On Thanksgiving, I ran the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot. I ran it last year and enjoyed the course. Plus the race organizers are friendly, so I wanted to come back. Until recently there wasn’t a “big” South Jersey Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.
This year the Medford Lakes turkey trot had about 1000 people. Medford is one of my favorite New Jersey towns, slightly woodsy and probably filled with plenty of wild turkeys…perfect for the day.
My husband and I arrived around 7:30 for the race at 8:30. To my surprise, I achieved one of the greatest accomplishments in racing history. Somehow in the 1000 person race, I was number 1. This is a race number that will be on the fridge for a very long time. Even though I was tired from the Philly half, it’s hard to be sad when you are race number 1.
We warmed up, easily got to the bathroom and made it to the start line by 8:30. Before we knew it, we were off. I never saw my husband after the gun went off. During the first quarter mile, I found myself as 10th women overall. I thought, woah this year got competitive. I said I would be happy under 19, but my dream goal was 18:35 (6 min pace). Last year I ran a great race of 18:48.
We hit the first mile in 5:56. It was a little bit faster than I anticipated and I wondered, would I regress and positive split? I was fourth women at that point and was running with a pack of males.
During the second mile, I kept waiting for my husband to pass me. I knew he was in much better fitness, so it was troubling he hadn’t run past me.
I began running closely to the third place women. My legs didn’t feel bad, but I could feel the Philly half in my legs too. I felt as if I was working hard but still had gas left in the tank. I hoped I would be able to hold under 6:15 for the last two miles and told myself I would be happy with that. I crossed mile 2 in 6:02 and found myself as second women overall.
I could see the first place women about 15 seconds in front. I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch her but it gave me something to focus on. As we winded through the woods, I found myself running alone. Someone chanted: way to go number 1. I wasn’t first but it was motivating. I became more confident and I was able to crank another 6-minute mile. We made the last turn and I crossed the third mile in 6:00 exactly.
The last .1, I just focused on the end and crossed in 18:30 by the chip time. At the very last second, I saw my husband, and I realized he was over and done. He ran a 17:15 which is his fastest since joining the Air Force 5 years ago. He had been in the lead pack the entire time which is why I never saw him. Honestly, I’m more excited for him than me.
I’m happy with my race, especially after Philly. It’s my fastest 5k post injury, so I can’t complain about that. In fact looking back it’s one of my fastest 5ks in 2016. The only two 5ks I’ve run faster have both been PRs (at the time).
The Resolution Run (18:22) in a prom dress
My Current PR: The Flower Show 5k (18:13)
Questions for you:
Did you run a Turkey Trot?
How was your Thanksgiving?