There is something particularly satisfying about the day after Thanksgiving. The house is clean. There’s pie for breakfast. Since we’ve never been a “black friday” family, there’s no fear of getting trampled in the wee hours of the morning trying to get the latest gadget.
This year is particularly more so as I actually ran a valid PR in the local 8k turkey trot! This was my 3rd Ashenfelter, and my first two had me finishing in 45:45 and change. This year, I really didn’t have a time goal in mind, but in the back of my head I wanted a good run. Since I was meeting up with my speedy friend Kim, I thought I’d try to hang with her for as long as possible.
That was harder than expected. There were about 600 more runners in the field this year (bringing the total to over 3,000), so while we all started at the same time, I quickly lost both the Mister and Kim within the first mile. Instead of worrying, I just plowed on ahead.
I love this race. I know the course really well, and the weather was perfect (high 30s). And, as is always the case with local races, it’s great to hear your name called out from friends and neighbors spectating. However, given the crowding at the start (and losing Kim early on), I wasn’t quite sure of my pace. The mile 1 clock read 11 minutes and change, and by the time I got to mile 3, it read 29 minutes, so I knew I had made up some time. I crossed the finish line at 46:28, and then had to play the waiting game to see what my chip time would be. I knew I was most likely beat my PR, as my watch had me at 45:37.
44:18! Slightly under a minute and a half faster! An entire race at sub 9 pace! Negative splits!
After a year of default PRs (first time races at new distances) but mediocre performances, this was particularly satisfying. I felt strong the entire race, and I managed to avoid the nausea that had been plaguing me since summer. Although I haven’t been doing any race-specific training, for the past month I’ve been religiously completing my running club’s daily strength exercises posted every morning on our club FB page. Daily doses of some combination of squats, wall sits, push ups, planks, sit ups, and lunges have apparently done some good. Moreover, I met with a sports dietician last week to get to the bottom of the nausea and after our initial consult, have already incorporated a few of her recommendations (the most important being, in my case, to not run on an empty stomach).
It’s incredible how a scant 1:28 can be so satisfying.