I hope that your respective Thanksgivings were lovely. If you are not of a persuasion that celebrates either Thanksgiving or puts your Thanksgiving in October, I hope you had a lovely Thursday last week. Unless you are in Australia and my fourth Thursday in November was your fourth Friday in July. Time zones are confusing.
I did what many Americans do on our national day of feasting, which is fling on my running gear, race a little, then come back home and poke at a hot, nude, dead bird. As one does.
The first time I ran the Turkey Trot in Oneonta, temps were in the teens and there was a blinding snow. Last year, which I missed because we’d gone to my hometown for the holiday, the streets were covered in ice. This year I was ready. I had my new Saucony Siberius pants and trusty blue fleece ready to go. Instead, the weather was perfect for racing. Chilly, yes, but not windy or rainy. Once we got moving, it was ideal.
I had zero goals for the race, other than to run it. The last two weeks at work have been deadline-a-palooza and the thought of having to push through yet. another. thing. was more than I could deal with. So I planned to run hard for the first mile — Herr Garmin said 10:31 — then just see how I felt — good enough for mile 2 to be a 10:56. I lost focus during the last mile, mostly because walking a little started to seem like the best idea ever, and finished a respectable-for-me 33:25. That might even be a 5K PR but, unlike SBS, I don’t have that information stored in my head and am way too lazy to look it up.
Then I ate my weight in stuffing and pie. Again: as one does.
Not sure if I can fully blame the pie and stuffing but it felt like I was encased in ten-tons of don’t wanna when it was time for Saturday’s long run, a mere six miles in a cold drizzle. I did have an ace up my sleeve or, rather, a medal.
On a lark a few weeks ago, I signed up for the Hogwarts Running Club’s Patronus 5K. It’s a virtual race, which essentially means you donate to a worthy cause and then they send you a medal that you award yourself after you run the required distance. I’d like to say that I’d saved the medal as bait for a day when I really lacked the will to get myself out there. Truthfully, however, I totally forgot that it was on my desk, had unearthed it the day before, and decided to use it as bait.
That’s what we do in my house: turn our faults into features — or, at the very least, devise ways to work around them and hope no one notices.
When I finished my six miles, which brought me a new appreciation of the word "tedious," I put my new medal around my neck, wore it around the house until I took a shower, then hung it on my official medal rack because I’d earned it.
Other than that, there’s not much I can report on my personal running front. The most exciting bit of news is that I made two discoveries during my previous weekend’s Eminem long run, which is a) negative splits are easy to arrange if the first half is uphill into a wind and b) northing you can get your hands on in the middle of a long run on rural streets can get the taste of a vanilla orange Roctane out of your mouth. While I love most other GUs, Vanilla Orange goes on my list of Do Not Want right next to Peanut Butter.
I did get to don my Siberius pants and trusty blue fleece this week on Monday’s 4.5, which I did at o’dark thirty when it was a balmy 19F. While I did immediately park my heiner in front of our wood stove the instant I got home, it didn’t help much. I’m still not sure everything is thawed out back there. I don’t blame my gear (although I am starting to think about packing some chemical hand warmers back there). We have simply reached the point in the year when assicles abound.
My other exciting news is that I bought new running shoes, because it was past time to do so. Which brings me to my perennial question: what should I do with the old pair, other than toss them into my closet with all of the other old pairs? There’s not much running life left in them, otherwise I’d ship them off to Heart Strides. Anyone know of a good place to donate my old kicks?