Last year, I ran the Bay Area Turkey Day 10K as a training run for the Chevron Houston Marathon. This year, I had planned to run it as a tempo run as part of my current half marathon training plan. But that’s not what happened at all.
First of all, unlike last year, I was not dying in the humidity. I felt strong and fresh, even though I hadn’t had a rest day since Sunday, I got there in plenty of time to pick up my bib, warm up a little, and stretch, then find Melissa. (She’s everywhere!) She was doing the 5K; I had signed up for the 10K because it fit perfectly into my training plan.
As usual, when it was time to line up for the Bay Area Turkey Day, I looked for the tall, rangy folks, then got behind them. I knew there would be some bobbing and weaving, but if I nosed up to the front, it wouldn’t be too bad. And it wasn’t; there was minimal bobbing and weaving for the first quarter mile, and then it was all smooth sailing.
I had set my Garmin to pace myself for this race at my medium tempo pace (between 8:15 and 8:30/mile, according to my training plan). Pretty quickly, Garmin started beeping at me to slow my roll. Not surprisingly, my first two miles clocked in at 8:07 and 8:12, respectively, until the excitement wore off.
The Bay Area Turkey Day course is nice and flat, which made it a pleasant race. After the first two miles, I held at 8:22 for the next two miles. I didn’t push too hard and just tried to enjoy it all; a race on Thanksgiving is a time to just be happy. And I was; I was running, and it was a gorgeous day, overcast and cool.
Mile 5 was my slowest, at 8:27. I’m not sure what happened there; I think I was feeling the effects of my earlier “excitement.” If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s going out too fast. The Bay Area Turkey Day this year was no exception. But I picked it up for the end, hitting an 8:11 mile (SLOW DOWN!, my Garmin beeped) and crossing the finish line in 51:18 (8:15/mile, so technically at my medium tempo pace, right?).
And shockingly, I placed in my age group! Third in my age group, to be exact. Unfortunately I had to jet out of there to toss a turkey in the oven, so Melissa sweet-talked the organizers into letting me have my age group award before I left.
Overall, I’m a big fan of the Bay Area Turkey Day run. I love seeing people out there running or walking before the Thanksgiving festivities start! This year, it didn’t even bother me to dodge a few walkers as I came in for the 10K finish. They were OUT THERE, moving, being active. I hope that some day I’ll see them running the 5K, and then the 10K, and then at the start line of a half marathon.