2010 Ashburn Farm Turkey Trot 10k

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Being that today is the last day of November I felt it appropriate that I finally got around to writing my race report for last Thursdays Turkey Trot. Having moved to Alabama in June, it had been a while since I’d been home and even longer since I had seen most of my friends. While my friend Jeff was busy organizing a reunion-of-sorts-dinner, I had the brilliant idea to propose we all get up and run a Turkey Trot; needless to say the idea didn’t go over well. My favorite response was from my friend Jonathan who appropriately answered with “yeah…um…No.”

In the end I only convinced three, Tim who didn’t really need convincing since he ran it last year as well, Michelle who didn’t really have an option, and Lindsey who was a late comer registering Tuesday night. The race followed the same format as last year offering both a 5K (3.1 miles for you non-runner folk) and 10K (6.2 miles double 5k) and followed the same course. Tim and I registered for the 10K while Michelle and Lindsey opted for the shorter option.

The race is promoted by Crossroads United Methodist Church and benefits a school in Lukojjo Village in Uganda, Africa named “Humble Place.” It’s nice to know where the money goes and before the race they had a slideshow with photos of the development of the village over the past 6-7 years. Just a quick approximation (926 (5K runners) + 605 (10K runners))= 1531 runners, 10K and 5K registrations were $20 and $30 respectively, summing to $36,670 before operating costs, generating somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 for the school pretty AWESOME!

Weather predictions early in the week included rain and cool temperatures, which later changed to only cool temperatures, which then changed back to rain and cooler temperatures. We woke up Thursday morning to a wet, dark, gloomy rainy day; imagine weather that makes you want to find a blanket and cup of hot chocolate…got it pictured? That was it.

Weather.Com when I woke up Thanksgiving Morning

Traveling home I didn’t think about what I was going to wear during the race, other then I knew I needed shorts, socks, and running shoes. I somehow managed to neglect my upper half which proved to be a BIG mistake. Out the door and on the road Michelle munched on a piece of pumpkin bread while I had no desire to really eat, I managed to swallow a few Jelly Belly Sport Beans and a Lemon-Lime GU. We checked in and got our numbers pinned and decided to spend the hour before the race in the warm car; parking is always a challenge there so arriving early is a must.

Michelle staying warm in Crossroads Church

Around 8AM, 15 minutes before the 10K start we headed towards the church and warmed up in there giving us some time to stretch and watch the slideshow they had playing on loop I mentioned earlier. When the called for all runner to the start we made the short ¼ walk to the start line where there seemed to be a much larger crowd then last year which was great to see.

Lots of Police which was great, stopping traffic and keeping runners safe

The scene at the start, lots of people!

At 8:15 off we went…well for a few short steps…and then like most big races there is some walking involved before there is really enough room to “run.” I started my watch at the beginning and hit the lap button as we crossed the chip start line (.01), impressively enough the Garmin measured the exact same distance as last year, 6.31 miles to the hundredth (minus that additional hundredth).

Shortly after the start before it had spread out

The view behind me

As a side note I decided to carry my phone this year, which acted as my camera, since I still have not purchased a rugged point and shoot camera (trust me its on the list). I took photos during the race, and while they may be kind of foggy (it was cold) and kind of a blurry (I was running) they place you at the race, in the pack and enjoying a perfect Thanksgiving morning, running.

My first mistake may have been telling myself from the start that I wouldn’t be able to match my time from last year of 47:20 a 7:38/mile pace. I went out a more relaxed pace aiming for 8:30/mile close to my endurance 9:00/mile from Sun Trust Marathon just over a year ago. Right away I recognized this was too slow but knew if I could gradually increase my speed I’d be okay. It may be the engineering or Type A personality in me but when setting out on these events like Sun Trust or this years Turkey Trot I choose these nice number as my goals, 4:00:00 and 50:00 respectively. Neither of which would require a gut wrenching effort but are both “challenging” in my mind to complete. At mile 2 I began doing the math and figured that with my current pace I wouldn’t make that “magic” 50 minute 10K, so I began gradually increasing speed. Around the same time I ran into two friends from high school who were moving at a decent clip and struck up a conversation about my Journey two summers ago. I latched onto them and stayed with them until 4.5 where I really started to push myself. When I hit mile 5 I knew I needed to kick it into gear to make 50 minutes and my heart rate reflects it.

The official results:
A total time of 49:02 compared to my Garmin time of 49:43, which make sense considering I started my watch prior to cross the chip line and stopped it in the chute after the finish.

2009 Race Results
2010 Race Results

I was pleased with my finish and surpassing my “ideal” goal but this race has really motivated me to train regularly. I think one influencing factor was my training load in the weeks prior to this and last years Turkey Trot, or lack there of is more accurate.



Last year just 12 days prior I had completed the Sun Trust Marathon and according to my Garmin connect I ran 56 miles in the 8 weeks prior, although I believe I ran more but just didn’t use my watch, and only 22 this year, over 2.5x more miles last year in the 8 weeks leading up to the run.

When all is said in done, training=results. Period. So I’m going to throw this out there now, next year I want to run sub 40. That would put me in the top 20 this year, and although 9 minutes off my time in such a short race is drastic, I think it’s a great goal to shoot for.

2009 vs. 2010 Data



Post race there were plenty of refreshments provided including oranges, bagels, and LOTS of pizza.


Lindsey had left by this point; but the three of us

At the end of the day it was a Turkey Trot, not run but Trot and that is certainly what I did. For me a true source of happiness, probably due to increased endorphins, but I really love waking up being productive and accomplishing something early. There really isn’t a better way to start your day.

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