Massapequa Turkey Trot 2014 Recap

Happy December everyone!  The holiday season is now is full swing now, with Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas just 24 days away.  Boyfriend and I put up our tree last night and it makes such a difference in my spirit seeing those twinkling lights!  Before I go full holiday cheermeister, let’s rewind back to Turkey Day with my Turkey Trot Recap.

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This year was my first Long Island Thanksgiving, and as such I obviously signed up for a Turkey Trot.  The Massapequa Turkey Trot is a 5k (3.1 mile) course that starts and finishes in John J. Burns Park and includes an out-and-back on some neighborhood streets.  I had signed up by myself, but was pleasantly surprised to find out that my friend Emily (you may remember her from my cousin’s guest posts about running with Team In Training) was also signed up!  Hi, Emily! ūüôā

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I arrived about an hour early for the race, because I wasn’t sure what parking would be like and I wanted to squeeze in a warm up.  It was pretty cold and windy down by the water and by the time the race started, snow flurries were falling!  I only ended up doing a one mile warm-up and then got back into my car because I was cold. #Baby, I know! 

I met up with Emily for a few minutes and we listened to the race director speak about the race, which donates a significant portion of the proceeds to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Gotta love races that support charities!  After the National Anthem, we moved over to the start to line up.  They had signs to help people organize into pace groups/corrals…7:00 min/mile pace, 8:00 min/mile pace, etc.  My favorite was toward the back and said something like “Still wish I was in bed pace”. Cute!  Before we knew it, we were off!  

I should’ve wiggled my way up a little further in the group, because I spent the first half mile or so bobbing and weaving to get into a comfortable groove, but once I did I felt good.  Despite being cold at the start, after a mile in I was plenty warm and even debated taking off my ear warmers.  I hate being hot!  The route was quick (don’t 5ks always seem like they’re over in a flash!?) and there were a few spectators out on their lawns.  Mile markers were just people with stopwatches shouting out current time, which I loved.  I really didn’t care what pace I was running, but knew my competitive edge was taking over a bit.  I started out slow then picked up the pace until it was comfortably hard and really kicked it at the end to pick off some runners in front of me.   

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I snapped a picture of my Garmin of course, but my official finish time was 28:03 (9:02 pace).  I’m shocked how fast (for me) I was able to run this race.  My hip definitely felt tight and uncomfortable at some points, but otherwise I felt like I had some power in my legs!  The race itself was very well organized and fun to run.  I really need to sign up for more low-key races like these, vs. NYRR ones which tend to stress me out.  Note to self!

My only negative thought about this race has to do with parking.  Remember when I said I didn’t know how parking would be?  Turns out it took me 2 seconds to park right near the start, which ended up being a big mistake.  Some people opted to park in the parking lot of the shopping center across the street, but I didn’t realize why until after I was done running.  The parking lot was right where the race started and finished, so the exit was closed to traffic and I wasn’t able to leave until about 30 minutes after the race finished for everyone.  Lesson learned for next year! ūüėČ  The good news?  This race had hot chocolate at the finish in addition to bagels and bananas!  So I sat in the car sipping hot chocolate and listening to Taylor Swift while I waited to get out of the lot…not a bad start to Thanksgiving morning if you ask me! 

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you do a Turkey Trot too? Tell me about it!

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Sgt. Keith A. Ferguson 5K Race Recap

Last week, boyfriend told me he was signed up to run a 5K with his team at work and I immediately had two thoughts- A 5k?! Does¬†he know that’s longer than the 400m intervals at CrossFit?¬†and¬†Ooh! I wanna run a 5K too!.¬†So after¬†I made sure he knew that 5k was a full 3.1 miles (a distance he hasn’t covered in a few years…), I asked if I could join him. ¬†{I hadn’t run a 5K since April of 2013 and my PR in the 5K distance was from February of 2012!}

So, on Sunday morning we drove into Manhattan and registered¬†for the¬†Sgt. Keith A. Ferguson 5K. ¬†The race was founded in 2004 by Keith’s family and has continued to grow over 10 years, with all proceeds going to the Sgt. Keith A. Ferguson Memorial Scholarship Fund. ¬†Obviously, a number of the participants are NYPD or other law enforcement members and the NYPD was out in full force working and supporting/spectating the race. ¬†NYC Runs helped to coordinate and as always, did a fantastic job. ¬†I’ve said before that I love their no-frills races and excellent organization. ¬†So…a 3.1 mile race with awesome views and great community support all for a good¬†cause? ¬†Sign us up.

