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Fairmount Turkey Trot: Race Report

Here we are again.  It is Thanksgiving day and it is time to earn that Turkey.  Actually, I was roasting a chicken but still one of my favorite races of the fall.  Okay it is the only regular race of the fall but I love me some 5 mile Turkey Trot, the Fairmount Park Turkey Trot..  I woke up nice and early and got myself ready and made the trek all the way to Philly from Newark.  I got there and ambled my way to the registration table and I got a great surprise.  Rae who was spending the week with her grandparents ran up and tackled me with a big hug. 

Eitherway, I got registered and my kick ass tee shirt of which I was wearing last years.  Yes, that is how we show our status.  It is like wearing the shirt of th band that you are going to see.  We wear last years shirt or if your are at a marathon expo you wear some other marathon shirt.  That way people know you are no rookie.  Any who, I had decided to wear last years shirt even though I could have chosen from the previous three years last years seemed best.  Though last years shirt would have been okay to run in i decided to up the ante and put on a long sleeve technical shirt.  Not just any long sleeve technical shirt but my Goofy challenge shirt.  Yes I was feeling smug.  I may as well have been driving a hybrid. 

Well, it turns out that there was some construction on the usual route so there was a little re-route but nothing significant and it was not going to really affect the course that much.  So all of that was explained and I was getting ready.  There we were “Reluctantly Crouched at the Starting Line” and the horn is sounded and we were off and if felt good.  Okay, if felt a little tight but that is how all my races and runs go. 

I loosened up and I was moving.  Actually the weird part was I was not doing a lot of passing.  This may have been the first time in my return to running that I may have lined up just right.  I was moving and it was good.  Well, I figured I would get a pace adjustment as I passed the mile marker but for some reason I missed the clock.  I still don’t remember if there was one.  In the past there has bee but this time I just seemed to miss it.  I was just smoking past the back of the Please Touch Museum and then through the gate and turned right by the Japanese gardens and past the naked wrestlers.  Back out the gate and to the trail which had been re-paved since last year. 

I hit the home stretch turn and saw the finish line and Rae who took and awesome picture.  As I crossed the finish line I saw the clock and it said 19:20 something.  I was going to break 40 minutes again.  It would not be the first time but the first time since I got injured in ’08.  So I started to push a little harder.  I thought I would slow a little in the middle of the second lap.  It was actually starting to burn a little.  I had gotten some water that I needed and it was on.  As I passed what would have been the 3.5 mile mark I think I saw the clock that was supposed to be the 1 mile clock but it was not functioning.  I think.  Eitherway, it was really starting to burn and it felt even better.  As I rounded the Naked wrestlers again I knew this was special.  I hit the newly paved trail and though I was not really able to reel anybody in I was still kicking.

One turn to the left and home stretch it was.  I was moving and moving fast.  I saw the clock and it was just hitting 37 minutes.  Thats right.  I tried to push harder but I was already sprinting so more push was not more speed.  Then it happen I crossed the finish line and I crossed it at 37:37.  That’s right a 7:31 mile, a shattered PR and a big time negative split.

What a race and I was back.  I could not believe.  I have been going for the negative split thing but by a whole minute.  I cannot wait for next year.


Race Report:Fairmount Turkey Trot (Anniversary Edition)

Happy anniversary Blog.  A year ago you had your first entry and it was all about this very race.  It has been a fantastic journey with shrinking PRs and swelling tendons.  I have chronicled my training and my races.  I have the ever continuing Physical TheRapist Tales, and random hallucinations.  Now I enter my second year with trepidation.  What ever that means.  It sound cool though. 


I have had this nervous issue lately.  Every time, I run I cannot tell how it is going to work for me.  It could be an okay run, a great run or this total piece of dog dirt that barely is worth putting in my running log.  It will go in because they count as miles and miles are most important thing of all.  Really, I would have better chance at solving super string theory or figuring out what happens when the Enterprise turns its head lights on at warp speed.  So I was warming up for the Fairmount Park Turkey Trot 5 miler.  Of course I wore last years shirt.  I had to make sure that all of those first timers knew that I was a veteran of the race.  How else shall I maintain my total awesomeness amongst other runners.  I was toed up in the middle of the pack.  I knew that it would take a little bit of time to warm everything up.  And then it started.

Never mind it all.  Every year I have run this race.  That is 3 years now.  I have forgotten to get anything to drink, so I get about 150 meters out and my mouth is dry as can be.  Why won’t I learn.  Take mental note, remember water before race.  Either way, it takes my mind off of the cold Achilles.  I am off and things are okay.  In taking all of the time off for recovery I have lost any sense of my pace.  I just go at an effort I think I can maintain.  Then I hit the mile marker.  Not literally, but I put the first mile behind me in 8:30.  Not bad, I was thinking of maybe a 9 minute/mile pace but this is a good start.  I can ease up a little and set it in cruise control. 

I finish the first loop and manage to get about 75% of the water from the cup into my mouth.  About 30% of that get swallowed.  No matter, it is about 22 minutes for the first half.  What a blast.  Now it is time to kick.

Yeah, right.  For 2.5 miles.  No I just keep it in high gear and push a little.  Mostly to look impressive to the other spectators.  I do have last years shirt on so appearances must be maintained.  Either way it felt good.  At about the 3.5 mile point I get passed by some inspiration so I pick up the pace a little but yet she is just a tad faster.  She must have been drafting me and conserving energy.  Anyhow, I keep it up and when I see the finish line I get that horrible vomit feeling in my stomach.  I kicked and finished in 43:20.  Not a PR but damn good for a recovery race. 

I earned my turkey and the cheese cake I had later, and more turkey, and yam, and beer, two glasses of wine, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, and stuffing oh how I love the stuffing.  Well, another fun race and happy Birthday to the Blog.

Fairmount Park 5M Turkey Trot 2007 (My last race in these shoes)

Lets start of with: My Athletic Supporter knows me well. The day was already warm when we woke up at 6AM. But as we got to the race site it was getting down right hot. With about 30 minutes before the start Jen told me to switch to my shorts. I was wearing my running pants which were designed for cold weather running. (Last years races was very cold.) She reminded me just how much I hated the past summer and would overheat real bad if I didn’t change. I did change to pair of shorts but only had long sleeve shirts with me. I am glad I had her there or I would have burnt up in the first mile.
I made a few other mistakes leading up to the race. In my tirednes from driving into Philly the night before I forgot to hydrate a little before running and also forgot to get a gel or fuel in me along with it. I am glad that candy is the food of choice while driving on long trips.

The rest of the race was fantastic. I was worried when I crossed the 1 mile mark at 8min. I knew I had gone out fast but I was not expecting to be starting that fast. This is something I need to work on in the future. I get too excited and burn out early and suffer in the later parts. As I settled into a better pace I was actually not slowing up that much. It was great. At the finish of the first loop I was was 20:40 something and was feeling pretty good. A little water at that point really helped. I knew what I had to do in the second loop and kind of put things in cruise control and finished it up in 42:17ish. Once again this is one of my favorite races of the year. I cannot wait till next year.

On another note I was just around the pace of what appeared to be a father/daughter duo. Jen tells me that the girl appeared to be 10-12 years old (Rachael[5] is so tall my calibration is off). Either way I cannot wait till that is Rae and I. She has raced some of her own little kids races but what I saw today was just fantastic.