Herndon Turkey Trot

This past weekend was pretty busy.  (And I’m feeling much better, thank you.)  I need to stop scheduling one thing right after another, though.  I hate feeling like I’m always running late.  I could just get up and get started earlier, but then I wouldn’t enjoy my weekends at all.

Saturday turned out to be windy and FREEZING.  I went out to Toys R Us to buy Colin a birthday present and I could barely stand to dash from the car to the store.  By the time I got back, John and I had just enough time to eat a quick lunch before we had to change for the race.  Speaking of lunch, though, we had the BEST sandwiches.  I got them from Spicy Pickle, on Waxpool, and they were SO good.  We both got the Englishman (roast beef, horseradish cole slaw, thousand island dressing, and cheddar (I substituted provolone)).  Yum!  Anyway, we stopped by Christina and Will’s place on our way to the race so we could at least make an appearance at Colin’s birthday party, wish him a happy 1st birthday, and drop off our present.  I wish we could have stayed, but again, that’s what I get for overscheduling our weekends.  Although it’s really not my fault that Colin’s birthday happened to be the same weekend as the Herndon Turkey Trot.  And I had already registered us for the race when I found out about the birthday party.  But that’s not the point.  We got there and found the apartment crawling with toddlers!  🙂  Wendy and Eric were there with their two boys, Will’s brother and his wife were there with their two boys, Will’s mom was there (with no additional children in tow), and of course Colin was crawling around all over the place.  In the last week, he’s added a new facial expression to his arsenal of adorable tricks.  He didn’t do a lot of smiling while we were there, but he scowled!  So cute.  He furrowed his eyebrows and glared at us.  Just the cutest thing.  Hopefully Christina has pictures of him doing it.  We left after about 5 minutes so we could get to Herndon for the race.

John and I participated in this race last year (he ran and did very well, and I walked it with Jess, gabbing the whole time), and I think there were more people last year than this year.  Maybe the awful weather scared them off.  There were still a lot of people, though.  The wind died down some.  Well, it was still blowing, but it wasn’t constant.  Gusty, I suppose.

The race itself was just okay.  We found Manpreet and Doreen (from work) in the crowd at the start of the race.  Manpreet has been running a lot (she runs in the Army Ten-Miler every year), and Doreen was planning on trying to keep up with her.  As usual, I didn’t see John once the race started.  Actually, that’s not true.  This race starts with everyone running down a road in one direction and then making a 180-degree turn and running back down the same road.  So I did see him after the race started, since he doubled back way before I did.  I started with Manpreet and Doreen right behind me.  The crowd took forever to thin out.  It was like a bottleneck for much of the first mile.  I don’t know exactly how long it stayed crowded ’cause I never saw the first mile marker.  Which was annoying.  I didn’t get any sense of how much further I had to go until the end of the second mile, when I saw the marker and heard some volunteer calling out the time.  It was 19:55 when I passed the marker, and I was really annoyed ’cause that pretty much meant I wasn’t going to beat 30 minutes this time.  And John (sweetheart that he is) told me that at this point I should be ashamed of myself if I don’t break 30 minutes in a 5K.  I decided I could always use the fact that I had just been diagnosed with bronchitis as an excuse.  I kept recognizing landmarks along the course from last year, but without any sense of how far along I was.  That is seriously frustrating.  And just when I’d feel warmed up, the wind would sweep around a corner and cut through all of my layers.  And then, in the third mile, I started to feel a stitch in my right side.  I really wanted to walk, but I hadn’t seen Doreen or Manpreet pass me and I REALLY wanted to beat them.  I wasn’t expecting to (in fact, every time I felt someone at my shoulder, coming up to pass me, I thought it was them), but I really wanted to beat someone I know in a race.  Since I can’t beat John.  🙂  I knew they would definitely pass me if I started walking.  So I managed to keep my feet moving.  Breathing wasn’t really an issue, but the cold was really wearing me down and that stitch in my side was threatening to knock me down.  I made it to the last leg of the race (the last tenth?  I don’t know – never saw the three-mile marker either) and I had nothing in reserve.  I couldn’t pick up my pace at all.  I was trudging towards the finish line.  John said I was scowling just like Colin.  The finish line clock said 29:51, 29:52, 29:53, and I somehow found enough energy to pick up my pace just enough to cross the line around 29:27 or something.  I can’t find the official time.  I don’t know if the times haven’t been posted or if I just can’t find them.  I’m pretty sure that I finished officially under 30 min, so I don’t have to be ashamed of myself. 🙂  And I can still use the bronchitis excuse.

I found Manpreet and Doreen after the race.  Doreen said she couldn’t keep up with Manpreet, and Manpreet said she was behind me.  She identified me by my scarf, which was apparently flapping behind me in the wind.  So I beat them!  Hooray for me!

Oh, I forgot to mention that I was wearing just about the most garish combination of colors I could find in my closet.  Not on purpose exactly.  I mean I was aware that what I was wearing was just about as ugly a color combination that you can imagine, but that wasn’t my goal.  I wore my bright red running pants, my nice autumn gold long sleeve t-shirt from the Purcellville race, and a turquoise sweatshirt.  And my purple running shoes.  It was terrible.  I think Manpreet was being nice when she said she identified me by my scarf.  She probably meant she saw my awful clashing outfit and knew immediately that it was me.

Last thing about this race.  We didn’t feel good about it.  I mean, when John and I finished the last 5K, we both felt great.  It was a good race, we’d done well, we were exhilarated.  We felt good.  This one, though…it was cold, it was hard – it hurt and there was no satisfying feeling when it was over.  Neither of us really felt like we had done a good job.  So that kinda sucked.  But it was over and we had other things to do that evening.  And I will go into those other things next time.  This post is long enough.

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