Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 2016 Race Recap

I'll talk about the race in a moment, but first - I hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
We had such a special day together giving thanks and enjoying the day. Cooking, laughing, talking, and relaxing. That is what Thanksgiving is all about, right? I have more pics of our fun adventures on Instagram.

I was excited and a little bit nervous to race for the first time since Boston. It has been seven months since the marathon and a lot has happened since then. My coach told me to run by feel and have fun with zero time expectations. His advice was to start conservatively and then power it home in miles two and three.
I really didn't know what to expect, as I am just getting back into quality workouts and finally feeling free to run without worrying about my foot.

Thanksgiving morning I woke up about 5:30 am and at 6:00 am had a banana with almond butter and water. Very simple and nothing too heavy for this short race. I kept drinking a good amount of water and was hoping to take care of bathroom business (which I did) before we left to drive to the race.

Start time was 8:00 am and the starting line was close to our house with pretty easy logistics. The girls stayed home with my Mom which was totally fine with me, until I realized that the race sets up an amazing, huge bouncy house! We came as a family when I ran the race two years ago and I will bring them with me next year for sure.

Jerold and Josh dropped me off about two miles from the start, so I could run a warm up. The day was amazingly beautiful and I had an easy warm up with a quick 60 second pick up at the end to get my legs ready to go.
It was easy to grab my bib, stretch for a few minutes and then it was go time!

The race starts at our local high school and the first 300 meters or so of the race begins on the track. There was definitely a bit of jostling at the very beginning and then it quickly thinned out and we were running a pretty brisk pace. I knew in my mind that I had to start quickly, but not crazy fast - I hadn't raced a 5k in a long time and the body has to remember how to race 3.1 miles!

First mile 7:06.
The course has some hills that sneak up on you in each mile. About a half mile into the race was a pretty good sized hill that doesn't look so bad, but during a 5k, it was pretty decent. "Just get up the hill and move on" is what I told myself.
I have to say, I was hoping to run sub 7 minute that first mile, but this is where my fitness is right now - the numbers don't lie.

Second mile 6:55
Finally getting a little bit of momentum, and another decent hill makes its appearance in mile two. At this point I was feeling like the course was beating me up a bit. I didn't feel strong, confident and in control...

Third mile 7:15
At this point I was having a few thoughts. 1. I was thinking that I have run miles like this in the middle of a marathon!! 2. I felt grateful to be there in that moment, uninjured.

A woman passed me at some point toward the later part of the race. My first initial thought was: "Someone just passed me. There she goes..." 
This is where the self talk came in. The next thought was: "Come on, Nat - are you really going to let this person pass you without at least fighting for it? Get it together."
Somewhere deep inside I mustered up the energy to pass her back. And I found the will to pass with confidence ----> she didn't pass me back. #win

A quick lesson - even if you aren't feeling super great about your race - don't give up, keep pushing.

Sprinted into the finish (.1 at 6:05 pace)

Unofficial time: 21:43 (7:05 pace) and although I was hoping to run a minute faster, again - the numbers don't lie! This is where I am fitness wise right now :)

I am so happy to get this under my belt and it's a starting point. I'd like to run some more 5ks in the coming months and can't wait to see what I can really do!

I don't know how I finished in the women's field - the results are still pending, so we'll see how it all pans out.

Happy to have these handsome boys there to cheer me on!!!

And a fun little throwback ----> the five of us in 2014 at the same race. I didn't have a coach, I had raced a marathon two and half months before and little did I know, but I had a serious knee issue going on (I can't believe that I didn't feel pain during the race and I would not have run if I knew what the future held). Finish time was 22:18, so I did PR on the course! 

The kiddos were 1, (she was such a peanut!), 4 and 7 then. They were so little!!

Twenty weeks till Boston! I am super pumped about racing marathon number eight, and I'm ready to pour my heart into training. I've said this before, but I think the key for me to have a break though in the marathon is to get stronger. I will be focused on that more than ever before during this training cycle.

I ran a one mile cool down for a total of 6.1 miles for the day and a perfect way to begin Thanksgiving.

There is something magical about running on Thanksgiving Day. Whether I race in a turkey trot or run on my own, I love starting turkey day running strong.

It makes the turkey taste SO much better, doesn't it?

Did you run in a Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving?

Do you like to race 5ks?

Which you do prefer - cake or pie?!

Happiness Is Running Life!


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