Saturday, November 21, 2015

UWL Turkey Trot 2015

We ran this race for the first time back in 2011 when we (Tim, Riley, and I) did it with my dad and a friend of his from work.

Three Generations running- 2011

Dad and his friend- 2011
We had a great time and loved the race. It was close. Everything was so smooth with registration and packet pickup. The cost was great! Race day was easy to maneuver. And, it was fun! Due to a conflict we took 2012 off but were back to run it again in 2013 as a family.
Tim, Riley, Isaac and myself ran the 5K. Aidan did Jr. Gobblers
Last year I wasn't thinking when I picked up an extra shift at work so we missed it again. As soon as I heard the date for this years' race I made sure to put it on our calendar so I wouldn't make that mistake again.
We procrastinated signing up... like we waited until Thursday night to do it. But we were still able to do it online and the price was still great. For this race they have early bird registration (until Nov. 1) that has a price break and normal registration up until race day. Like I said earlier, the cost for this race is really good! You even have the option to do it at a lower cost if you don't want a t-shirt... but who wouldn't want the great long sleeved t-shirt that they usually have!?!
So, Tim signed us up Thursday night via a program that he logged into through his Facebook account (this detail is important later). Friday night (while I was still working) he and Riley made the 10 minute trip to UWL to pick up our packets- another very smooth, quick process.
Another very nice thing about this race is the 9 AM start time! We are not early morning people at our house, so we love that we can get up at 7 AM, have some breakfast and leave the house about 8 AM for the race! We knew there would be a couple of road closures and wanted to make sure to get through before those happened. We made our way into the Rec Center and got our numbers pinned on, bathroom stops made and then had a little fun seeing the mascots. Did I mention that we were able to hang out in the Rec Center??? Where it is warm???
 While waiting for Tim to come back from the bathroom, I got my Timehop notification for today. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw it and couldn't wait to show it to Riley. There were pictures from us doing this race back in 2011 on my Timehop. Of course we couldn't resist re-creating those pictures after we saw them!

Riley and Me with Subman- 2011

Riley and Me with Subman- 2015

Riley, Tim and Me with Flash- 2011

Riley, Tim and me with Flash (with Stryker, the UWL Eagle photo bombing)- 2015

After finishing up our photo recreations it wasn't long and they were telling us to head out to the start line. It was fun to hear the Screaming Eagles Drum line playing as we walked the couple of blocks. Once we got to the start line we had to get a pre-race selfie.

Pre-race selfie
Then I wanted to get a "feet picture" and my lovely husband made fun of me but my teenager just complied. 
first snow fall of the season
The only reason I wanted this one was because last night was our first snow fall of the season! Once these pictures were out of the way we found where we should line up. For this race you predict your finish time (which also means no watches... more on this in a bit) and they had you line up based on that. Tim and I predicted our finish time to be 28:33 and Riley predicted his as 24:30. Based on this Riley would start a ways ahead of us in the lineup but he decided to just start with us and make his way up through the pack. We did a little stretching and ran into the campus a bit to get warmed up. I had never seen this part of campus. With the light dusting of snow it was absolutely beautiful!
UWL Campus
By the time we did that it was just about time to get started. We had time for one last picture before we were off.

Tim and Riley
 There was no gun or big send off. It was just the announcer counting us down over the loud speaker and we were off. Riley took off right away and weaved his way through everyone and we didn't see him again until the end where he was waiting for us. The road on this first section had slippery spots but as long as you stayed towards the middle it wasn't bad. I was feeling really good during this stretch but I could feel that we were starting out pretty fast. It wasn't far into the race when I had to tell Tim that we needed to calm it down!

By the time we made the first turn onto the busier street you didn't really have to worry about ice but you had to make sure to watch out for potholes and cracked pavement. This section of road was really bad! We were also heading into the wind for this section of the race. Midway through this stretch we managed to get up onto the sidewalk and it was much better but I was already feeling our pace... remember earlier when I mentioned no watches... yay, did I also mention how much I rely on that to maintain my pace? Did I mention how much I don't like running without my watch?  Again, I told Tim that we needed to back it down a bit (I think this was near the 1 mile mark) or I wasn't going to be able to hold on for the whole race.

As we made the turn to the trail the wind was gone and the sun started to hit us and I started to warm up. This is a beautiful stretch of the race... running on a paved trail through the marsh which was covered in a light dusting of snow. My glasses kept fogging up but I was still able to take it all in. They had done a great job of salting many spots on the trail so it was pretty much just wet. We were still in amongst a lot of other runners but it wasn't too bad getting around people when we needed to. During this stretch I started to really feel out of breath and had to really focus on my breathing.

As we turned onto another section of the trail I had to flip open my gloves as my hands were getting too warm. It wasn't long that I ended up taking them off completely. With the wind at our backs, I was getting warm. As we came off the trail and back onto a street, I really started to struggle and slowed back a bit from Tim. There were two girls running together that passed me and the one (a girl wearing a red jacket and red/white stocking hat... just in case you know her or if she ever reads this) turned back to me and told me to keep going, that I had this and that she had been following me for the whole race. That was just what I needed at that moment and I don't think she could ever know how much that helped me! I continued to struggle but that lit the fire that I needed to keep pushing through. It wasn't long and the stadium was in sight. Since we have done this race in the past I knew that we still had a lap to run on the track but we were almost there. I kept fighting through and kept that girl with the red jacket in my sights. Tim did a great job encouraging me as we made our way onto the track. But the track was covered in snow and was slippery from everyone running on it ahead of us. I knew I was almost there so I started to pick up the pace. As we rounded that last corner we could see the clock and Tim told me to come on because we were so close to our predicted time. We sprinted (as much as I could at that point) to the finish! We quickly found Riley (thanks to the bright orange shirt) waiting to see us come onto the track but he had missed us.

We made our way to the results print out line, grabbed some water and made our way back to the Rec Center for some food. We spent some time stretching while we ate and checked Facebook. That is where we learned that Tim signing us up through his account was an important detail... when we finished it automatically posted our times to his page. How cool is that? We knew that we didn't get any awards but we stuck around to see who won and to support them.

Overall, it was a greatly managed race by those who put it on- thanks to them for all of their hard work! As for us... it sounds like Riley had a pretty great race and had a great time. Tim could have finished much faster but he stuck by my side through a rough last half of the race. My breathing never really got better but I fought through and finished strong and am grateful that he was by my side! I didn't love it while running it but overall I loved the time that we all got to spend together. It is so much fun to be able to do this with Riley!

Post-race selfie

My Race Stats:
Time: 28:25
(Predicted Time: 28:33)
Pace: 9:09 min/mi
Overall: 378/898
Female: 177/594
F35-39: 17/58
Tim's Race Stats:
Time: 28:25
(Predicted Time: 28:33)
Pace: 9:09 Pace: 9:09 min/mi
Overall: 376/898
Male: 200/304
M35-39: 15/23
Riley's Race Stats:
Time: 23:24
(Predicted Time: 24:30)
Pace: 7:32 min/mi
Overall: 106/898
Male: 81/304
M10-14: 8/36
Please note: Isaac and Aidan had the option to do the race too but weren't interested this year. Once we got home and were talking about it they both said maybe next year!

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