Saturday, November 26, 2011

Race Report: Gobble Wobble Thanksgiving 5K

Thirteen weeks of Turkey Trot focused training culminated in Southborough's 5th Annual Gobble Wobble Thanksgiving 5K Road Race. Of all the races I ran this year, this one is the one that I felt the most organized and prepared for, which did wonders for my mental state.

The Training
Week Twelve+ - 23.95 mi
Week Eleven - 9.63 mi
Week Ten - 19.80 mi
Week Nine - 19.03 mi
Week Eight - 17.75 mi
Race Report: HipHipHer Race 5K
Week Seven - 10.88 mi
Week Six - 15.2 mi
Week Five - ~15 mi
Week Four - 17.07 mi
Week Three - 11.62 mi
Week Two - 16.12 mi
Week One - 15.75 mi
Week Zero - the plan

Total Mileage: 191.80 miles

Despite the sub-par performance at the training plan's scheduled tune-up race, I was confident that my peak race would provide a better result. I made sure to get more sleep than last time and I kept my diet in check. Just like last year, my brother came down the night before to deliver me the Thanksgiving turkey for brining and run the turkey trot with me. We headed to the race around 7:30AM to pick up our bibs and t-shirts and I was quite pleased to see that the race had chip timing and a certified course. We also met up with one of my friends from work who graciously agreed to come and play photographer for us (thanks!!). I was concerned on Wednesday morning given the rainy, cold and generally miserable weather, but Thursday proved to be much nicer than the previous day.
As we were lining up at the start line, I was genuinely surprised at the turnout. This is definitely one of the largest 5Ks I've done -- there were just short of a thousand people. After the national anthem, the horn went off and we were through the balloon gate.

Kilometer 1 - 5:23.28 (8:40 min/mile)
My brain was working against me in this first kilometer. Despite having gotten a good half mile warm-up in, I could not find my rhythm in stride or breathing. I couldn't seem to find a good lane either. I just wanted one that didn't have kids who went out too fast together and then just stopped to walk 5-6 abreast on the road. Seriously kids? Seriously? I could also write a dissertation on how much I hate it when people run races with headphones on and have no sense of their physical surroundings, but I'll spare you.

Kilometer 2 - 5:27.05 (8:46 min/mile)
Shortly after Beepy informed me that I'd passed the 1K mark, I passed some poor kid who lost his shoe and was off to the side of the road and found my rhythm. I tackled the tiny little hills with a little extra effort and reminded myself to conserve enough to make it up the one hill in the course. I heard lots of people complaining about the hills as I ran by but I just rolled my eyes and kept going. Clearly these people have not run the Westborough 5K route, that's where the real hills are at.

Kilometer 3 - 5:35.79 (9:00 min/mile)
This was one of those insidious hills like I had to deal with in my 10K this past June. It was a gradual incline over roughly a half a mile and it makes you feel like you suck. However, having run that 10K and recalling how the tricky inclines make you feel, I pushed through and tackled the hill faster than I thought I would.

Kilometer 4 - 5:13.36 (8:24 min/mile)
I'll be honest. I don't remember a lot about this kilometer, but I suspect that's because I had to shut down the part of my brain that was being a whiner. I didn't have room to do anything but think about my form, my breathing and keeping it all in check. I think I might have also being doing some race math in my head. I knew that I might finish in under 27 minutes. However I have a hard enough time doing math in my head normally so I wasn't exactly very trusting of the result I came up with.

Kilometer 5 - 5:00.00 (8:03 min/mile)
This last kilometer was key for me. It was mostly downhill and I knew I could push it and still finish strong. This is where those 1K intervals at 5K pace workouts really came into play.
After seeing this photo, it becomes apparent to me that I have to work some of my good ol' barefoot running sessions in again. I'd like to get my forefoot strike back.
See the focus and determination? I couldn't see the clock yet but I was reaching my full out sprint at this point. As an aside, Beepy totally clashes with my super stylish moving traffic cone getup. When I finally rounded the corner and saw the gun time at 26:54, I was beyond thrilled. I had not seen a sub-27 minute number on the clock since May.

Garmin Time: 26:39.48
Official Time (net): 26:43.34

I didn't want to miss Nate's finish so I marshaled the remainder of energy and headed over to watch.
He managed to finish strong with a net time of 29:06.50, his second best time of the year. After the race he told me he didn't have to stop and walk at all, which I was quite happy with since I made him a little training plan with that particular goal in mind.
Blinded by the sunlight.
I'm thinking that our next race together is likely to be the Spring Festival 5K in Westborough next May. This should give him plenty of time to train up.

Me though?  Well my next race is coming up fast, as in January 1st fast, and it's going to be a 10K. Details to follow next week.

Did you walk or run a Thanksgiving race? Or did you stay home and relax with family? I'd love to hear about it, let me know in a comment down below! :)