My two friends (Sara and Kris) that you may remember from the El Chupacabra run were planning to do the 10k. I wished I was ready, but sadly, I was only ready for the 5k. My coworker was doing the 5k and we planned to go together. I was excited about the run, because it's exercise on an high calorie day and I always love to try new runs whether good or bad.
But then things turned grrr for me on Thursday morning. I woke up kind of later than I wanted and spent too much time walking the dogs. I wanted to be there early to get a decent parking spot and meet up with Kris and Sara since their race started 30 minutes before my race. I didn't have enough time to eat anything but a banana. I also didn't have time to pick out my running outfit. Then, as I got to the race, I realized that I forgot my Garmin watch to track the race. And to top it off, the person I was picking up canceled on me so I was alone running like I didn't want to do in the first place. Needless to say, I was grumpy by the time I got to the packet pickup area.
I managed to find a parking spot rather close (after two failed attempts) and then headed to get my packet. My race was to start in 20 minutes, which gave me just enough time to head back to the car to drop off my goodie bag and get to the starting line before they blew the whistle. But no one mentioned to me that the starting line was far away from the finish line. I think it was a half a mile of walking just to get over in the general vicinity and I never really found the end of the line, because the crowd was so huge. Eventually someone mentioned that there was a gap that we all would try to get in to, which would dump us right next to the starting timer mat. Basically, it took awhile to actually start the run.
|I looked up to see the William's Tower on my long walk to the starting line.|
|I'm still learning how to take pictures with my iphone, but I still like this picture.|
|There is a gap right around the people. Can't see it? Well, neither could I.|
|I broke down and asked someone to take my picture.|
This race was stupid packed (yeah, I'm bringing that phrase back). I generally do not like overly packed runs like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, because there are too many people and too many walkers and runners mixed together. This run was no different. In fact, it was worse since they started the 5k walkers and runners together.
|By walkers, do not be confused with these types of walkers. When you see this type, chop off their heads.|
Finally, I made it across the starting mat. My run was not even a run. It was a frustrated slow jog just trying to get by the crowd. There were so many people. I think the crowd emcee mentioned something like 15,000, but I'm not sure if he meant all of the Turkey Trots combined. Last year's Turkey Trot was 11,000. So, it is possible. Many of the people were families, which meant I had to try to squeeze through a wall of eight family members (with a stroller) next to another family wall of three people (with another stroller). When I say squeeze, I mean that if I wore a corset and went down three waist sizes, I would still not be able to get by without hitting someone. The human walls were clueless; they didn't care that they were in fact blocking people from actually running. I eventually made it to the sidewalk to run with the faster runners. I stayed to the far right and got out of their way. Then, the walkers HAD to get on the sidewalk, too. Do you think they stayed to the right? Nah...of course not. That would require awareness of their surroundings. Thankfully, there were little incidents of this happening.
And this is why I do not like crowded runs.
I remembered Kris talking about a point where the 5k runners meet up with the 10k runners. When I got to that point, I looked and looked for them, but never saw them. However, judging from when they finished to when I finished, we were very close to one another. I ran most of the run, with only two stops. My run time was about 41 minutes (I think that's what I remember seeing as I crossed the finish line), which isn't too bad. The race results are still not up at this point, but it's going to be around that time.
After the run, I walked over to the water station (tried getting water during the run, but way too packed) for a drink and some food. It was packed. People stopped where they wanted not realizing there were people behind them. I tried to go over to the free massage area, but too packed. Did I mention I was grumpy?
But seeing this cute Labrador Retriever all dressed up in Native American feathers made me smile.
I also decided to take my picture at their finisher's backdrop. This is a first for me. And even though I was grumpy, I still had a smile on my face. Running just does that to me.
I hadn't heard from Sara and Kris, so, I just left. As soon as I got to my car, that's when Sara got back with me. We realized our phones had a delay. Oh well.
Even though it wasn't my favorite race or that I didn't have a great time running alone (could have helped with my mood towards the race), I still was happy I ran on Turkey Day. Afterwards, I met up with Caroline and her aunt to deliver meals to elderly people for the Meals on Wheels Program. It was an interesting experience and one I hope to continue as a Turkey Day tradition (or at least some type of volunteering).
I got to spend this day with my dad's family, which is something I haven't done in a long time. The food was excellent and plentiful and the company was fun and loud as always (but I wouldn't have it any other way). I have so missed them.
Next race is the Graffiti Run on Sunday...if I'm not alone. This race should be with more than one person.