Monday, December 9, 2013

Turkey Day Turkey Trot

We decided to carry on a family tradition - the Thanksgiving Morning Turkey Trot.  One, two or all of us have run it every year for the last 10 years.  This year I was pretty sure I was going to be honest-to-God runnable for the first time in a long time.  The torn plantar fascia of 2011 hung on for a really long time (pro-tip:  when your foot REALLY hurts, don't just keep running on it.)  But finally I'm over that hurdle, and everything was actually going quite swimmingly, until I was doing a track workout a few weeks ago and my left calf cramped up.  REALLY cramped up.  And ever since I've been doing the dance with it - a few days off, a few days on, a few days off, a few days on.  Which leads us to the Turkey Trot.

We woke up and it was 20 degrees.  Perfect for a cranky calf, right?  But  I was feeling really committed to making this happen so I could run with Sam.  So I got up early, took a hot bath to heat up the leg, slathered it in stinky Chinese-medicine liniment, and then stuck a hand warmer inside a compression sleeve just to make sure it got the message that I was paying *very careful attention* to it.  Never say I leave a stone unturned.

So here we are at the start.  It was freaking freezing.

But still really fun. The gun went off, and Sam took off.  I love kids.  We watched him disappear into the crowd, and Clark and I leisurely jogged along.  I thought the calf might cooperate enough to cover the 3 miles, but I had no illusions that it was going to do so quickly.  And Clark generally couldn't care less if he runs fast or slow, so he was happy to jog along with me.

After a mile or so we spotted Sam again - still running quite strong, despite the fact that the sum total of his athletic endeavors for the past several months involves hitting a baseball.  Now he hits a baseball a LOT, but it still doesn't seem like great 5K prep.  By 2 miles he was starting to come back to us a bit so we all settled in companionably together.  At the top of Hillside we turned left onto Liberty and still kept going uphill - at which point Sam finally admitted that a small walk might not be a bad idea.  But he picked it back up again after a couple of minutes and off we went.  By the time we hit mile 3 back at the start, I could tell the calf was beginning to feel unhappy at being expected to function in 20 degree weather, so I walked off to the side and ambled my way through the parking deck to get to the finish line at Pack Square Park.  I was a little disappointed not to run through the finish with Sam and Clark, but figured adding a 32 minute 5K to my resume wasn't going to make much difference - and really effing up this leg would make a big difference, so a casual walk to the finish was probably the best idea.

Among the other frozen participants were several members of Team Prestige Subaru/Asheville Women's Cycling Team.  Was super fun to see them out there, and fun to finally wear my team singlet - even if mine has not so far experienced actual race pace.

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