Thursday, November 5, 2015

Who You Callin' a Turkey, Turkey?

As has become habit, over the years, I will be running on Thanksgiving Day...

...over the last several years, the time after the Twin Cities Marathon but before Thanksgiving has become a different kind of training cycle for me. One in which I train to run faster, in the hopes of finishing our local 5K Turkey Trot faster than I did the year before.

The past couple of years have brought great success...

This year, we will be in Massachusetts, visiting my sister in law, her husband and their two kids. My mother and father in law will also be there. It will be a full and festive house.

So, our local Turkey Trot is squarely *off* the table.

Running a race, however, is not.

This year, I will not be training for speed. In fact, if I'm completely honest, *I* am not training myself at all.

After researching local Thanksgiving Day offerings, I honed in on the Wild Turkey Road Race, in Salem, Massachusetts. It's a reasonable drive from my SIL's house and, I mean, c'mon, it's SALEM!!
 
What could be more fun than running past the statue of Samantha, from Bewitched? ;)

Just a little freezing 
There is a wrinkle though...this is not a 5k, it's a 5 MILER. No big deal for Mr. Man or I, perhaps...not an absolute deal breaker for TBC...but for TGC? Well...this could be a challenge...I really wasn't sure what she would say...in general, she *tolerates* the occasional family run, but she typically doesn't LOVE it. In fact, the weekend of the TCM, there is a 5K. The last two years, we have signed the kids up to do it. When we reminded her of this fact, in the weeks leading up to the race, she looked us squarely in the face and said "I don't remember agreeing to this."

Tongues out for a good race!
About a week before the race, I asked her if she would like to wear a sparkly skirt and dress, more or less in a costume for the run. She liked that idea, and we pulled together an Iron Man  inspired outfit for her...and she was deliciously adorable.

The morning of the race dawned, cold and bright. We got the kids dressed and ready and headed down to the start.We had them bundled up in toasty outer layers, to keep them reasonably warm.

When the time came to drop them off in their corrals, we took those outer layers, so that they could snuggle up in them, post-race and then went and staked out a good vantage point from which to snap eleventy million pictures of the start...which we did.

Smile big!
Once they were out of sight, we meandered over to the finish shoot, and watched the first of the elites start to trickle in.

And we prepared to wait.

TBC had a pretty aggressive time goal set for himself.
Home stretch

Last year, he ran this race in a respectable 24:27.

This year, he was hoping to break 22:00.

While he missed that goal, he did crush his last PR for this distance and run it in 23:35.

We were pretty darned proud of the boy.

After that, we settled in to wait for TGC and the PIC's kids. (for a refresher in who the PIC - Partner In Crime -  is, visit here)

Post-race, last year
Now, last year, TGC had crossed the finish line at 40:30.

The PIC's youngest finished at her side and his eldest crossed at 36:07.

So, we prepared to wait.

We cheered on the runners.

We chatted with the other spectators.

We stalked TGC via "Find My Phone".

...When we looked, we were a little surprised at TGC's location...somehow, we thought she would have been much further up the course by the time that we checked.

We reminded ourselves that she had't really wanted  to do this race, let alone trained for it. She would probably come in pretty close to her time from last year. Regardless, we would be proud of her.
You GO girl!

So, here's the thing: it's an out and back course...it's not that she was still on her way  there, she was tearing it up, on her way back.

Our jaws dropped as we realized that we could see the glint of her skirt in the distance...she finished in 31:16.

She dropped nearly 10 minutes from her time the year before.

Better than that though, was the smile on her face. She was grinning, from ear to ear, as she ran down that shoot. In her face, I saw the joy that I feel when I run, shining back at me. She was elated. She had had fun!!
I mean, c'mon!!! Look at that smile!

When we talked about it, she revealed that, all along the course, spectators had complimented her on her outfit...and she loved every second of it. She looked me square in the eye and said, "If I can dress up for it, I'll run all of the races."
My babies!!!

I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven.

Which brings us back to Thanksgiving, and the Wild Turkey run...

So, I timidly brought up the notion of doing a 5 mile race.

TBC said "Sure! Let's do it!" to the surprise of precisely no one.

Mr. Man shrugged and said "I go where you tell me to."

TGC said "Can we dress as witches?"

I bit my tongue as hard as I could, to stop the gleeful "OF COURSE WE CAN!!! HOW COULD WE NOT?!??! IT'S SALEM FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!" from escaping and put on my "responsible mom voice."

"Now, it is 5 miles...you haven't run that far before, without walking. If you want to run this, you're going to have to train for it, you know?"

She turned those green-gold eyes up at me and said "Will you help me train, mama?"

...and so it is, that I find myself waking my mini-me, at 5AM on a school day, 3-4 times a week, to strap on a headlamp, and join me on the roads.

This kid. She's kind of a bad ass.

1 comment:

Riki Posard said...

I am absolutely speechless and so proud of my badass great niece… And I do mean GREAT!! XOXO