I’ve spent the past four Thanksgivings in Reston, Virginia.
And three of those four times, not a Turkey Trot was run.
Cut to this year—year four—where my brother-in-law got amped up during Sunday football (as he tends to do) and lit a fire under my husband and I’s asses when he bet us that, once again, we would not be running a Turkey Trot.
Should we fail to do said 5K on Thanksgiving morn, His Lordship would have to do a shot of Jameson at 10:00 a.m. Those of you who know my husband know that, should we not race, he would be asleep well before dinner.
I woke up at 5:45, giving myself plenty of time to drink coffee, get ready, and psych myself up for being underdressed for a cold start. (Thanks to the weather gods, we ended up leaving the Tristate area earlier than anticipated, leaving my laundry bag at the cleaners.)
The host of Thanksgiving (also my other brother-in-law) graciously lent me his vehicle for the morning. We left the house at 7:15, and were in Ashburn in almost no time.
Check-in was painless, and coffee and snacks were available for participants to enjoy in the fellowship hall while waiting for the start. As I am not very religious, and
not friendly shy that early in the morning, we waited in our vehicle, discussing our race strategies and our triumphant return in which Jameson would be had by the losing party.
We warmed up a bit before the start (ie., casually jogging in a small parking lot), watched the 10K start, and shortly thereafter, lined up ourselves.
At first glance, it looked seemingly like a high school track meet: tons of teenagers who knew each other, dressed in tights and chatting about race goals. I chuckled when I heard some some tall male say he wanted to “break 17”. (That wasn’t so much of a chuckle as it was a shouting of the word “JESUS”.)
I suddenly realized I had the chance to place in my age group, because well, I’m old.
And because of said high school track meet, I completely went out too fast. I glanced down at my watch and noticed a 6:40 pace in the first quarter mile and immediately eased up.
The course was pretty scenic, containing of mostly neighborhood roads with the occasional hill and pothole. Surprisingly enough, there were some spectators out on the course, bundled up and drinking their coffee.
I was delighted to see that I had not gained any distance when my Garmin ticked off at the mile 1 marker, but a little disappointed that I wasn’t moving as fast as I wanted to. So I pressed forward.
Mile 2 consisted of an out-and-back on a main road. I saw His Lordship coming back, and realized he was most certainly first in his AG (high school track meet).
Descending back down the main road, I got jazzed when I started passing some of the teenagers. (Sorry it took me 30 years to learn pacing. You’ll get there, sonny.)
After mile 2 with still no extra mileage gained, I started doing math to figure out what I needed for a PR.
With 400 meters to go, I cranked it up. I saw His Lordship waiting for me, and exclaimed that I PR’d.
As an added bonus, His Lordship and I both placed in our Age Groups (but you probably figured that out).
Seeing as we had some prep work to do and family to hang out with, we skipped the awards ceremony and head back to the house where we had an awards ceremony of our own.
See you next year, Ashburn!