Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trot - 5 Mile Race

Happy Thanksgiving to all ....

Just a quick update on the 5 mile Turkey Trot Annie and I did this morning. First, it was cold -- 41 degrees!!! The organizers said that they had over 5000 people racing and I believe them because it was some crowded running!

At the starting line a young girl held up a sign that said, "6 minute mile pace or less start here." So, I was planning on doing about a 7:30 pace and went about 15 yards or so behind that. I was guessing maybe 100 to 150 people were in front of us. Seemed about right. I overheard some guys talking about all the marathons they did and saying they would do this race, "Around 35 minutes .." Perfect, I thought, I can run behind these guys and it should be good. Annie started right next to me. She was hoping to do a 9 minute/mile pace but by this time it would have been very hard to fight to that area since the starting area was already elbows to assholes!

Our local Congressman, Kevin Brady (a vocal opponent of all the wasteful spending going on in DC), was the official starter and he wasted no time in firing off the gun. So the race begins and it takes us maybe 30 seconds to cross the starting line. Once we cross the pace is incredibly slow, like a 10+ minute/mile pace. We were right in the center and were getting sardined from the sides - hundreds of people were passing us and with that many people we were stuck in the middle. At this point I had to make a decision: Either slow it down and just do a 5 mile training run or put my shoulder down and pass a heck of a lot of people. Well, if you read this blog you probably know what I did next!

I made my way to the outside and jumped up on the grass between the road and sidewalk and passed a ton of people. I didn't even say goodbye to Annie, I was so frustrated with the people in front of me I just took off. In hindsight, I probably should have just reeled it in and enjoyed the run but as usual I am an idiot meathead that cannot control my competitive nature!

I never really found any open space but was able to bust some butt for the rest of the run and zig-zag my way through the rest of the race.

Here are my splits according to my Garmin 305:

Mile 1 - 7:25
Mile 2 - 7:14
Mile 3 - 7:17
Mile 4 - 7:17
Mile 5 - 7:08

Total Time - 36:27
Avg Heart Rate - 177 BPM
Max Heart Rate - 194 BPM
Total Calories - 611
Average Pace - 7:16/Mi

Overall I am quite pleased with my results and actually a little surprised. On Tuesday I ran 5 miles pretty hard and did it in 38 minutes. This was with two days rest and I was very fresh. Today I was coming into the race after 13 miles running the previous two days and my legs were not feeling top notch because of those last two days. As you can see from my Garmin stats above I ran pretty much the entire race in the Anaerobic Heart Rate Zone with an average of 177 BPM. A year ago I would have been able to hold this zone for maybe a minute before I had to considerably back off. Today I was able to hold it for 36 + minutes and could have done another mile or two. It was uncomfortable, actually at times I was hurting. I kept saying to myself, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body ..." and this got me through.

I am very proud of Annie. This was her first race and she did it in 43 minutes. That is a pace of around 8:30ish. She has been doing the Higdon marathon training and most of her runs are in the 9.5 - 11 minute/mile range so she really ran a great race today! She said her legs felt a little rubbery around mile 3 because the initial adrenaline rush was wearing off but she was able to HTFU and keep her pace for the next 2 miles. She wants to do a couple more races like this before her marathon so she can get used to that initial rush. All the long hours she has been logging during training is definitely paying off! I am very happy for her!

After we finished we ate some pancakes and sausage (complimentary!!) and a banana and then went to find the car so we could warm up. They had some unofficial results posted but the line was very long to see them and we were freezing (yes I know I am a wimp). So once they are posted online I will update the blog.

Annie and I both had a great time at the race. It was very well run and a they had a ton of volunteers! We may make this a Thanksgiving tradition!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family!

Thanks for Reading,


***Official Results: Finished 293/2300 + and 25/143 in Age Group ***


  1. Super race! I can see the crowd in my mind's eye. I know its frustrating. However, you hammered it. Man, I was wheezing just reading your splits. Your HR was crazy, but it is a testament to your conditioning that you could hold your HR for that length of time.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Thanks Boomer -- just got the results. Finished 293/2300 + and 25/143 in Age Group. Not too shabby for not being a runner (-:

  3. Not shabby at all! Super Job!