My hubs was ‘on call’ for Thanksgiving so we weren’t able to travel to our usual destination (Cleveland) , meaning we could partake in the Columbus Flying Feather 4 miler on Thanksgiving morening. One of my favorite parts? The free sangria for every participant at the end! No need to place in the top three for a store-bought pumpkin pie at this race. No siree. Free wine for EVERYONE! We were granted two free race entries by the race director a few days before the race ( I work closely with him at my day job and he is very generous!), so I wasn’t exactly training to race this bad boy.
We had planned to bring baby Connor with us, as long as the weather was close to 40 degrees. Now that he’s 5 1/2 months, I feel comfortable taking him along with me in the jogging stroller: has good head support and seems perfectly content just rolling along with me. Since the race didn’t start until 9 a.m., we thought we would be in good shape, but it still wasn’t even going to be 30 degrees by go time, so my hubs decided to stay home with our little man and let me go see what I could do sans pushing a stroller. My hubs is a gem. Really, he is. Though I felt guilty going at first, I decided to allow myself to go do something I love: race freely and joyously. It was a good reminder of how thankful I am to have strong lungs and legs that can carry me quickly to the finish line.
Because we were so up in the air with the baby and whether Sam would come or not, I didn’t leave my house until after 8 a.m., getting me to the parking lot by about 8:30 a.m. since it wasn’t in my backyard by any means. There were shuttles running to the start line from the parking lot (since it was almost a mile from the start line), but I was too late to catch one. So, I started to walk…and walk…and walk. When it got to be 8:52 a.m., I started to jog…and then run…to the start line. I got there in time, but it was barricaded and backed up with the over 4,000 runners, so instead of being one of those pushy people trying to get to the right pacing group, I sucked it up and started with the 14 minute pace group, which got me to the start line a good 3 minutes after the gun went off. Thank gosh for chipping/timing technology so my time wasn’t affected at all!
Needless to say, I was entirely blocked in for the first mile. But, I took it in stride and followed the lead of a few others who were in the same situation. We took the sidewalk, less traveled by. I was able to hit a 7:02 first mile, followed by a 6:58, 6:52, and 6:40. I was proud of my negative splits more than anything! My GPS (Forerunner 10) has been acting up slightly, though, and my official race results said my pace was a bit slower, for a 6:59 overall pace and finish time of 27:55.
I’ve only run a couple other 4 milers, and I was off my PR by about 1:30. All things considered- the late start, the barricade, the lack of training/speedwork – I couldn’t have been happier with my result. In all honesty, I told myself before the start line that I’d be happy with anything under 32:00. So, there we go. #thankful
The best part? After the race (which I ended up running about 6 miles including to and from the parking lot!), I came home to fresh made cinnamon rolls, my hubs and my baby! And we snuggled up with coffee until the in-laws came to town for a later lunch, complete with Honey Baked Ham and all the fixings. It was a joyous Thanksgiving, indeed, and there is no better way to kick off a day of thanksgiving than with the hobby I am most thankful for: running!