Last month, my friend Ben decided he was interested in running the troy turkey trot. Figuring it would be fun to run with someone, I decided to do the 5k with him rather than my usual 10k trot. I was sold on the idea of an easy jog through Troy with 5,000 of my closest friends. But at packet pickup I decided that I would ALSO like to run my usual 10k. So I paid way too much for day of registration, but was all set to run two races.
Come Thanksgiving morning, I was regretting my decision to sign up for the 10k. It meant I was leaving my house at 7:00 vs 8:30 and that I would be running a total of 9.3 miles rather than the 3.1 I had planned on. Despite secretly wishing they would cancel the race or that my car would get stuck in the 4 remaining inches on my driveway ( I had shoveled once the night before) I found myself parked, portapottied and ready to run my 3rd Troy Turkey Trot 10k. Since I would be running 9 miles after being sick for 10 days, my plan was to take it slow and treat it like my overdue long run.
This course is not known for being scenic, but with the fresh snow on the trees and the fallen snow hadn't yet turned brown and murky, the run was quite pretty. I would occasionally check my watch, but since I do lap times as the main screen, I really had no clue as to my pace. I fell into my groove within the first 2 miles and began to pick up some speed. I crossed the finish line at 1:05:13 which was quick enough for my second fastest 10k ( my PR being on this course last year) I was quite stoked since I had been planning on a 70+ minute 10k for the day.
I grabbed a water, walked to my car to switch my bib and made my way back to the atrium to keep warm before the 5k. Ben and his mom met up at about 9:30 and we started making our way out at 9:45. The corrals made it tough to find a spot to get in and we placed ourselves in the 10 minute range. .
Compared to the 10k where there was plenty of space, it was packed. The entire race was jammed and some parts of the course were very narrow. It was nearly impossible for Ben and I to stick together and pass people. I'm not sure if we started too far back or if too many people started too far forward, but it was a cluster. I had lost Ben within the first mile, found him just before the turn around where we were able to run together for about a half mile. At mile two, I pushed myself to see what I had left in the tank. There was still a lot more zigzagging but it had cleared up some, I only had one instance where I almost fell over someone and had to grab him to catch myself. Just near the last .1 Ben and I were running together again (and had space to) and we finished at 30:37.
As with the entire course, the finish line was very crowded. We shuffled along to receive our medals and water before breaking free to the sidewalk. We watched as other runners came in, yelling out to a former teammate of ours from HS rowing. I would have loved to have been more social, but I was getting cold fast. I then faced my third race of the day, which was to get out of downtown Troy.
This was my first year running the 5k, and unless they change their corral system to be more organized ie forced bib placements (there were color coded bibs) It's just too much of a mess. But I did enjoy the challenge of both races. Plus I felt more justified in Thanksgiving gorging after 9 miles. Overall still a very fun event and in the end, I didn't regret signing up for the 10k after all. In spite of my online whining.