Thursday, November 28, 2013

ALSO Youth Turkey Trot 5k, 2013

Last year was the first time I ran a Turkey Trot, and I chose to run the ALSO Youth 10k because it was local and supported a great organization. This year, ALSO Youth only offered a 5k; I was disappointed, but never thought twice about entering the race.
Desperately trying to warm-up with some pre-race coffee.
Unamused by 40 degrees in Florida.
I knew the course would be tough. This race is basically half bridge...and this isn't just any bridge. This is a super-steep causeway that rises 60 feet in less than a mile. Last year, when running the 10k, I was only three days off from my half marathon. With more time to recover and train this time, and a shorter distance, I was excited to push myself without aiming for a real PR.

This race also doubled as my virtual Sub30v5K for the Sub30-Club. I was hoping to break 30, but that was really my only time goal for the trot.

When Matt, Steph, and I rolled out of bed and into the car at 7am, we were greeted by our first hint of fall weather. Overnight, the temperatures had dropped from the balmy 70s to the low 40s. I had remembered my new Saucony running zip, and Steph had her capris, but Matt was sadly unprepared.
We three pre-race!
We arrived at packet pickup with 30 minutes to start time. Luckily, our shirts this year were much more wearable than last year's...and they were long-sleeved! Matt quickly donned his, and we stashed our bags, used the bathroom, and got to the start.

(I need to mention that I saw someone wearing the FMB Half shirt, and I was so excited to see someone who had just run that race with me!)
Pre-race and rarin' to go!
Pre-race and freezing!
Steph took out ahead of us early on. Matt had been dealing with a painful arch, so he stayed at my pace for the first half of the race. We dodged a multitude of slower runners who were clearly just running for the novelty of doing a Turkey Trot and made our way to the base of the bridge.
Bridge, I will own you!
On the way up, I felt great. I steadily passed runners, smiled for the camera, and kept my pace strong. The turnaround was poorly organized, and by then I was starting to tire. Once we hit the bridge again (about an eighth of a mile after the turnaround) I was beginning to feel the steep climb and hard descent. Matt took off ahead of me, and I kept moving at a steady pace, determined not to walk.
Post-race food and a view.
By the second descent, I found my second wind. I pushed ahead toward the finish, only a half mile away, and enjoyed a fantastic neck-and-neck sprint finish against a guy who'd been on my heels. I coughed laughter as I crossed the finish line; my legs nearly buckled beneath me.
Post-race...all smiles!
Bridge and all, I'd finished the race in 29:36, happily beating 30 minutes and running a race I could 100% be proud of. Matt finished in 29:10, despite his injury, and Steph placed 3rd in our AG with just over 23 minutes.
I love having such a fast sister!...Even if she is in my age group and ruins my chances of ever placing lol
I absolutely love running on holidays. It's such a great way to center yourself and come back to the whole purpose of this running thing we love so much...Finding an inner strength, finding gratitude, finding truth.

I am so grateful to my legs. I am grateful to my body for what it can accomplish. I am grateful for my relatively new mental toughness. I am grateful that I have the freedom, means, and time to dedicate to this activity that gives me so much in return.

Running is about finding your weakness and breaking past it.
Seriously pleased with these splits, especially the last one!
A run on a holiday is just about the best tradition ever...a race on Thanksgiving is even more perfect. Besides the thankfulness and strong reminder that running is life-affirming and amazing? It allows for an awesome calorie deficit before the holiday festivities!

Stay tuned for actual Thanksgiving updates sometime this weekend. I hope you all had a fantastic holiday!



  1. Awesome Run Ali! I like the 'calorie deficit' reference.....just my way of thinking. ;)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Sounds like a great race! I hope you had a great rest of your thanksgiving :D

    1. It definitely was!

      I hope your festivities turned out just as you wanted!

  3. I've never done a race on Thanksgiving because we generally have to travel. But I do like to get a good workout in anyway!

    1. I think working out when traveling is even more important than running on a holiday!

  4. I loved this post!
    Your thoughts about running are so beautiful!
    Congrats Ali :)

  5. Great post and congratulations on a great race!

  6. Sounds like a great race - loved the bit about your sprint to the finish. :)

    1. I should really check my pace on that sprint...I don't think I've ever pushed it so hard at the end!

  7. Sounds like you did great! I love how relative weather is. When I ran on Thanksgiving it was a "warm" 40 degrees ;) Congrats on the sub 30!!

    1. It's funny, because already 60 seems kind of warm! It's crazy how fast we adjust.

  8. Great pace!!! And amazing job!!! :)

  9. YAY for a great race and a sprint finish!

    Did you wear your sunglasses during the race? If so, what kind are they? I'm thinking about getting a pair of running/sport sunglasses but have no clue what kind are the best.

    1. I do wear my sunglasses to race, but they're not any brand I can recommend. I got them for like $8 at an outlet mall. I can recommend that you look for sunglasses that have rubber on the nose pads and where they go over your ears. That way they won't bounce. I tried on a few pairs and jumped up and down in the store to test if they fell off haha!