Sunday, November 18, 2007

Several wrongs make a right at the Turkey Run

As far as race preparation goes, I did everything pretty much wrong yesterday.

I generally try to eat "bland" the day before a race. "Spicy food is not good the day before a race!" or so they say. So what do I eat? A grilled chicken burrito with hot salsa at Salsarita's for lunch, and some homemade spicy beef stir-fry with Japanese udon noodles for dinner. (Yum, by the way!) For breakfast this morning (because I am running out of breakfast items since I have sort of cleaned out the fridge in preparation for being gone over Thanksgiving) I had a piece of leftover cold pizza. Yikes!

The pre-race meal of champions?

Normally, I will lay out everything I need (shoes, clothing, accessories) for my race the night before. I didn't do that this time. Of course, that means I left my watch behind.

But no worries, because this is the Turkey Run 5k, after all! It is meant to be a fun kickoff for Thanksgiving, as well as a low-key close to the racing season.

A gray November day over Como Lake

It was a cold and gray day here in Minnesota, with temperatures right around freezing, with a fairly brisk southeast wind. But it would be perfect for a few hundred people running the clockwise loop around Como Lake.

This is my 3rd Turkey Run, and actually the 5th time I have run this route because the course is used by the Heart of St. Paul Race in February. It is flat and fast, which is welcomed after the hills during Rocky's Run! With no watch to time myself, and nobody calling out splits, I would just be running by feel today. The horn sounded and we were off!

The pack takes off like a shot, and I settle in where I feel comfortable, knowing I will pass a few of these folks later on. I feel like I am running fast, and it feels good.

It is a cute course that utilizes the excellent biking and walking trails around Como Lake. While it is was not the prettiest of days, I did enjoy the sights of several ducks, as well as some playful coots who were taking turns diving along the shore.

After about a mile, the pack really spread out. I maintained my brisk pace and realized once again that 5k's are hard! Man, it is tough to be fast. I like long races. I feel less rushed. :)

There was a runner about 20 feet in front of me who I ended up following from about the first mile all the way to the finish. And happily, I finished in 22:08. (Or something like that...the official results have not been posted yet) That is a pretty good 5k time for me, so it was hard not to be pleased, especially considering I had no idea how I was doing.

In honor of Dale Jr's last ride in the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet at this afternoon's NASCAR race, I wore my Dale Jr. stocking cap! I felt is was appropriate, since it was the last race of the year for both of us. ;-)

Driver 8

So, a very nice close to the racing season, no ill effects from the previous day of spicy food or pizza for breakfast (my new pre-race breakfast-of-choice?), and no need for a watch since I felt kind of speedy without it.

Here is looking forward to the upcoming holidays, as well as the 2008 racing season! Time to set some new goals and aspirations.

Cold pizza for breakfast, anyone? :)

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