One turkey down, two to go

I ran in the first of two turkey trots this week: the Mamaroneck Turkey Trot 5 Miler. And, I’m happy to report, it was (relatively speaking) my best race ever. I’m told the clock said 39:57. Since my goal was “under 40,” I’m quite happy with that.

Which just goes to show you that race times are unpredictable. I had three “problems” going into this race:
1. My left shin was hurting a bit during warmup. It bothered me quite a bit during yesterday’s easy 4 mile run, although I ran a fast 9 miles on Friday morning with no pain whatsoever. Go figure.
2. My watch was malfunctioning. The distance calculations were way, way off, so I had no idea what my real pace was.
3. The wind it was a blowin’. Right in my face for two of the five miles. Sometimes I had a small hills to go along with the brisk headwind. Whee!

And yet, I had my best race time — in a race I’d decided while standing at the start line that I shouldn’t get my hopes up for.

The best part of the race is that I’m getting a sense of how much speed endurance the last five weeks of easy running has helped to build. I’ve built my mileage up from 30 to 45 miles per week in that time, and my pace has increased on easy runs, helped by the fact that I’ve been finishing some of them a marathon pace for the last couple of miles. I was running a fast pace (for me) in today’s race — 7:59 — and my last two miles were much quicker than my first three.

Jonathan won 2nd in his age group (he always seems shocked by this) — a lovely silver-plated memo-pad holder — and the awards ceremony was fun to watch. It was a well-organized race and I’ll probably do it again next year.

Next turkey: the Rockland Road Runners 15th Annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5 Miler.

And after that, the 14 pounder thawing in the fridge downstairs.