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Look at my runner boyfriend!

Technically, I had 5 recovery miles on my schedule, so I¬†figured I’d run a little bit to warm up and planned to take the race super easy. ¬†I even gave boyfriend my watch so he could keep his pace in check and not gas himself out 400m in. ¬†Which didn’t work anyway…because the dang Garmin didn’t find signal in lower Manhattan. ¬†Shocker! ¬†But it was pretty rainy and gross Sunday morning and I couldn’t figure out where to go to warm up, so that didn’t happen.

I knew this race would be crowded, give the 800+ runners and walkers. ¬†And having run the Brooklyn Bridge before, I knew the running path is pretty narrow and it would be tough with so many people. ¬†There are also no corrals or separate¬†start times for runners vs. walkers, so everyone was mixed and starting together. ¬†We definitely did a lot of bobbing and weaving to get past people and settled into any normal pace. ¬†There was also a lot of slowing down and getting caught behind a group of people three across, especially in the beginning. ¬†I gotta be honest-as a runner, it’s hard to look past that and¬†not let that get to you! I definitely had to remind myself that A) this was a race for a good cause and B) I’m not racing it! ¬†This was just my nice little recovery run to Brooklyn and back.

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At the start

Boyfriend and his giant long legs took off ahead of me and I just tried to settle into a comfortable pace. ¬†After the first few minutes, I knew there was no way I was running at my recovery pace (10:30-11:15) because I was frustrated speeding up and slowing down. ¬†So I started to try to pass people in order to have more room. ¬†Then, before I knew it I was in high-fiving boyfriend on his way back and making the turn-around myself in Brooklyn. ¬†I thought about slowing down a little bit, but my pace didn’t feel TOO uncomfortable and I was looking forward to getting to that sweet downhill coming off the bridge back into the park. ¬†I honestly had no idea how fast I was running and didn’t care. ¬†I felt good, given that I had run a really tough 12 miles on Saturday. ¬†I was super careful on the wet, slippery bridge and even more slippery concrete in City Hall Park. ¬†

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I rounded the corner into the park and crossed the finish line, with the clock reading 27:30. ¬†I was totally fine with that and super excited to find boyfriend and see how he did. ¬†Despite not really knowing what he was capable of running-wise, his goal was somewhere around 8-minute miles. ¬†And wouldn’t ya know it…his official time was 24:19! ¬†Not bad for his first 5K, and I have no doubt that he would crush that time given a different course with less darting around the¬†crowds.

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So serious…

What was MY¬†official time, you ask? ¬†26:02. ¬†Ummm…hi, accidental PR! ¬†I was still am completely shocked by my time. ¬†I knew I wasn’t running my recovery pace by any means, but it’s crazy to think how fast I was going and how much more I have in me! ¬†BRB while I sign up for the next¬†5K I can find to really test my speed out! ūüėČ ¬†I certainly have CrossFit and my awesome coach to thank for helping me get stronger and much faster. ¬†Obviously the big goal is just finishing the NYC Marathon on Nov. 2nd, but this race got me excited to see what else I’m capable of.

To recap, this was a great race for a great cause with a bonus PR for me. ¬†And automatic PR for boyfriend! ¬†Not to mention that I loved being there for his first real race¬†experience. ¬†It was adorable seeing him try to figure out what to wear and even get a little nervous before the race. ¬†What was not adorable was his inability to pin a bib on straight! ¬†Crooked bibs and lopsided pins drive me insane, so we’ll be practicing¬†that at home before his next race. ¬†Because we all know there will be a next race… ūüėČ

 

Can you remember YOUR first race?  Do you have any pet peeves on race day?  Tell me about it!

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