Got my trot on…

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice your gift. ~ Steve Prefontaine

Turley’s Turkey Trot 5K: 18:56, 37th overall, 7th in age group

Well that was quick. In atypical Stu-style, I went out and ran a Turkey Trot on Thursday morning. This was the shortest running race in which I have participated since High School and I must say, it was a blast.

I was a bit concerned about the weather going in given that it was 3° and windy as hell at the casa when I packed up the car to drive down to Boulder for the race. The weather report called for windy conditions and 15° temps at the start and well… they were wrong. It was about 25°, sunny and only slightly windy as I rolled into the East Campus area, got checked in and started warming up around Potts Field.

I was lucky to run into Caleb as I began my warm-up and then just as quickly lost him again in the crowd. There were ~800 people running this race and so locating people around the starting line was a bit of a challenge. I soon found Sierra, handed her my vest and then hooked back up with Caleb just before the start. After a short wait, we were off!

The first 1/4 mile was fast. Way too fast. Caleb asked me what pace we were running and I checked my Garmin to see 5:15 pop up on the screen. Yeah… that was a little spicy so I backed off and settled into an aggressive but comfortable 6:02 pace for the first mile. My strategy was to punch the first mile, float the second and then try to hammer home the third and as I passed the “Mile 1” flag, felt like things were going to plan and settled into a nice rhythm.

I picked off fast starters during mile two and as we started the second lap of the event found myself pulling a group of about 4 up the only hill on the course and into a slight headwind. At this point the word “strategy” popped into my head and I remembered I was in a race where this stuff actually might matter. So I dropped my pace slightly to let one of the others through then jumped in behind him. Yup… much better. I cruised the second mile in what felt like a sustainable 6:13 then put the hammer down for the final 1.1.

I tried to hang with the last guy to pass me (who clearly had done this before – amazing form and leg-speed) without success but managed to stave off any other fast finishers and even picked off 5-7 people in the closing minutes of the race. I passed the “Mile 3” flag with my second 6:02 split of the day and uncorked my feeble version of a sprint for the last .1 mile (5:35 average pace) to finish in 18:56 – besting my target by a full minute. Caleb rolled in just a few seconds behind me and then we jogged around for a bit to cool down.

We both commented about how nice (and unusual) it was to start a race at 10:00 and be done by 10:20. The same day even! Pretty excited about this effort as it tees me up nicely to go for a sub-40 10K in a few weeks. Testing out some different distance events just to mix things up and keep it all fun. All in all, this was a great event and a lot of fun. I suspect I may make these events part of my regular regimen.


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