I did it, guys: Despite myself, I finished my first-ever organized race.
Thanksgiving morning dawned way too early — and even though I somehow managed to sleep through both of the alarms I set on my iPhone, I was up by 7 a.m. That gave me plenty of time to whip up a paleo-approved breakfast sandwich and put Thanksgiving dinner in the Crock Pot before I had to leave.
That’s right. With a little nudge from my friends at Elf4Health, I decided to eschew a restaurant Thanksgiving buffet in favor of making my own, mini holiday dinner. Good thing, too, because for me buffets are a recipe for over-indulging. I want to try a little of everything and always end up eating too much.
I prepped my dinner last night before bed — cut up my sweet potato and green beans and seasoned a chicken breast — so all I had to do was pop the crock into the base and turn it on. OK. That’s not quite all … I also had to plug in the slow cooker, which I ALMOST forgot to do. That’s what happens when I try to function before 9 a.m., y’all.
With my Sparkly Soul headband in place and breakfast sandwich in hand, I headed to the car — only to discover that when you’re up with the chickens, there’s still frost on the car windows. I cranked up the defroster and let it work while I ate, then helped along by taking my scraper to the windshield so I could take off.
It was a beautiful morning for a drive. The sun was shining and, better yet, I didn’t get stuck behind any poky drivers. That’s always a risk when you take the scenic route from Flagstaff to Sedona.
The “Third First Annual Sedona Turkey Trot” started and ended at Posse Ground Park in West Sedona. I was surprised at the number of people who turned out. The race organizers made the announcement that it was sold out for the first time ever.
I was excited to pick up my race bib and tote bag. The bag will make a great addition to my collection of reusable shopping bags.
I wish I’d taken some pictures of some of the costumes. They were pretty fun and creative. One guy dressed up like a hunter (his wife was the turkey). A couple with two kids in front of me in the line to pick up registration packets had the older kid wearing a crocheted “live turkey” hat while the younger one got a roasted turkey hat. Super adorable.
Me, I just had on normal, boring workout duds — my go-to capri pants and one of the Boyfriend’s Nike T-shirts.
A fellow racer was kind enough to take my picture after I told her it was my first race. She said, “You need documentation.” Don’t ask me what I’m doing with my head in that picture — but it’s the only one I have.
I didn’t really do much training for the race. I knew I could walk 3 miles without a problem, and figured I’d walk most of the course. (That’s what I did.) My only goal was to not finish dead last.
I also kind of figured that, just by living at an elevation of 7,000 feet in Flagstaff, I’d be better off in Sedona, where it’s only 5,000 feet or so. I WAY overestimated the advantage. Or perhaps if I were in better shape, I’d have had more of an advantage. I think both overall winners were from Flagstaff.
The excitement of the race rubbed off on me. When we took off, I started off running with everyone else, at a pace of 11:29 to 12:45. But pretty soon I slowed down and everyone was passing me by. Even a grey-haired lady race-walked past me (which made me feel none too adequate, let me tell you).
I kept my goal in mind, especially as I struggled up the hills. (Note to self: Stop avoiding killer hills on walks.) Don’t finish last. Don’t finish last.
I managed to not finish last — just barely. The older race-walker and I trotted across the finish line at almost the same time. She was a bit ahead, but there was someone behind me, somewhere.
I crossed that finish line and proudly claimed my medal, which I’m still wearing as I type this post several hours later, then snagged a piece of post-race pumpkin pie. What’s not to love about a race where you get pie at the finish? 😉
My time was just a little over 45 minutes. I forgot to end my Nike+ run until I was sprawled on the bleachers, gnawing on pie, so I don’t know my precise time. It says I went 3.06 miles in 48:13, or a pace of 15:43. The app also told me I ran my fastest mile ever (14:04) and fastest 1k (8:27).
My official time, according to Virtual Roster, is 45:17, with a pace of 14:36. I wasn’t even next to last, at 182 of 192 participants … and I even managed to beat one other person in my age group. (I don’t know who. As far as I could tell there was only one woman behind me, and she seemed to be about a decade younger.)
Overall, I had fun. Next year, I’d like to not go alone. I have a feeling it’d be even more fun if I had someone to run/walk/chat with — especially since the race lit said “no headphones” because the race course isn’t closed to cars.
I did see some folks wearing them, though. I, unfortunately, am no rebel. If I’m told I can’t wear headphones, I don’t even bring them along.
After the awards ceremony, I headed to Starbucks for a post-race reward. Yes, that’s a low-carb peppermint-mocha Frappuccino. Yum!
Our goody bag included a coupon for having our name, the date and finish time engraved on our medal for only $5. Even though my time isn’t all that impressive, I’m totally going to do it — I want a keepsake from my first-ever 5K.
Here’s to knowing it won’t be my last. I’m already considering whether to register for the 5k or 10k they have during the Sedona Marathon in February.
Maybe I’ll make that decision after I see how sore I am tonight/tomorrow.
Now, time to shower and eat dinner before I head to work for the evening.
It feels good to have gotten out there and done something active this morning. I’d love it to become an annual Thanksgiving tradition.