snooze and take my time getting ready. It went off, and I looked at the weather. Real temperature: 27, feels like 9.


I went back to sleep, and woke up in a panic at 7:45. OKAY, OKAY, I’LL GO. It will be fun once I get out there. I got dressed as quickly as I could, and my mom and I hopped in the car.

There were quite a few snafus with this little race.

1. They couldn’t find my registration.

2. They were out of pins. “So, what should I do with my bib?” I asked the volunteer. “Hold it.” Oh, okay. Of course. Luckily, when I went to pick up my t-shirt, I asked another volunteer about the pin situation, and she suggested looking on the ground to see if anyone had dropped pins. I looked and found two immediately. Fine.

3. They couldn’t find the kid with the bullhorn who was supposed to start the race, and they couldn’t get the timing clock to work, so we started probably 7-10 minutes late.

Nothing too bad, but just kind of annoying.

I’d foolishly thought maybe I could PR this race. I even did a little speed workout Tuesday: 10 minute warm-up, alternating 30 seconds on at 20 seconds faster than goal 5K pace, 30 seconds jogging for 10 minutes, 10 minute cooldown. Beyond that I thought that if I’d pushed hard for 3 hours and 56 minutes, surely I could push really hard for 23 minutes and hopefully 20-something seconds.

I haven’t charged my watch since the marathon, and I thought I’d do that crazy “run by feel” the kids talk about these days.


Speaking of kids, there were a lot of high school kids in this race.

When we started off, I was keeping pace with a bunch of high school boys, which I felt pretty good about.

What I did not feel good about was my pants feeling like they were falling off (throwing them out, like tomorrow. I’ve had them for years and they’ve always done this and I always think they’ll be different), and my shirt feeling like it was riding up and the cold air throttling my lungs as I climbed up hill after hill.

But I kept telling myself that 5Ks were supposed to suck, it was cold, it was hilly and I must be pushing it. I remembered there were a bunch of hills but also some awesome downhills to coast down.

There wasn’t a mile marker for the first mile, but I saw a water stop and assumed it was roughly around mile 1. A few minutes after this, my entire midsection started to kill from both a stomachache and lady cramps. That was fun. I tried to keep running through it but felt worse. “Don’t walk,” I told myself. “This is a 5K. You ran a marathon a few weeks ago and didn’t walk.” The other half of me, which won, said “eff it. It’s just a 5K. On Thanksgiving. For fun.” I stopped to walk for a few seconds, and every time I started to run again, it hurt. A lot. And everyone was running by pretty fast. I sort of wanted to cry, and I’m not a crier. I did a walk/run/shuffle until mile 2. I saw the timing clock from pretty far away, and it read 17:xx, and then it read 19:00 by the time I got to it.

Once I walked for a significant amount of time, I knew I wouldn’t have a time I’d be happy with, but once I felt a bit better, I wanted to try to at least just have a decent run, and I managed to pick it up to a decent clip for the rest of the race. One the last uphill, I saw a silver-fox dude striding up the hill. Oh hell no. I was going to beat him. I charged ahead of him, and the hill kept getting steeper, and he kept climbing like it was nothing. UGH, FINE, YOU WIN.


I crossed the finish line, and it said 28-something, and I wasn’t sure how far off the actual clock I was. My chip time was 27:40, so a 9:09 pace. As in…I ran a marathon faster than I ran this morning. Okay, just kidding. Just put 27:40 in DailyMile, and it’s an 8:55 pace. The 9:09 was what the results said for my gun time, which is what the awards are calculated by. Since my only award was turkey later, I don’t care about gun time.

Whatever. I got in a run before turkey, even if it wasn’t a great race.

Did you turkey trot this morning?

16 comments on “A Turkey Could Have Run Faster Than Me

  1. Gillian @ That's G

    Bad races/runs are never fun — but for me they always make me so much more appreciative of the good ones. You’ll get that 5k PR sooN!

    I did a 5k/10k combo this morning — the 5k was ROUGH and left my legs tired for the 10k, but it was still a fun morning! I am always weirdly more nervous for 5ks than for races of any other longer distance — probably because running fast is scaryyyy.

  2. Caroline

    Umm- hold the bib! That’s just crazy talk! I’m glad you were able to find a few pins on the ground to use. I did a 5k on Thanksgiving morning as well. I ran a half marathon a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to recover to the same pace I usually run yet.

  3. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More

    Sometimes I’m surprised that I can run 13.1 miles (and that I’ve done it TWICE) when a 2-3 mile run feels like the longest and hardest thing ever. I did run a Turkey Trot yesterday, it was FREEZING but I surprised myself and finished in 27:57, only 30 seconds off my PR. Since I’ve been running MUCH slower lately (I’m running at ½ marathon pace lately which I think is just a mentality that I need to be slower to last for a longer distance which isn’t the case).

  4. Jane

    First of all, I’m pretty jealous of you and everyone else who got to run a turkey trot yesterday. It’s the best way to get into the binge eating spirit.

    Secondly, I also surprise myself when I run much slower in shorter races. Like the NYRR mini 10k and the pride 5 miler in June were both much slower than my Brooklyn Half Marathon time (a PR!). Something about these shorter races just make it miserable.

  5. Shawna

    at least you braved the cold and did it! i forewent my planned 10K Turkey Trot to stay out late salsa-ing the night before, and even though i thought i’d be bummed to miss the race, i have 0 regrets and the dancing was totally worth it.
    sometimes, a runner girl just needs to do other things. 🙂

  6. Amy

    Turkey Trots are supposed to be for fun! I ran one really slow, but it was a family friendly race (tons of walkers, kids, and dogs) with part of it on trails that made it impossible to pass others. I made my fiance run and he never runs so we averaged about 11 min/miles and I am way faster than that, but who cares? It was super fun!

  7. Jen

    Thanks for sharing this recap! It’s helpful for people to know everyone has good and bad races, and sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to it. We’re all human, right? Congrats on all your recent awesome running accomplishments! As a marathoner, I would almost take a marathon over a 5k any day. Hate them! Too short, too fast.

  8. Kristine

    Haha I love this. I also hate 5Ks with a passion. Running very fast for very short amounts of time is not my thing. I was up in Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving at my family’s house and since they apparently held their Turkey Trot in…. early November, I was on my own. So I ran 5 miles at 6500 feet of altitude and seriously thought my lungs were going to explode. I don’t understand how people live in the mountains and run at fast paces. Or how you cold weather people run in layers and gloves – we’re still in running tanks in SF! Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! (My Italian family would be so proud of the spaghetti! We had it the night before!)


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