Sunday, November 24, 2013

Turkey Trot 2013

BLOG POST #100!!!!!!
I can't think of a more appropriate way to celebrate my 100th blog post than by doing a race recap!
I did this race a couple of years ago with Tim, Riley, and my dad so I knew it was a great race. When we didn't have any conflicts with the date we had to sign up! This no conflict thing later changed but we figured out how to make it work.
Sign up for the The 19th Annual UW-La Crosse Turkey Trot was super easy. We were able to register and sign all our waivers online. The other nice thing about this race is the cost. The price does not include a t-shirt so if you don't want that you can get by pretty cheap. Of course that would never happen with my family but I think it is still a pretty reasonably priced race. We were able to get the early bird pricing and,  even with getting the shirts, it was still cheaper than most other races.
Packet pick-up was also super easy. I was able to walk right up to the appropriate table and didn't have to wait in line. The volunteers were helpful and got our stuff together quickly while I signed the sheet to pick up the packets for my husband and boys. I was back out the door within minutes. While we were there Aidan started talking like maybe he did want to do the Jr. Gobblers Youth Race but I couldn't get a good feel for if he would actually do it, so I decided not to sign him up. On the way home he was back and forth talking about doing it. I got all the way home and realized that they forgot to give me Tim's shirt. In the end it worked out well because he was able to sign Aidan up for the Jr. Gobblers Youth Race when he went back. Aidan continued to talk about doing it so we figured as long as Tim had to go back to the Rec Center and our baby-sitter was ok coming along to watch him in the Rec Center while we ran,  we might as well let him go for it.
I think we were all excited for the race after getting our bibs and shirts. The only problem was going to be the weather! After seeing this on the news it wasn't sounding like it was going to be a whole lot of fun.
We headed out early so we could get through before the road closures and to get good parking close to the finish area (We got Isaac's basketball schedule after signing up for the race and it turned out he had a game at 10- lucky for us it was near the race location). We were able to find parking spots just rows from the finish area and headed to the Rec Center to stay warm until the 9 AM start time. It was a cold and breezy walk to get there and made us all question weather we dressed warm enough.
Once we were in the Rec Center we made our bathroom stops,  met up with other runners that we know and had some fun getting pictures with the mascots. 
Pre-race fun in the Recreational Eagle Center
Before long it was time to head out for the start. New for this year was starting corrals based on your predicted finish time. They give awards for those runners that finish the closest to their predicted times. We predicted our finish time to be 28:13 so that put us in Corral 3. We all jogged from the Rec Center to our corral and then kept running around in the parking lot to stay warm while we waited.

It wasn't long at the first corral was off and we started to walk forward. After two minutes corral 2 was off and again we were moving forward. Four minutes after the first corral started we took off. It was COLD and WINDY for this first stretch. There were also patches of ice on the road so you had to watch your footing.
Through this stretch the boys were right with us and talked the whole time. Isaac was very curious about the timing process and how everything worked. Before we knew it we were passing the Mile 1 flag. During this stretch we were running on the road where they closed just the right lane so cars were able to come up on our left. It was pretty congested so we were doing a lot of weaving in and out of people but we did a good job of staying together.
Before long we turned onto a paved trail to go through the marsh. Finally we were protected from the wind and we were able to really enjoy the race and everything around us. At this point the boys started to pull in front of us and go on their own. It was still very congested and there were lots of icy patches to watch out for through this stretch. Tim and I commented to each other about how great this portion of the race was- beautiful views of the marsh and of the bluffs along with being able to see the other runner's ahead of us on the winding trail.
As we got to the Mile 2 flag we were still able to spot the boys in front of us but we were not catching them. They were running strong and that made me so proud of them. At this point I found myself looking at my wrist to check my watch... but wait- that's right... I couldn't wear my watch because of the predicted finish time piece of this race. That threw me for a loop for a bit as I am a numbers/feedback person. At that point I just paid attention to how I was feeling and realized that I was feeling strong so much stronger than the last time I did this race! I felt like I was keeping a pretty good pace and tried to push myself as we were getting closer to the stadium. During this stretch my fingers were finally getting feeling back and I even flipped open the flap on my mittens. My lips and face on the other hand were frozen and numb!
It wasn't long and we were coming off the trail and back onto a street where we were able to spread out a bit again. Since we had done this race before we knew that we were getting close to the stadium so we started to pick up our pace a bit, but we also knew that we still had to run one lap on the track so we didn't want to go all out just yet (my first time doing the race I didn't know that and started my final push as I came to the stadium only to find out I had that lap to go yet). As we turned to the stadium I was fighting off a high side ache. I took a couple of deep breaths and once we got onto the track Tim and I really picked up the pace to finish strong. 
It felt like a great race but we weren't real sure of our finishing time. I couldn't see the time clock at the end because my sunglasses fogged over and after pushing it a the end of the race neither of us could do the math to figure it out. We found the boys and made our way through the finish area, grabbed some cups of ice water (they were suppose to be just water but they were frozen due to the cold weather) and we got in line to get our race result print-outs. Again, I am a numbers/feedback person so this is a must in my book!
Isaac needed to get off to basketball so he and Tim gave me their bibs and headed off to basketball. Riley, Aidan and I waited for the results - we were pretty excited to see that Isaac placed 4th in the males 9 and under and we all beat our predicted times. We headed back to the Rec Center to warm up, grab a snack and wait for the Jr. Gobbler Races to start. We weren't sure if Isaac would get an award for 4th place so we were planning be there just in case. Riley and I did a little stretching and before long they were announcing that we were to make our way to the stadium for the Jr. Gobbler Races but the awards hadn't started yet. As we were making our way that direction I found on my phone that Isaac would be getting an award but we would be missing the awards to get it for him. There was a volunteer walking near us that heard me and Riley talking and she explained the process to us, letting us know that we could go back after Aidan's race to claim it for him. I really appreciated that she jumped in to let us know that. She was very helpful as we talked to her.
The Jr. Gobbler Races seemed a bit unorganized this year compared to a couple of years ago when Isaac did it. I am not sure if it was due to the cold and people not wanting to wait outside like in the past or what the deal was. We weren't sure of where to be or what was going on. Then I saw a group of kids Aidan's size that had yellow stickers on their bibs, like Aidan had, heading out to the track so we just jumped in line. We got Aidan to the start line and he was ready to go! Riley and I were able to head to the finish line to watch him come in and he did a great job! A big improvement over the Rudolph's Dash last year when I had to run with him to get him to do it! As he came through the finish chute the UW-L Dance Team gave him a participant medal and he was so excited! He got his first medal and was in heaven. We got a quick picture with his medal and headed back to claim Isaac's award before heading home to warm up. We were all freezing at this point but we were also excited to hear about Isaac's basketball game and to give him his medal.
The weather wasn't ideal but it turned out to be a great race for all of us. We had a great time doing it as a family and I think it will become a new family tradition.
Tim (27:07.83), Heather (27:08.97), Riley (26:38.16), Isaac (26:56.96)
Aidan (finished Jr. Gobbler Dash)
The two medal winners had to have a picture together.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fun race!!! :) The kids are so adorable! :)
    Congrats on finishing the race and making it to #100 post!