104th Thanksgiving Day Race

 Starting out at a brisk 28 degrees with my sidekick Kristina, amidst 15K+ other individuals who were crazy enough to be out on Thanksgiving morning, there was an overwhelming vibe for the event to begin, the longer I stood the tighter my body was feeling and the more likely I would have to use the bathroom, finally at 9:10 my feet tapped the start line and we headed uphill into Cincinnati.

I had set a goal for myself of 70 minutes or less (I did the Komen in September in 1:10:34). My foot was feeling ok, my music was not cooperating, so I had to lean on the pace of the crowd.

By mile 2 I hit my stride, 22 minutes. I less than 12 mins a miles I was pleased. Entertained by the festive holiday outfits, tutu’s (if someone could explain this one to me I would be grateful, they look cute on my kids but on adult women, ummm not so sure) and the runners dedicated to wearing shorts, that had to burn, I know cold when I see it.

 

Lining the streets were supporters for many different groups, the MS Society and Goodwill are the two that stood out in my mind. However, the most touching group I followed were a bunch dressed in red, and the lead runners carrying large American Flags. I teared up, their patriotism was inspiring, I imagine the flag wasn’t a light item, and I saw them pass it among themselves every so often, they were running for Veterans, of which I am proud to know several and cannot think of a more fitting tribute on such a day as this.

I have learned the value of the brief power walk on long runs, especially uphill, it allows me to rest a bit, but also allows me to be able to push on the flats and the last two miles. Running through Cincinnati, down into Newport, into Covington and back into the city, I reminisced about the only other time I did this event, I walked it with my mother and my dog Amy – we had no idea how long 10K was and by the time we saw the 6 mile marker we were beat -9 years later I am running it, amazed at how far I have really progressed.

One highlight for me was heading into the last mile, an older man beside me, walking with me looked over and saw my Mudder headband (great for keeping my ears warm) and said “Mudders don’t walk.” I laughed, we talked a little about completing one, by this point I had shed both long-sleeved tops and was sleeveless, sweating, and tiring…but he was right, I didn’t need to walk then, I was being lazy. I pushed that last three-quarters of a mile and crossed at 1:13:37 officially. Ok I missed my goal, not by much, I give myself those few minutes, it was the first distance greater than 3 miles I had run in over a month.

 

My pace 11:53

I have to give huge props to Kristina, she finished well ahead of her personal goal as well – she’s pretty bad ass

So my official first running season has come to a close…20 weeks until the Pig.

 

 

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