I'm not much of a Thanksgiving guy. I really only eat turkey if it's fried and I don't like most of the other traditional dishes, except for macaroni and cheese, rolls and a couple slices of pumpkin pie. Rather than sitting around a table eating, I'd rather be up stairs watching TV or playing Xbox and eating some Halloween candy. However, I'm trying to make it a Thanksgiving tradition to run in a race on Thanksgiving.
Last year, I spent Thanksgiving in South Carolina and was going to run an 8k in Greenville, but woke up sick. Two years ago, I ran the Indian Lake Loop and really enjoyed it. I was thinking about running the Boulevard Bolt this year but since Ryan Snellen wasn't racing it and it was more expensive than the Indian Lake Loop, I decided to give my hometown race another go.
I had a really hard workout on Monday and wasn't planning on racing this all-out. I was shooting for somewhere around 5:00 pace, so I was looking to run just under 25:00. Two years ago, I got beat by an out of town guy, so I was really hoping he showed up again this year.
I did my normal warm-up routine and since the Porta-John line was insanely long, I decided to visit a bush before heading to the line. It was hard to camoulflage myself in my neon orange singlet but I did my best.
The race seemed like it was pretty big compared to when I ran it two years ago. There was at least 300 people but I didn't see the guy who beat me a couple years back, which was a little disappointing. When the race started, I let some little kid lead for a little bit before crushing his ego and stealing his soul. After about a quarter of a mile, I was moving pretty quickly and was anxious to see what my first mile split would be.
I figured I was going sub 4:50 mile pace so after the watch went past five minutes, I figured the first mile was long. Unfortunately it turned out there were no mile markers during the entire race. It was frustrating because every race I've ever run has had mile markers and the split data is what gets me from mile-to-mile and lets me assess my performance on the run.
When we were running down Indian Lake Blvd., it turned out the biker had us on the wrong side of the road and instead of reversing it and going back on the other side, he just had me do a 180 degree turn and run back down the road.
After heading back down Indian Lake, we turned onto Saundersville for quite a while. Even though there were no splits, I was pretty sure I was under 15 at what would be 5k and shortly after 15 minutes, I started to struggle a little bit. I did my best to stay relaxed while not taking my foot off the gas too much. It felt like we were running down Saundersville Rd. for way too long and once I hit 22 minutes, I knew the course had to be way long. That made me back off the pace a tad because instead of getting a legit time, I would run something that wouldn't really mean anything.
I crossed the line in 26:25 and it turned out we took a couple of wrong turns and the course was closer to 5.4 miles, which would have resulted in a five mile time of around 24:25. Based off my Team Nashville race, this was a harder effort, which was a little frustrating but I was a little tired from a marathon workout three days beforehand. However, since this was my last race before the marathon, I wanted to get the wheels moving and hurt a little bit and that's what happened.
With just 2.5 weeks to go, it's now time to get a feel for and lock into marathon pace so I can make my assault on 2:19.