Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Race recap: Thanksgiving day race

On Thursday, I ran the 106th annual Thanksgiving Day Race, sponsored by Western Southern Financial Group.
This is a race that I run every other year, I plan it around our holiday travel (and we are in Toledo for Thanksgiving every other year). This is a 10K race. Originally when Chicago was my goal marathon, I was planning on running hard for a few weeks after recovering, and then going for a sub-45 for the 10K.

As you all know, Chicago was not my reality, and so I had to adjust. Because I only had about a week and a half of running, I adjusted my goal, and decided to just go for a PR. Now, let me be clear on this. I have a VERY out of date 10K PR. It was from the Flying Pig marathon 10K and I earned it one week after running a PR in the Glass City marathon half. So basically, I was not in shape for that and I am SO MUCH faster now.

So I went downtown to meet up with Charlie. We were planning on getting a work team photo (of the three of us that were running) before the race. The race started at 9 am, so I left home just a little bit after 7 with plans to meet them at 8:30. Charlie and I were texting so I went right over to his car, which was in a great place. When Greg arrived, we got our photo.
We were missing Alex, who was the 4th for our Flying Pig Relay team. But I was glad to get a picture with these two, they have been especially busy over the last few weeks.

We lined up together between the 8 and 9 minute pace groups. We knew that it would be a rough start (it always is), but we just wanted to be able to run comfortable. Greg's goal was just to finish (he has not been running as much as the rest of us). Charlie and I are both off of recent goal races, so we knew it might take a minute to warm up and get rolling. This is a pretty BIG race (approximately 17,000 runners) and there is no official seeding unless you are elite, so it ALWAYS takes a few minutes to cross the starting line. A lot of starting and stopping.

The race starts uphill going up Vine St all the way through downtown. It goes up to Over-the-Rhine before turning right onto Liberty for another hill. You then cruise downhill (and are reminded that your quads exist) past the casino and down back toward the river to head over the bridge into KY. We then headed over the Taylor Southgate bridge to Newport, over the Licking River into Covington, and then back across the Clyde Wade Bailey bridge to head toward the finish line.

I finished the race in 48:35, which is a PR for me. I would say my biggest hurdle to not finishing faster was all of the dodging and weaving that I had to do to in the first mile (which clocked in around 8:30, much slower than EVERY mile afterward. Like 1 min/mile slower for some!) So that will be key for 2 years from now when I try that race again. Get closer to the front so there is less dodging. Although you always run into the issue of having some folks that are walking the whole race seeding themselves toward the front (annoying, and certainly not because they are walking, just because there are some folks that ARE racing).

But I enjoyed the race, and I always enjoy getting a solid run in on Thanksgiving day. I plan to ALWAYS race on Thanksgiving.

In addition, pictures for this race were free, so look for them on a later entry!

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