Saturday, November 12, 2011

I am Iron Turkey.... Man

After some debate, I decided to go to Dexter (near Ann Arbor) for the 2011 A2 Turkey Trot. They were offering both a 5k and a 10k race and something they called the "Iron Turkey", which was running both races back to back. I decided to do the Iron Turkey, as I thought it would be a good challenge.

I arrived early and picked up my bib and two t-shirts, one yellow short sleeve one that all race participants received and and the brown, long sleeve Iron Turkey shirt for those doing both races. It was quite cold as I did a short warmup and then retreated to the car for warmth.

The 5k race was first and there was a good turnout of over 1000 for the race. Of course, I started out a little fast and then ended up settling into a pace to try to get my elusive 24 minute 5k. The course was a walking / bike path around the center of the park and it was mostly paved and mostly flat. For about the first 1.5 mile, I felt good. Shortly thereafter, my midsection began to hurt a bit and while I tried to put it out of my mind, it slowed me down enough to put my goal in jeopardy.

I was able to pick up the pace late in the race, but not nearly enough to get below 24 minutes. My normal end-of-race charge was kinda weak and I finished with a time of 24:39, a personal record. While I was determined not to hold back because of the next race, I think that, in the back if my mind, I did. Then again, I ran hard enough to make myself a bit sick. :)

There was about 30 minutes until the next race. After recovering for a few minutes, I went to my car and ate one of those Gu gel packets. It was supposed to be Strawberry Banana, but it tasted like sugar honey goop. I'm not sure how people suck these down during a race, but I needed lots of water to get it down. It didn't do anything magical, but it probably gave me a little bit of energy.

After the start of the 10k, I my quad or hip flexor on my right leg began to hurt. This is a pretty normal thing, but I knew it was going to slow me down. While I had thoughts about a certain finish time, I realized early on that my goal would be mainly to finish. I figured I would be satisfied keeping a good "training pace" and I did that, finishing in 57:30. This wasn't a great time, but considering it was the second race of the day and my first 10k, it was fine.

I ended up 121st out of 293 Iron Turkey participants. Overall, it was a good day. I'm not sure if I will do any more races this year. If I do, it would likely be a silly race like the one where people run with the Santa Suits on.

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