It's mostly an annual tradition for me to run the Detroit Turkey Trot every year since high school. I haven't done it every year, but I've been doing it since before they added a 5k and 1 mile fun run. I toyed with doing the 5k this year instead of the 10k, but decided that the 10k was better in the scheme of all things Thanksgiving. Meaning I over indulge on food so I should run a few extra miles to make up for it :)
Weather report did not look fun and I had a heck of a time deciding what to wear and how to deal with warm ups. I didn't bring anything to throw away so I decided on leaving my race shoes in the car a few blocks from the start and warm up then going back to drop off warm ups and change into my racing shoes. I didn't time everything really well and I was feeling pretty rushed to get to the line. Did a few strides on the way over but didn't get in all of my regular dynamic warm up drills. Nerves started to kick and and I felt like I was going to vomit when I toed the line. Saw one of the women who raced at Johnnycake and said hello. She was running in the 5k and she's fast so I knew I shouldn't be ahead of her from the gun.
Despite adding a 2nd wave this year it was still pretty packed in the "Fast and Fit" wave. I started about 2 people back from the line and was in a pack of guys for the first 2 miles or so and could see a steady stream of guys in a line up ahead. Given that the 5k and 10k run together for the first 2 miles or so it is hard to tell what place you are in. I figured if I ran a fantastic race I might be able to eek out top 3. I speculated that in order to do that I would have to run under 37 minutes. Which was good because I wanted to go sub 6 pace, and on a good day I thought that was possible. After the mile mark you make a hairpin turn and go back against the crowd so if you have good eyes you can get a look at who is ahead of you and in front of you. I saw DC who was in the 5k but couldn't pick out any other women. I knew that meant I was likely in the top 3 even if there were some gals hidden in the throng of men. As usual Hansons had a huge pack of men leading the race far ahead of everyone else.
I just left my garmins autolap on and decided not to worry about time too much and just race how I felt. First 2 markers may have been short because my autolap was going off after them. But to my delight the autolap was right where I wanted it to be around 5:53 to 5:54 for both miles. Add in the possible bonus of it being long and I was running right where I wanted to be. I was with a small pack of guys but as we turned into the wind we had a large gap in front of us. I worked to catch up to the next group this mile and tried to key off a runner in yellow sporting the runmichigan.com logo. It was windy but I felt pretty strong and just worked on keeping my effort high.
I had a pair of gloves and two hand warmers from the start because it was supposed to be pretty cold, but by mile three I was feeling pretty toasty and stuffed the gloves in my bra and one of the hand warmers in my sleeves, but was still holding the second hand warmer. I didn't need it for the race but I knew after I would be cold so I kept it. Probably wasted some effort fooling with all of that.
Missed the 3rd mile marker and my watch going off, but it felt like effort was the same. The course deviated a bit from last year after the 3rd mile marker and we went further out on an out and back stretch. It felt slow and I was falling back from the guy in yellow a bit. I caught the 4 mile marker but missed my watches split somehow. Saw the first girl had quite a bit of time on me and on the turn around the next girl looked like she had a chance to close on me if I didn't keep it together. Looked down and average lap pace was at 6:14, awwe crap! get it back together Hansen!
At each out and back along the way I kept hearing cheers for Ben. "Run your own race Ben" "Looking good Ben". Around mile 4 I finally figured out who Ben was. He was 14 years old and running strong, but unfortunately a bit too skinny to block any wind for me ;) With about a half mile to go he asked how far we had left. Glad to know I wasn't the only one who was ready for the finish!
We had long ago passed our last costumed runner which was a blessing, did not want to get beat by any of those this year! But we had some sand baggers obviously out for a training run coming up behind us. Discussions of leap frogging and holding hands across the finish were amusing, but not very motivational as I struggled to relax my stride and try to bring the pace down.
Mile 6 was at the corner of Cobo Hall and I knew when my watch beeped long before that any time I had put in the bank early was long gone and I needed to haul ass to the finish! Thankfully the downhill brought me back to a decent pace but it was too late to salvage sub 37 as I could see the clock already out of 36 territory ahead. I sprinted into the finish and had to dodge a photographer standing on the line right where I was supposed to be crossing. Looked down to see that I had most likely tied my time from the Columbus 10k (37:24). Not the PR I was hoping for and not the time I felt I could run at my current fitness. But somehow crossed the line in 2nd place and was pretty stoked about that. Retrieved some fleece gloves for coming in top 100 and then headed back out to look for my sister and my cousin who had started in the "fun" wave and would be aiming for around an hour to and hour 20 for the race.
Thank goodness for those fleece gloves. My cheap gloves were soaked from stuffing them in my bra and I was cold! Ran backwards through the course cheering occasionally and trying to spot my sister. Thankfully she spotted me a bit after the 4 mile mark and I hopped back in with her to run her in. She did great, surprising herself with a new PR despite less than her best training. And our cousin came in not far behind. I spotted my parents and we cheered her in before heading down to the awards. 2nd place garnered me a cool clay turkey with a medal around his neck. A for originality.
Results show someone else taking 2nd. So it's possible I got chipped. We'll see in a few days. Either way glad to have been top 3 despite not running quite the time I was hoping for. Need to decide if this is the race I want to end the year on or if I will go back to the Reindeer Run and try to squeak out a 5k PR...