It's the busiest day of the year for races. It seems like every community hosts one. I was entered in the 30th annual Dan Gibbons Turkey trot in Elmhurst. So were my kids. That was the problem. It was cold. Very cold according to them. So I walked part of the course before I gave in to their wishes to quit early and go somewhere warm!
That was fine. The turkey trot tradition is really just an excuse to treat yourself to a second helping of apple pie at dinner later that day anyway. It's all aboutfamily, and I was happy to be with mine.
But the real Turkey Trot for me was still yet to be run. In my quest to run 12 half marathons this year, I still had to squeeze number 11 in. And that was Saturday, November 30th in Schaumburg. Nothing like waiting til the last minute.
But this is a fun race on a course that I really enjoy. I circled it on my calendar it months ago as a race that I wanted to have a good effort. A couple days before the race, I heard from my frequent training partner, Tom. that he was signed up. Great news. We run about the same pace, and could take turns helping pull each other through the hard miles at the end.
Well that was my plan anyway. This is a point to point course through Busse Woods in Schaumburg. We parked near the finish and easily found a seat on one of the shuttle buses over to the start area.
And we stayed on that pace for a good part of the race. I started feeling the effects of the head cold about 7 miles into the race, and backed off a little. Tom went on ahead and I tried to keep him in sight, but within a mile or so, he dissappeared around a bend.
I then had to face the last few miles on my own, knowing I wasn't going to meet the 1:40 standard, but wanting to stay motivated to run a decent time. In several half marathons this year, when I have started off slowly, I have thrown in the towel and slowed the pace considerably.
That was not going to happen in this race. I slowed the pace a little, but tried to maintain a strong effort. Several people passed me in the last few miles, and I managed to pass a few. But I was grateful for the new pedestrian bridge over Higgins road. The turkey trot was the first event to make use of that bridge. That allows for a much better course that doesn't tease runners by coming within a hundred feet of the finish before continuing out and back another couple miles.
This course finished in the middle of a field. I kept repeating the mantra "Give a good effort." As the finish line came into vew, I felt relief. I didn't have a sprint left in me at that point. So I tried to push it to the inflatable finish line. When I finally crossed it, I knew what I was thankful for! I managed a 1:42, and was pleased with the effort. 11 down, and one to go!
See you on the roads.....................