I admit that I was really on the fence about running the Subaru Distance Classic 6K on Thanksgiving morning.
It was going to be a long enough day, cooking a full dinner for seven. On top of that, I wasn’t sure racing a few days before the Space Coast Half Marathon was the best idea.
But if there’s one thing runner friends are good at, it’s peer pressure. And I caved under the influence.
Also, there was a super cute turkey shirt to be claimed.
The race was scheduled to start at 7:00 AM (plenty early enough to get home to get a 20 pound turkey in the oven). We got a bit of a car pool going and met up at 5:45 AM. It was about 39 degrees, and I was absolutely regretting the decision to leave my warm, snuggly bed. Brrr.
However, lots of laughter and good conversation on the ride over certainly warmed us up and we were all in great spirits when we arrived at the start line.
We were early enough to be able to breeze in and out of the portapotties (always the mark of a successful race day), and then we met up with more of our friends and huddled up to stay warm before it was ready to go. We even got to meet another runner in our Moms Run This Town local chapter, and I am excited to try running with her this week.
As the clock neared 7:00, the 6K and half marathon runners lined up together. We would start at the same time and then split up further along the route. As you can see, a lot of people were out to get in some physical activity before a day of Thanksgiving festivities.
The National Anthem started to play. There was a technical difficulty and the recording cut off – for a moment, everyone trailed off, and then, all the runners sang the final line “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It was a beautiful moment and yet another reason why I love the camaraderie of the running community.
The start of the race was a little crowded. Actually, a lot crowded. It was really hard to maneuver through and around people, tough to find a groove, and darn near impossible to pull over to start intervals. So I kept running. A man hard on my heels was quite vocal in complaining about how he couldn’t get through and I turned to apologize that I was unable to get out of his way. He softened his attitude a little, and finally, at the splitting point, we got some breathing room.
By the way, at this point, my Garmin was reading about .7 miles – I hadn’t stopped to walk and I was feeling fabulous. So I decided to go for the entire mile, just because.
In the meantime, it is important to note that even though I thought I had programmed in my intervals, I hadn’t done it correctly, so when I did decide to do my run/walk, it was up to me to calculate the times in my head. Not my favorite, but it certainly kept me busy.
The course wound through a residential area, so it was quiet and mostly shaded. The temperatures did warm up a bit, and I finally had to strip off my fingerless gloves because I was getting hot. I had gone back and forth between shorts and capris and went with the capris, but I should have chosen differently.
Other than that, I was feeling fabulous and strong. No cramps, no stitches, no struggling to breathe. None of my usual complaints reared their ugly heads to get in the way. Before long, I was waving to the friends that were standing at the final turn, and kicking it in to sprint to the finish line.
This? This is the face of a runner who has had a great race.
And this is my insta-PR for a first time 6K. Also important to note, that this is a pace PR for any race I’ve ever run!
So freaking excited!
We cheered in the rest of our group (the ones who were running the shorter distance) and rounded everyone up to go home. There may have been an egg nog toast. All races should end with one.
This was a great way to start the holiday. I loved getting out and moving in the crisp air, and I also loved seeing all the costumes and themed outfits people were wearing. So creative. I plan on making this part of my Thanksgiving morning tradition from here on out. The only thing I really didn’t love was the fact that there weren’t medals. I know we are lucky that most of our local 5Ks do offer finisher medals, but I think a die-cast turkey on a ribbon would have made the experience just about perfect.
And of course, thank you to the volunteers and spectators who gave up their time that morning to man water spots and cheer us on. The experience wouldn’t be the same without your generous donation of time.
Do you like racing on holidays?
Do you ever cave to racing peer pressure?