Thursday, November 27, 2008

I just keep rolling, rolling

One of the best things about Thanksgiving are the Turkey Trot races. I've run the local race almost every year whether fit or fat, fast or slow or warm or frick'in freezing (-25 below in '94). The obvious advantage is creating more space for dinner but also getting your ass out the door on a day it would be easy to sleep in and camp in front of the TV watching football.

Today was a good day as I fall between the above two levels and the weather was also similar. Last year I was in good form and managed to outkick the 2nd place finisher at the state XC meet. This year I had no illusions of greatness, just run strong, steady and feel good before, during and after the race. Mission accomplished. Things went better than expected as I timed 19:05 for the 5K. Splits were 6:26/6:24/6:15 for 1.05 mile loops. I tried to run like I had to go 4 laps instead of 3 and if I hadn't picked up slightly on the last lap I could have done it.

More than anything it was the feel of having good rhythm and no pain. I was 10th at the start and each lap passed one person ending up 6th and just 45 seconds out of first. I was probably 30+ seconds out after one lap so I was running as well at the end as anyone. Running a bit harder and finishing a place or two higher would not have yielded any more benefit and likely done more damage. Where I place or how fast I run in the Turkey Trot will have no bearing on my results when it matters next year. Having a small personal victory will, however. I'll take it and put in a little pile I'm starting and see how high and far I can build it before next spring.

If you are looking for some good Thanksgiving advice I can think of none better than from this Olympic marathon gold medalist. Joanie is one amazing individual and ran 2:49 at the Olympic Trials this past spring at age 51. She just loves to run and challenge herself. I had a chance to talk with her two weeks ago when I was in Dallas. Such a gracious and inspiring individual.

If you feel like eating, eat. Let your body tell you what it wants. - Joan Benoit Samuelson

Eat on