Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey Trotting

For the life of me I can't remember when I ran the [then Vertel's] Turkey Trot 8K here in Chicago. I can remember the car I was driving, my old - 1992 - Dodge mini van. [A piece of running history that deserved to be restored, but wasn't. It was in the back seat of that van, coming back from a 1/2 Ironman triathlon that I wrote the first "Penguin Chronicle" that included the "miracle" credo] But, I digress.

I remember that I tossed my jacket to my dad when the course looped back to the start/finish. I remember that it was VERY cold and that I had a pretty good run. No, I don't remember my time. It was faster than this year. I know that for sure.

8K, nearly 5 miles, is now a longish run for me. Since the "back" incident I've been doing lots of short runs and having fun doing them. So, lining up for an 8K was more nerve-wracking than you might expect. 

This year's race, like most year's, was COLD. COLD COLD COLD. The advantage this year was that instead of having to find a place to park and walk to the start, Jenny and I stopped by friends Sheri and Tom's apartment that's just a few blocks from the start. Standing in the apartment, looking out the window, we could see everyone gathering at the start. I did occur to me that a hot cup of coffee and watching the race from there was a better plan than leaving the warm, cozy spot and going outside. 

But, guilt - more than eagerness - got me out the door. Standing at the start I looked around to see if I knew anyone. I did, but not as many as I thought. It was a "younger" crowd. Twenty-somethings. Couples. Small groups. Social groups. Fun groups. This was clearly a holiday crowd. Out for a good time, if not a "good time". 

I met up with Vivian, a "running friend" that has helped with the Chicago Distance Classic since the very beginning of my involvement, and we agreed to stick together. I was planning on using a run 7/walk 1 strategy and my "hope" was to finish in under an hour. 

We talked, and laughed, and complained, and ran silently the way all good running friends do. As we approached the finish, seeing the 59 and change on our watches, we just smiled. We'd done it.

This was another "modern era" personal best for me. The February column will talk more about it, but I've given up on absolute PR's. But I'm ready to start thinking about some "modern era" PR's at various distances. I got my 5K MEPR [Modern Era Personal Record] in Toronto, and now have my MEPR at 8K. 

I'll look for a 10K this spring and then move to the 1/2 marathon and MAYBE a full. Stay tuned.

Waddle on,



Wes said...

I did my Turkey Trot at the Atlanta Half Marathon. It's a really nice run through Atlanta. We were dumped on by rain four times and the temperatures dropped 10 degrees by the end of the race. We all had a blast. The mile walk back to the train station after the race was the best part. I'll chalk that one up as my first MEPR :-)

L said...

Congrats on getting back to the 8k.

You finished in 59 and change huh? I was literally a few seconds behind you!

Jessica said...

NO WAY! I am so disappointed that I didn't see you!! I also ran/walked the Chicago Turkey Trot 8k. I have been trying to spot you at multiple running events, but have missed you each time! Maybe I'll "run" into you sometime...

Congrats on the great finish time! The wind and snow were just too much for me, so I walked more than I wanted to. I finished just 10 or so minutes after you.

26 - PT - TWO said...

Turkey Trots are the best! Not a bad way to get back into it, John.