Earlier this week, I registered for the TreesGreenville Turkey Day 8K Race. I figured it would be a great way to spend Thanksgiving morning, before all of the official Thanksgiving celebrations began. As an added bonus, I’ve never done an 8K before, so it was pretty much guaranteed that I would have a shiny new PR to be thankful for.
Yesterday, I went for a swim at the Caine Halter Y and then picked up my race packet in the lobby. Packet pickup was very well staffed and organized. I think it took less than 5 minutes to get my bib, some safety pins, and my t-shirt. I spent the rest of the day cleaning, doing laundry, polishing silver, and riding my bike, with a good amount of sitting on my ass and reading thrown in for good measure. Around 8 p.m., I figured I should start getting organized for the race. That’s when it hit me – preparing for running races is SOOOOOO much easier than getting ready for a triathlon. You show up in the clothes you’re going to race in, with your bib pinned on your shirt, and you run. That’s it! No bikes, transition bags, wetsuits, multiple pairs of shoes, goggles, socks, swim caps, etc. to deal with!
Today, I got up at 5:30, so I could have a leisurely breakfast and several cups of coffee before the race. I got to spend some quality time with the Bubs before getting dressed, and I changed the settings on my Garmin so that it wouldn’t beep at me if my heart rate went past zone 2 and so that it would beep at me every time I finished a kilometer. A quick check of the weather helped me decide what to wear: compression socks, running tights, shorts, long sleeved running shirt, vest, gloves, and buff. It was cold!
The Bubs can be kind of grumpy in the morning, but he’s still cute.
At 7:00, I hopped in my car, blasted the heater, and scraped the ice off my windshield. A few minutes later, I was downtown and ready to go. I had enough time to visit the port-o-potties a couple of times and get in a little warm up jog.
After my warmup jog, I’m still pretty chilly.
I took the time to check out some of the other runners. Lots of pilgrims came out to run the race, and there was even a turkey there!
Yep, that guy in the middle ran the whole race in the turkey costume!
Just before the start, I ran into a triathlon acquaintance and chatted with him for a while before we were herded into the starting area with 1400 of our closest friends. At least it was warmer! Then, right on schedule, the race started.
Since it’s Thanksgiving, I wanted to dedicate each kilometer of the race to something or someone I was thankful for. Unfortunately, that meant whittling down my list to only 8 things:
1. My incredible family. I spent the first kilometer thinking about my parents, my brother, my sister-in-law, and all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. I thought about all my wonderful pancake breakfasts in Clemson with my Aunt Katherine and the wonderful road trip to Virginia that we took this summer. So thankful for my amazing family!
Pic from bike ride with family in Virginia. Good times!
David and Rebecca in Montreal a couple years ago. You know your family is awesome when you can have fun in a blizzard together!
2. My cats. The second kilometer was dedicated to my cute cats. I probably had a goofy grin on my face as I was thinking about Ozzy and his love of chasing shadows. I even gave my mom’s cat Abby some mental attention. I think she might actually like me now, even though she won’t admit it.
Managed to snap a pic of Ozzy mid shadow chase. Action shot!
Abby curled up with me for a cat nap this week!
3. My job. In August, I started a new job at Ballet Spartanburg, and I love it. I get to teach a huge variety of students, from beginner to advanced. Through the outreach program, I get to work with older adults, adults with Parkinson’s, and at-risk youth. It’s pretty incredible!
4. My life in general. I have a wonderful family. I live in a great house. I have a reliable car that gets incredible gas mileage. I live in a great city, and I never have to worry about having enough to eat or clothes to keep me warm. Not everyone has this, and I realize how lucky I am.
5. Triathlon. I’m so thankful I discovered triathlon this year. It’s given me a way to challenge myself and allowed me to raise money to help the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Training has helped me structure my time better and helped me deal with some of the craziness that’s gone on in my life this past year. Plus, I got to do a triathlon at a vineyard, got to go to D.C. for the first time, and got to do a relay with my dad. All pretty cool things!
6. All of the people I’ve met in the triathlon / running community. There’s no doubt that triathletes are some of the most generous, kindest people on the planet. They’re always willing to share their knowledge with newbies. Really, if you’re losing faith in humanity, just go meet a triathlete, and your faith will be restored.
7. My two grandparents who I lost this year. I knew that by the time I got to the 7thkilometer of the race, I’d be getting pretty tired, so I saved Grandmother and Granddaddy for this kilometer. I thought about the long lives they enjoyed and how lucky I am to have had such wonderful people in my life. This kilometer should have been one of the hardest of the race: it was toward the end, there was a hill, and the road surface was not ideal. However, I drew a lot of energy from just thinking about them. Plus, the sun came out and warmed me up for the first time since the start of the race. This was undoubtedly the best kilometer of the race for me.
8. My body. I’m definitely thankful that I’m in good health and that I have a body that will let me do things like triathlons and races. As I pushed to the finish line (and up the last big hill of the race), I thanked my legs, feet, heart, and lungs for letting me enjoy an active lifestyle.
All in all, this was a wonderful race! I crossed the finish line in 46:10, for an average pace of 9:14. I’m definitely getting faster!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!