This morning I woke up early and met my dad to go run the Turkey Day Race in NOLA. We got there in plenty of time to get our shirts. Personally, I hate having to get shirts ahead of time, because I have to walk back to my car to drop it off. I much rather races where we get the shirts and stuff after the race. Anyway, I was hoping to beat my time from last year, which was 48:16, with an unofficial goal of 45 minutes. I didn’t think I’d be able to keep a sub 9 min pace up for 5 miles, but I would try to get something close. The cool thing was it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be, so I was able to forgo wearing a hat to run with.
The race started and I hit the first mile at 8:30 on the race clock, and I knew I had started about 15 or 20 seconds after that clock started. I felt pretty good, but knew it was only the first mile and to keep it up over the next 4 miles was going to be tough. I’ve been running pretty fast times during the week lately, but with my iPod sensor not really accurate, I had no idea how fast. It was off today too, which was frustrating, so basically my iPod was good for keeping time. I made it to the start of the 5th mile, and some guy was calling out times, and I heard him call out 35 or 36 minutes. I was flabbergasted. I might actually get 45 minutes! I almost tripped in a pothole, but saved it and kept going. The little bridges in City Park are a blessing and a curse. I hate running up them because they always seemed to be positioned at the end of races, but they are great to run down because you get a burst. I had a burst over one bridge during the last mile and it kind of propelled me the rest of the way. I saw some kid slow down to walk about half a mile from the finish and wanted to tell him “dude, it’s only half a mile, don’t give up!”, but then I thought maybe he was hurting or something. We finished inside the stadium, so when we broke out onto the track, I saw the clock counting just over 44 minutes. I found energy and bolted for the finish line, which was about 200m from where we entered. I passed a few people and stopped the iPod. 43:55. New personal best for 5 miles, crushed last year’s time, averaged 8:47 a mile! CRAZY! Of course, after the race things bottle-necked because they only had one person handing out timing slips. They really need to work on doing that better.
I walked over and grabbed some free beer and waited for my dad. While waiting I saw Megan finish! Yay running friend! BTW, the beer was Abita Amber. Way better than the Mic Ultra they had after the HALF MARATHON. My dad eventually finished, and we walked around and got a couple of the bananas being handed out. I don’t usually like post race bananas, because they are almost always not ripe enough, but this morning they were handing out fancy organic bananas. They looked like they’d taste really raw, but they actually tasted really good. I’ll have to scope those out next time I’m in the store.
After I got home, I sat in ice again. It worked again, so that was good. I took a shower and then set about making the salad to bring to Thanksgiving. With the coffee cake done, the salad was a snap to throw together. It was so nice to have the hard part already out of the way. I had bought two heads of Romaine, and I only needed one, so now I have an extra. I’ll have to eat more salad this week or something.
I got to my aunt’s just in time to see the turkey carved and then we sat around and talked and ate and watched football and traded stories. One of my aunt’s decided not to come this year, which was weird. I’m not sure anyone knew why. It sounds like she was sad about something, which caused her to not want to come, I don’t know. She’s a big Saints fan, so I said “The Saints are 10-0, no matter what else is going on in life, she can cling to that, and everything will be okay.” It was strange not seeing her, but I should be seeing her at Christmas. I stayed to talk to my aunts and uncles after most people left and learned some casino tips. I came home with a little less than a 1/4 of the cake left and one serving of salad. For the small gathering we had this year, I say it was a good day.
On my way home I saw 10-15 people sitting outside Best Buy at 7 pm. Apparently they wanted to stake out their spot for tomorrow and the super crazy deals. It’s going to get down to 31 here tonight, so I hope that cheap laptop or whatever they’re going for is worth the hassle and frostbite.
Things I’m thankful for this year: God, Jesus, family, friends, running, Yoplait yogurt, granny smith apples, being able to see the important things and not worry about the rest.