I Didn’t Plan to Race Today

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!