About the time my birthday rolls around, I begin to seriously plan my run/race/training calendar. I start looking at all the possible "official races" that I can fit in and afford in order to supplement my training schedule. I refer to races as "club supported training runs." You know, runs where someone else puts out the water, picks up the discarded cups and gel packs, keeps the time, and takes the pictures.
I usually start with a couple of shorter races in September and October, then the Boston (GA) Mini Marathon the last Saturday in October. I always add one measure of the Turkey Trot (Thanksgiving) and the 10 Mile Challenge on the first Saturday of December. Sometimes I double up and add the Jingle Bell Run, and occasionally I run the GWTC 15/30K (January). This year I have added cycling to my schedule as a cross training tool - it has really helped keep my hamstring a bit looser and not so painful. So, in October after I ran a somewhat disappointing Boston Mini (13.1 miles), I wondered how I was going to re-plan my "Goofy" training. You see, I had hoped for a finish in the neighborhood of 1:50, but ended up with a 1:57. That is a PR time, so I'll take it. Since then, I have been taking it easier on the long runs to keep myself more in check, and to give the hamstring more recovery time in between long runs.
Yesterday morning, Thanksgiving Day, I slid out of bed and prepped for this year's Turkey Trot: the 15K. Again, I had sort of set a goal, something I didn't used to do, but now sometimes try to accomplish. I thought 1:20-1:25 would be a good finish, but I had also told myself that I would be happy with any time under 1:30. So off we went. Oh yeah... Colin had decided that he would step up to run the 10K this year. He has run/walked it once before with his YaYa and Greepy when they were in town for Thanksgiving. But, since then the longest he has gone is 5K during a triathlon. But, he said he could. He said he would. And, it seems that he had set a goal: Beat my best 10K time (53:58). I might add it is a time, which by no stretch of the imagination is fast, however it did give him something tangible to attain.
We get to Southwood in plenty of time. We park, strip off our extra layers so they will be warm and dry when we finish; and we head with nearly 3,000 other people to the starting area. We see lots of friends and running buddies. It is kind of neat to start the eating Fest that is the holiday season with a good long run. It sort of justifies everything that we will eat as it comes our way in the next month or so.
Soon we're off. I don't see Colin again until I am coming into the 15K finish and he is waiting with a friend from school and her mother who happens to be a running partner of mine (they have run the 5K - splendidly). Colin finished his 10K in 45:13 (by his chip time) which was FABULOUS! That time put him 23rd overall in the 10K race. I finished the 15K in 1:20:39. I was beyond ecstatic. A PR by nearly 11 minutes, and I felt great afterwards.
Here are two pictures I have found of us on the course. Colin is coming into the chute for the 10K finish. The shot of me making the turn for the 10K/15K split is grainy and blurred, but it is the only picture of me I can find. And, I actually look like I'm running! whoo-hoo! I'm chalking it up to being so "blazing fast" - Ha! Here they are as proof that we really do run, and did so "for our supper."