Lessons Learned

I started off my Thanksgiving Day dragging my ass out of bed long before I would have liked to in order to get to my Turkey Trax race.

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I love races and the fun things that people wear.

I learned a few things along the way.

  • Bundle up: I wore my warm running pants from last year, but they are a little big, so to avoid them falling off me (and for extra warmth) I wore a second pair of running pants over the top – one with a draw string so I could cinch it up; two long sleeved sweat wicking shirts – the top one with thumb holes so I didn’t have to worry about my wrists getting cold; two pairs of socks – my normal running socks with a pair of wool socks over the (side note: why are all running shoes mesh? Do the makers not realize people run in the cold?); two sports bras – one support one padded because…headlights…yup; a hair band, with my ear warmers that look like a hair band; a wind breaking jacket; gloves. And I was still cold for the first 1/2 to 3/4 mile.
  • It takes all types: If I told you that I was a runner and you looked me up and down, you would think ‘Yeh, she looks like she could be a runner.’ I have a body type that is well suited to running. As I was running along feeling very tired, I kept noticing a woman that was keeping up with me pace for pace. She was a big girl. Now, I am a big girl, but she was bigger. As I watched her run, I was struck by the realization that if I saw her on the street I would have never said “Hmm, she must be a runner.” There was nothing about the way that she looked that would have made me peg her as a runner. I’ve always known that there is no “type” for runners, but it hit me today and I began looking around at the people on the course. Body types ranged from long and lanky, long and muscular, short and muscular, short and fat, medium height and athletic looking, tall and fat, tall and thin. Every body type imaginable was on the course. And I fit right in with them. Right in with all these different types of runners. Mark said to me last night as we were discussing my race and I commented on how slow I ran, “NOBODY in the world runs as slow as you do.” And I agreed with him. Until my race today and all these different body types had quite a few people who ran just like I did.
  • Don’t push your hobbies onto your children: There were a lot of families out there today. Some were dressed up as turkeys. Some were dressed up in Christmas decorations (I’m trying not to judge). Most were having fun. But there was one kid who was NOT enjoying the race. At one point on the course as I came upon him (we hadn’t even hit the one mile marker yet) this boy was calling “Mom! Mom!” From about 25 feet in front of me his mother turned around and shouted back, “I’m right here, now hurry up!” I had this overwhelming urge to tell her that I would walk with her son and she could meet us at the finish line, but I couldn’t see a parent being willing to leave her child behind under the watchful eye of a perfect stranger, and I certainly didn’t want to find out if she would have allowed it. When we hit the halfway point I ran into them again. This time he was crying and did not want to go any further. She was pushing him “Come on! Come on!” Each time I came across them (about four times during the course) she was becoming increasingly irritated with his lack of interest in this race. It was in complete contrast to others who had kids with them who were very happy to stop and walk when the kid wanted to and let the kids dictate the pace of the race.
  • Wet wipes: (TMI warning) Wet wipes in a zip lock would have been awesome, because if you have to take a dump in a porta potty and have only scratchy TP available that doesn’t quite do a thorough enough job, let’s just say that things can get a little uncomfortable by the time you hit mile two.
  • Allow for parking time: Don’t leave the house in just barely enough room in the schedule to get to the venue without taking into consideration that once you get there you have to find parking. I’ve never cut a starting time that close before. I parked, found a porta potty, and got to the start line just as they were counting down to the beginning of the race.
  • Breakfast: I’ve always had a bagel and cream cheese before a race because that’s what Ann does, and most of my races have been with her. Because I had a forty minute drive before the race, I thought I could handle something a little more substantial so I went through the Mickey D’s drive thru and got an egg white delight. It was perfect! Not so much that I was too full to run. But not so little that I was going to be really hungry half way through the course. It was a perfect mix of carbs and protein. This may be my new pre-race thing (so long as I get it in at least half hour before running).
  • Training: Don’t go two weeks without working out at all and then think you’re going to run an easy race. Consistent workouts are completely recommended. I SUCK at motivation during the cold weather. I must do better!

Even though I didn’t have my best time at my race today, I didn’t have my worst, AND I learned some things. I’m going to call it a productive outing.

I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and I hope you can find as many things to be grateful for as I have.

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