Since we’ve been in Temecula, I have to admit, it has been a life like we couldn’t have imagined! We’ve met so many new friends and it feels like we’ve been here forever. Annually, the school that Allie Kat goes to hosts a Turkey Trot 5k. Allie Kat and I have been running with the school running club since the beginning of the year. Her and I have made friends with many of the parents and kids from her school. Naturally, we were excited to show off our running club skills out on the road. Here’s my Turkey Trot 5k Race Report!
As I have mentioned previously, I will be running the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January and I have been using my times with the school running club as part of my preparation. Allie is going to run the kids’ Legoland run the day before with Mr. Bear. It has been a great bonding experience with Allie to run and train with me, in my favorite sport.
Saturday was a chilly morning, but we met up with our neighbors and friends and walked the short walk to the school. We were all ready to run and determining our strategy for the race, where we would meet after, and how to capture the best photos of the kiddos post race. We made it to the starting line, with time to spare and began lining up. For such a small race, there were a lot of participants. The horn sounded for us to run and off we went!
Mr. Bear and I began running with the middle of the pack, Allie Kat was already pacing farther and faster ahead. About a 1/2 mile into the course, Mr. Bear and I ran into Allie and one of her running club friends. Allie was guarding her right arm, tight into her chest, with tears streaming down. Apparently, she had fallen and it was quite a spill. Her shoulder, elbow, arm, hip, and leg were scrapped up and both of her hands had taken gravel and concrete in them. Poor baby! Seeing my baby crying, even if she’s 10 years old, got the tears streaming in my own eyes. I tried to encourage her to GET OUT THERE, RUN! Because, clearly, I am a jerk. She refused to run and buried her sweet face into Mr. Bear’s shoulder. They decided they would walk together, I asked if it would be okay if I went on without them, and they agreed.
After separating with Mr. Bear and Allie Kat, I found my way back into the pack, weaving in and out of the numerous jogging strollers, littering both sides of the wide pathways. I recognized many of the parents and kids running the race and began pacing with a mom I knew from the school. The 3/4 mile was pretty flat, but then we turned the corner and began running uphill on one of the main local roads that cuts through the middle of our community. I hadn’t noticed before, while driving, just how long the road actually is.
About 1 1/2 miles in, my breath got heavy and I had to walk for a bit. I began alternating running up the bigger inclines and walking the straight parts of the course. Up, up, up, I went, until I made it to the first and only water station, at the crest of the the hill. I grabbed a water, fought through the crowds congregating around the station, and off I began to run again. I knew there would be downhill coming soon, so I pushed when I could to get to those beautiful downhills on the course. Now, I wasn’t far from the end.
I met up with the same mom I had been running with early on in the race and we began the silent speed up and slow down that one does. I would pass her, she would pass me. Finally, we got down a pretty steep incline, where I felt for a minute, like I was flying! I forgot for a second about my “competition” and let myself enjoy the realization that I was RUNNING and that there is a huge possibility I could complete my half marathon.
The last 3/4 of a mile, I was fatigued, but motivated. I have a little trick I do every time I run a race—well, I don’t know if it’s a trick? Strategy? Anyway, when I start getting to the end, I encourage all the other runners to, “Finish Strong!” “Keep it up!” “You’re almost there!” I start yelling out encouragement to unsuspecting strangers that either step it up or just look at me like I’m crazy. This helps me tremendously, especially when the runner decides to kick it up! I try to keep up with them and let them know I’m nearby. Sometimes, I find a great competitor that will take me to task with my challenge and I love that! That’s exactly what I did this time, too! At the end, I started yelling, “You’re almost there and I’m on your heels! Don’t let me beat you!” Ha! I know it’s quirky, but running is 90% where your brain is some days.
At the finish line, my competitor came in about 10 feet ahead of me. We both sprinted in. When I stopped running, I was out of breath, a little dizzy, and really nauseous. I did it though! I broke my goal for this race! I wanted to come in before 45 minutes. I came in 41:11. That’s a 13 minute pace. It isn’t shabby! I’m pretty happy with my time. I ran as much as I could. I finished strong. I tried my best. Bam! Total success.
I feel fortunate that I’ve been training on these same roads on my “long runs” I do on the weekends. I am up to 5 miles on those long runs now! When I started training earlier in the year, I could barely run a 1/4 mile without stopping. Now, I regularly go a mile or two without taking a break. I’m running about a 12-14 minute pace most of the time, but recently, I ran a mile where I broke 11 minutes.
I’m so excited to run my next training run and my next race! It was amazing! I can’t believe I did it! Yay!
What did you accomplish this week that you’re proud of?