This Thanksgiving saw me starting my day at the Green Valley North Turkey Trot, a 5 mile, untimed, non-competitive event. It was so non-competitive that they issued no bib numbers, nor did they have a real start (someone just got on a bullhorn and said "the course is now open"), and if you didn't want a t-shirt I bet you could participate without even paying, although that's completely against the spirit of the event and there was no set amount to pay to participate. It was all donations.
An interesting thing about this particular trot is that while the course is on area roads, the gathering for it is literally in some guy's driveway and front yard. The house there is nice, and there may be about an acre or so of property, but it's no mansion and it's in no way secluded. It is held on a very residential street in a very residential neighborhood. If I was the organizer's neighbor I think I'd hate Thanksgiving morning, even if it is for a good cause, because while I think the estimate of 1,000 people gathered was a little exaggerated there had to indeed be at least 500 in attendance. Maybe up to 750. I kind of wish I was able to take pictures of the spectacle, but where would I put the camera while I ran?
The run itself was kind of hilly but in perfect weather at about 40 degrees with no real wind. I started off bundled up in cold weather gear but wound up running in a long sleeve t-shirt, shorts, cheap knit gloves and a knit Ravens hat.
During the run near the beginning there was a huge downhill portion and people were flying past me. It was difficult to let them go because of whatever competitive nature I might have, but since I was treating it as a training run I just watched as they blew by. I also realized that since the run started and ended at the same place if we were going down we'd eventually have to come back up, and boy did we. But that just gave me the opportunity to pass everyone who passed me going down. Heh.
Anyway, my training program called for me to run 8:22 miles for this workout. But since it was a hilly and I was unfamiliar with the course I had to settle for an 8:22 average pace. My actual per mile times were 8:08, 8:27, 8:10, 8:26, 8:26. Honestly, I'm more upset by the miles I ran too fast than by the ones I ran too slowly. But what can you do.
It was my first time running outdoors since it got cold, and even with the challenging course I felt great. Running outdoors really is the best, and running to justify shoving turkey into your face later in the day is even better.