Thanksgiving Day would not be complete in the Dayton/Miamisburg area without the annual ORRRC Turkey Trot. Thanksgiving 2014 would be no exception. The day started a little on the cold side (30 F) but it was dry and beautiful. The biggest challenge I would face today was deciding what to wear. I made the decision to use the Runner’s World What To Wear site for guidance. It was smack on. I chose to consult this site because I have trained in plenty of cold weather but always felt too warm. I will admit that I was cold waiting for the race to start but was great once I started running.
First Team Chocolate Milk Race
This would be my very first race since I had been accepted to Team Chocolate Milk in September. I was so happy to be sporting that beautiful TCM gear in the race. I did not have my gear in time to wear it for the Air Force races. I was so looking forward to this race from the moment I got my kit in the mail. The team is such a great group of athletes. I feel so proud to represent this wonderful group. I really wanted to do them all proud.
I took my family with me Wednesday afternoon to the race expo. It was a small but wonderful expo. There were a few local race organizers and small business owners. The volunteers were all so happy and cheerful and well-organized. I wasn’t actually surprised because ORRRC ALWAYS does a great job! I am so proud to be a member of this organization. I must admit that we are spoiled here in the Miami Valley area with this all volunteer club. I am told not all groups are this great. I picked-up my bib and shirt and perused the vendors. I was so primed for the race to start in the morning. This race was going to be great.
Last year the club changed the course and it did not go so well. There was loads of parking problems and people were no happy. This year they changed the course again. They definitely got it right this time! They also added a corral system to the start to accommodate the 7000+ runners. It worked flawlessly! The very first mile had a great hill to conquer! Yes, I know a hill sounds horrible to most but I loved the challenge. You then ran downhill and made a short loop before heading back to town.
Let’s Get Ready To Race
I had a quick and easy breakfast to start the day, I grabbed one of my Honey Stinger Gingersnap Waffles and headed out the door. I was primed and ready to get this race underway. Traffic was actually really smooth this year. I had absolutely no problem finding a parking space. I parked on a little side street right behind a small SUV that was covered in running stickers. I loved seeing all those 26.2, ultra, trail, and other stickers on the back of that car. I was reminded that I too would soon enter the Ultrarunning crowd. It was now about 7:30 and about 1 hour until race start. I had planned to wait in the car until 8-8:15. I saw a bunch of other runners exiting and decided I would too. That was my only mistake of the day. I wish I had stayed in the car. There was really no place to stay warm and I spent the next 30 minutes freezing.
I walked around the race start and the downtown area to stay warm and it didn’t really work, I was freezing! I finally noticed a business was open and decided to go shopping 😉 for a while. I wasn’t the only one since the business was soon filled with loads of runners that had the same idea. About 20 minutes before race time I thought I would go use the porta-potties. That was bad timing. The lines, yes lines, were 10-20 people deep. This visit was not going to happen. I knew their would be more at the half way spot. I decided I would run to there and stop if I really needed too. On to my corral for the race start.
Waiting In The Corral
Since the ORRRC Turkey Trot is a family friendly and costumed event, you never quite know who or what you will see. I witnessed some pretty awesome things in my corral. I was in the 2nd corral (45-60 min. expected time) for the race. I had a banana in with me. The tall yellow fruit was a pleasant site to see. His shorts were green with monkeys and more bananas. I couldn’t help but smile. In front was a group of three young men with a radio flyer wood rail wagon. They were a hoot. I was curious to what they were up to with the wagon. I would soon discover how zany this group really was. We all waited patiently. When 8:30, start time, came we listened for the starting gun. I don’t think any of us ever really heard it but we did start moving forward into the starting corral around 8:40. The 36th annual Turkey Trot was underway!
And We Are Off
I came to the start line and hit the start button on my Forerunner 310xt. I quickly found a nice pace and settled in as I weaved around a few walkers. They were all so nice and courteous when I excused myself as I passed them. It wasn’t long until I heard those zany trio with the wagon. They were pulling the wagon with a young man in it singing Christmas carols. It was so hilarious listening to Jingle Bells as you ran along. I knew the first mile would be fun for them. That hill did prove to be a slow part for them. Me, I attacked that hill with all I had. You see I wanted to see what I could do. I wanted to see what I could get my heart rate up to.
The Second Surprise.
According to the standard formulas for Maximum Heart Rate my maximum heart rate should be between 179-189. I already knew from previous races that my maximum heart rate was at least 203. I was almost floored when I saw the Forerunner display 214 as I topped the hill. That is the maximum heart rate of a 6-year-old! I guess I better readjust my training values.
Downhill To The Half
It was pretty much downhill to the half way point at Rice field. This was the only water stop and porta-potties on the course. I decided that I would pass up both as I made the turn around and crossed the timing pad. The race directors had enforced a rule that you must pass the timing mats in the park to get an official time. I believe this was to help eliminate cheaters who would cut off the turn around, I was starting to feel a little tired but had found a nice little rhythm at this point. I was half-way there.
The last half was full of surprises too. The first was hearing Santa and his crew coming up from behind singing more carols. This time more of the crowd joined in as they passed along. These three made it so much fun! Then about a mile from the end I saw the flag being carried. I know a few Team Read White and Blue runners in the area. I picked-up the pace to see if it was any of my friends. I thought I might hang with them for a little while. It wasn’t any of my friend of the Team RWB at all. It was the Dayton SWAT team. I kept my pace and passed them. I know it may seem funny but it felt good to say that I beat the SWAT team. I look for motivation where I can find it :). It was almost over now. I turned left onto Linden ave and crossed over the start line. I started to kick it up a notch and rounded the right to Miami Ave. as the finish approached. I picked-up the pace just a little more as I came near the end. At least I thought that was the finish line. I miscalculated the finish line. I kept the pace as best I can and held off the nausea. I passed a man running in flippers and a wet suit just before I rounded the final corner and crossed the finish line.
The Race is Done
I crossed the line and grabbed a water. That felt so good but what I really wanted was my beloved chocolate milk. I then realized I had left my milk at home. It didn’t take me long to start the trek back to the car and head to get my favorite recovery drink. I made a quick stop to talk to a good friend and I was on my way home. Chocolate milk here I come. I made it home and grabbed that lovely bottle and put it in my belly. The morning was complete!
What did you do for Thanksgiving?