Thursday though was time for some fun. And I don't mean at the dinner table. It was Turkey Trot Thursday! The past two years I've done the Dana Point Turkey Trot. But last year's 8,000 runners made it impossible to do much more than slow jog the first mile, and with reports that up to 12,000 were registering this year, I was on the hunt for an alternative. After a couple days of tweeting (have I told you how great Twitter is?), a number of us decided that the Balboa Lake 5K was going to become this year's tradition.
It was a perfect day for a little run. But first things first! Tweetup!
Left to right: @bfrein, @ridgeley, @sugigirl, @MsV1959 (Ms. V).
Ms. V and @anotorias getting ready for the start.
@ridgeley and @sugigirl trying to stay warm (It was a little nippy in the early AM).
I think the turnout was a little larger than the organizers were counting on because the scheduled 8:30 AM start time kind of came and went.
Since I was busy yapping it up with my newly met friends, I have no idea when the start gun finally went off. All I know is that I saw the starter with the gun pointed in the air and heard the pop as the trigger was pulled. Off we went!
My plan was to try to replicate something close to my previous PR of 25.24 from last April. To do so, I needed to hit mile 1 at about 8 minutes, run an efficient 8:30 or so for mile 2, then push a little the last mile before the final .1 sprint. I realized a few hundred yards in I was going out kind of fast. I glanced at my Garmin to get a bead on my pace. FAIL! I forgot to start the thing as I passed the start line. Oh well. I settled in to what felt pretty comfortable and turned my watch on. I was going to have to play this one by feel.
I passed the mile 1 marker on the course and started looking for someone to pace me through the second mile. I found her right in front of me! Thanks @ridgeley! She paced me right through the middle mile and then some!
I hadn't quite reached the turnaround when @bfrein was coming back the other direction:
Bob wins the award for the fastest Tweep yesterday!
Now - there's one thing about the weather in November in Southern California. Last year I ran in an absolutely miserable cold downpour. This year the temperature was pushing 80 and the humidity was in the low teens. I hit the turnaround point and moved off to the side with a cup of water to quench my parched throat. Mistake! (More about that later).
Soon I was on my way back to the finish chute. I passed Ms. V on her way to a new 5K PR:
I came on down the little hill (more like a hump) and pushed a little harder toward the finish. I now wished I had those few seconds at the start and the few seconds I had stopped with the water cup back. The clock? 25:45 with about 200 yards to go. I pushed as hard as I could. I crossed the line at 26 minutes and change. Grrrr!!!! Well - it's about 30 seconds faster than just a couple weeks ago, and has me thinking that maybe my old 25:24 wasn't a fluke!
After searching the ground for quarters for a few minutes, I rounded back onto the course and found Ms. V. @bfrein was running her into the finish, so I joined the party and was there to celebrate her new PR! Yea Ms.V!
I made one more loop looking for @anotorias out on the course:
Together we pushed into the finish where she completed her awesome run!
All in all my Turkey Trot day was a completely and totally awesome day! I had a good run and met a bunch of great people that I plan on meeting again soon. Hope all of you out there in the blogosphere had a great Thanksgiving Day!