Nope, the plan was to go to the Turkey Trot and cheer on my sister and her family. The plan was to enjoy watching my niece, dressed up in a chicken costume as she cheered on all the runners. While Jane and her oldest son, O’Neill, did the 10k, my brother-in-law, Mike, spent half that race trying to talk me into the 5K that was about to start.
Here’s the thing about dear ol’ Mike. He is an odd mix of frugal-as-they-come and can’t-pass-up-a-deal. He went for the multiple-entry race discount, thinking Jarod, the speedy kid in the neighborhood would join them as usual. Jarod slept in. The thought of wasting a race number bothered him about as much as it bothered me to be on the sidelines.
I turned him down twice, thinking I wasn’t ready to run on the cement boardwalk. My plan was to run on the grass later. But he kept working me in that big brother way. I caved. My niece grabbed my camera bag and Red Sox coffee mug from me. I scrounged up a cup of water and a ponytail holder. It was a hot morning and I was in sweat pants and a long-sleeved shirt. I wrapped my sweatshirt around my waist and Mike pinned the “Hot to Trot” number to my shirt.
Mike never trains for the Turkey Trot. It’s always a run/walk for him. He just wanted to run until he got past his kids and around the corner of the Belmont Pool before he started walking. I had another goal in mind. Since this was only my fifth run and first race of the year, I wanted to see if I could finish it without walking a single step. My cardio is nowhere near what it used to be, so I knew that my first few months back would be humbling. Today, my competition was totally with myself to see if I could just run.
I saw my sister, niece, and younger nephew on the sidelines early in the race. I caught up to Mike as we made it past the pool. The rest of the race, I just tried to keep it a steady pace and avoid the fray as much as I could. When I made it back to the pier and the finish line was a quarter of a mile away, I picked up the pace as much as I could. I crossed the line without walking in 31:49. (A 10:15-mile pace) It was a little anti-climatic. My family figured I’d be walking more and they didn’t see me cross the line. My nephew Noah (who now towers over me) gave me a huge hug when he saw me and said, “I’m so proud of you Auntie! I didn’t think you’d finish so soon.” Oh well, I can’t complain too much since they’re cooking today. In a couple more hours, I’ll be swimming in gravy!
So that’s my big news! I actually did a race!! I hope you did something fun and get to savor time with your family too. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!