Friday, November 25, 2011

Huntington Turkey Trot 5k - Race Report

Since running the half marathon, I had been looking for races to add to my schedule.  I thought about doing a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, but wasn't sure I could fit it into the schedule for the day.  But sometime in the few days before Thanksgiving, I decided I was going to go for it.  I had heard good things about the one in Huntington, so that's the one I chose. 

I had been running slow and easy since the half, and didn't really know how much speed and continuous stamina I had in me (been doing a lot of run/walk-ing lately and not a lot of all out running).  My goal all year has been to run a 5k in under 30, but I didn't have a lot of expectations heading into this race. Marc was convinced I could do it in 29:something; I wasn't so sure. 

I got up early on Thursday morning and grabbed the first warm-ish running clothes I could find.  My Athleta Windwarrior skirt had just arrived on Wednesday and it was the perfect choice (fits well, was warm, and looks good too); wore it with capris from Target, and one of my Nike running hoodies.  By the time I got to looking for socks, I was running behind and just grabbed the first 2 that were a pair out of the "to be folded basket" (which turned out to be a mistake: too loose at the toes + bad seams = bad blister on right baby toe).  Lesson learned - always lay out all clothes the night before!

On the drive to Huntington, I got off the wrong exit of the interstate and took an unplanned tour of the city.  Luckily I had plenty of time to get there.  Finally made my way to Ritter Park and found a good parking spot.  Decided to leave my gloves in the car until after I registered; this turned out to be the second mistake of the day.   I had no idea this race would be as big as it was, and registration took a little longer than I thought.  So I didn't think I had enough time to go all the way back to the car to get the gloves and back again before the start time. Turns out I was wrong, since the race ended up starting late due to all the people needing to get signed in.  So I had super cold fingers all morning (for the record, the rest of me was cold too).  Lesson learned - if it's cold, take the gloves with you!

All the runners were just standing around by the start line patiently waiting, when all of sudden the start gun went off.  No warning, no announcement that it was coming, just "BANG", which made for a kind of chaotic start.  But I was off.  I started off a little closer to the front than I usually do, which helped me get to a comfortable pace and into a "groove" faster, since I wasn't weaving around people so much.  

I was just cruising along, feeling good, running easy, and all of a sudden a mile was done.  When I looked at my Garmin and saw the average pace for the mile, I was a little concerned and thought I might have gone out too fast.  Still cruising nice and easy at mile 2; checked pace again, and it was faster than mile 1.  At this point, I decided I was going to negative split the whole thing.  Mile 3 wasn't quite as easy, since I was pushing myself a little harder, but it still wasn't exactly what I would call hard.  I don't usually pass people in the last mile, but this time I was, and let me tell you, it was a little exhilerating.  I did have the thought in the back of my mind to be careful that I didn't run out of gas and have all those people pass me before the end (I didn't run out of gas, but some of them did pass me, but most didn't).  I was running along at my fastest pace of the day when I saw the finish clock; it was at 29:20.  I sped up and started to sprint hoping to cross the finish in under 29:30, but didn't quite make it - at least not officially; my Garmin time was 29:21; offical time 29:33.

It was a great race; lots of people, a nice easy course, supported a good cause, and was a lot of fun.  It was the race where I finished in less than 30 minutes (a goal I'd been striving towards for 6 months).  It was a negative split race (a rare occasion for me!)  I went home happy and hungry and ready for the Thanksgiving feast with family and friends later that day. 

Garmin Stats:
3.11 miles, 29:21, 9:27 avg. pace
mile 1 - 9:50
mile 2 - 9:25
mile 3 - 9:13
mile .11 - 8:07

Official results:
Place  Name                No.  Age  Gender  Time    Pace
303    Melissa Fuentes 838  36      F          29:33  9:31

Last Personal Record:
Charleston Distance Run 5k - 30:42

New Personal Record:
Huntington Turkey Trot 5k - 29:21 (or 29:33 if you're a stickler for official times)

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