November 28, 2012 Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K… with my family!
Thanksgiving. Just saying it brings the taste of sweet potatoes, the scent of a turkey roasting, visions of cranberry-sauce-from-the-can ripples and of course, the warm fuzzies of family and friends. As a young adult, my Thanksgivings are never the same. We do it with different members of our family every year.
As a child we’d go down to Westport, MA to my Nanny’s house to celebrate with the entire family on my mother’s side. It was the same every year. My mother, her two sisters, my aunt and Nanny would create an unbelievable feast for all, while my cousins and I got in the way in the kitchen and played outside. We learned how to properly fold a flag and put it up. We’d do countless laps through the property in my Nanny’s golf cart. And of course, we’d try to see who could throw who off the cart with our wreckless driving. Truly mature children we were.
Dinner was of course amazing and I have the fondest memories of sitting at the kids table putting black olives on all my fingers. I also regularly requested a drumstick. Yes, an entire drumstick. These days, I can’t even imagine chomping down on one of those. However, I was also the child that would eat a four course meal comprised of a shrimp cocktail, salad, a prime rib and chocolate mousse. Dear Metabolism, I miss you.
This Thanksgiving we didn’t really have any plans. My extended family is sort of spread across the country, unfortunately. While some years we do travel (like the amazing California Thanksgiving with K&J), this year none of us were motivated to go far. I didn’t even want to drive the 5 1/2 hours to Vermont since I’ll be doing it in a month (yay!). As an almost joke, I suggested to my mom that they come down to Connecticut and we have Thanksgiving at my apartment. Surprisingly, she totally embraced the idea as did the rest of my family. I was SO excited to host them, especially since my father and brother hadn’t been to my place yet.
We immediately decided that it would be a low key, lazy Thanksgiving: sweatpants, jeans, lounging around, the works.
But then I had an idea.
Family turkey trot.
As a new runner, I’m excited to try different races and routes. I totally dig the energy and after Run for the Wild in September, I knew it wouldn’t be my last race. My brother is also a runner, having run several races himself. My mother, however, was not. My mother, as readers of this blog know, is a stunning woman that works out every morning. She power walks 5 miles and lifts weights. Because of that, she’s truly in incredible shape. She was a bit hesitant about running, though. With some strong encouragement, she agreed to do a 2.6 mile turkey trot.
With about a month to train, I got back into my regular running schedule and my mother alternated her workouts with running. My brother always runs so he was more than ready.
And then, I threw a wrench in the mix. I found out that the City of Stamford’s Department of Health and Social Services would be hosting their own 5K down by the harbor to promote physical fitness and healthy living. I thought that was SO cool of the city and I definitely wanted to participate. Being a free event, it was open to the public and you didn’t even need to preregister. They really were making it easy for the people of Stamford to get after it on Thanksgiving. I really do love where I live.
We debated for a little bit about the distance but I reminded her that it was only a half of a mile difference and she obliged. I love my mom.
My parents arrived on Wednesday evening after a long drive down from Vermont. After catching up, we ordered pizza from Rikos down the street and had a casual dinner on the couches while chatting about Thanksgiving. I’m not doing a full review of Rikos until a future date because 1) I didn’t take photos, and 2) I honestly wasn’t being a critic because I was too busy basking in the company of my family. I will say that the prices were reasonable and the pizzas were decently sized. We also chatted about the trot. My mom was clearly a bit anxious but my brother and I tried to calm her nerves and give her the details about how the morning would likely run. We all went to bed early, eager for a good night’s sleep and energy for the morning.
I realized when I got into bed that I was a bit nervous myself. Would I run it so effortlessly again? Would I dress correctly? What if it was hilly? So many if’s and I totally psyched myself out for a bit. But I distracted myself, and dug into my current read: Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio. Not finished yet, but loving it so far. Sarah Jio is awesome.
Fast forward to Thursday morning. Luckily I had my trusty natural alarm of my parents’ dog, Buckler to wake me up. He and I haven’t always gotten along, but he’s adorable nonetheless and I’m having fun watching him slip and slide around my apartment. We all got ready slowly over coffee and a pre-race snack. It was around 39º F when we left, so a bit chillier than I would have preffered. I thought that I’d get warm quickly though and decided upon capris and a light long sleeve top.
We set out around 7:30 AM to pick up our bibs and bags. Scored some oral hygeine products and a rape whistle. Go Stamford! Haha We were a bit early, but luckily the registration was inside a heated room so we didn’t freeze. Around 8:30, we headed outside to the starting line. The mayor gave a little speech, we did some light stretching, we did a little whining since we just wanted to start and then we were OFF!
Mom: “See you at the end! Love you!” She really thought she was going to have a slow run and finish near the end of the pack. Honestly though, she’s such a fast walker as it is, that I don’t think her pace was much faster than that!
I took off and maneuvered my way out of the pack, a bit faster than I normally go just because I hate the starting crowd. The route itself was beautiful, taking us down to the harbor with views of the various marinas, houses and restaurants along the shore. We got the most gorgeous day for a run and the sun warmed me right up. With such gorgeous views, the first mile and a half absolutely flew. The route went along the water on a dirt route, circling back to the residential area we started in.
My brother flew past me pretty quickly, no surprise there. I did get a bit competitive with some other runners, which helped to set my pace and encourage me to not slack. I was using the RunKeeper app on my iPhone, so I had Siri telling me every 5 minutes how far I’d gone and what my pace was. It definitely helped. I started around 9:00/mile but ended up picking it up to 8:45/mile, which is a huge accomplishment for me.
The final stretch of the run was really fun and I sprinted down through the finish line to see my father cheering me on. I finished in 26:50 which is SO good for me. My last 5K was 28:45 so I definitely improved!
My mother was the real ringer in the 5K. After somewhat joking that she’d be running 15:00/mile last night, she finished a sub-30 5K!!! She told us afterwards that she also was getting a little competitive with, “a woman half my age.” For the record, she beat her. Go Mom!!!
I love my family.
I know Turkey Trots are not a new concept, but for our family, it was a completely new and different tradition for Thanksgiving. I think it’s really cool that they accepted this little challenge and are supporting my new hobby. So much to be thankful for!
Coming up – a round up of our family’s Thanksgiving menu!!
Have you ever run a Turkey Trot?