Yesterday was Thanksgiving, yes. And we all have things we’re thankful for, of course, but that’s not what this is about. I’m not going to get all mushy, squishy, lovey-dovey on y’all, I swear. Because it’s obvious what I’m thankful for.
I had decided to run the Turkey Trot about a month ago and I was pretty excited because they offered a 5 mile run on top of the 5K. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a good, quick race, and I’ve been meaning to improve my personal record, but if it’s going to be 35 degrees out and possibly snowing, I want to make my time outside freezing worth it.
The forecast looked great – 50 degrees and sunny, however, at 8 in the morning, it wasn’t so much. It was cold. Damn cold. The Jeep registered 37 degrees. Gross. And of course, me being the ever optimist, dressed in capri running tights, a long sleeve tech shirt and gloves. That’s it. No layers. No hat. Just me against the world. And when I parked across the river and had to walk across the bridge with winds blowing, I felt as if I would have been better off naked.
So of course, being as it was freezing out, I had to pee. And of course, why on earth would the city of Pittsburgh want to open more than 4 porta potties for race day? FOUR. In a row of 12.
Best part? After waiting for 20 minutes in whipping cold wind, the porta potty I chose has shit all over the back of the seat. QUADS DON’T FAIL ME NOW!
During the Marathon Relay I had made friends with a fellow racer named Anthony. His race bib said “Go Meat,” so I knew he could’t be a bad guy. We’ve kept in contact via Facebook and planned on finding each other before the race began. The race wasn’t super over crowded and it was easy to find him. He had a goal time of 50 minutes and myself with a goal of 47 minutes.
We stuck together the entire time with my Run Keeper chirping in my ear our pace time. We were on schedule to finish in about 45 minutes, keeping a 8:17 pace average, which is super impressive for both of us.
But then, the strangest thing happened. My Run Keeper told me we hit mile 5 and the race was still going. By a lot.
We were in the middle of the city. There was no reason for my GPS to drop us…so I was super confused as to why on earth we still had more race to run. It was fine, I mean, we were doing well and to slow down at that point would be silly, since the race had to end eventually, but still.
I also knew that Matt and the kids were somewhere near the finish line and I totally passed them by without seeing them or them me. Figures.
We crossed the line with a time of 46:40, and when I got the times sent to me, it said I had an average pace of 9:20.
HOLD THE PHONE.
We did not run at a 9:20 pace. 9:20 is totally respectable, don’t get me wrong, but when Run Keeper is chirping paces of 8 minutes and less in your ear, I find that hard to believe.
Then it dawned on me – the race was longer than five miles. According to my Run Keeper, we went 5.46 miles. Others on the Steel City Road Runners Club facebook page said that theirs logged between 5.3 and 5.4 miles.
So yes, if the race was perfectly 5 miles, and if I finished at 46:40, then yes, my pace would have been 9:20. BUT, it wasn’t.
Why does this bother me? Because I’m typically not a fast runner. My PR at a 5K is 26:02, good, but nothing to brag about. But I busted my butt to keep a quick pace and to have it written off because of lack of planning makes me sad. I worked hard. I earned my sub nine minute pace.
Either way, it was a great race and Anthony was a great running partner. It was nice to finally have someone to run with that I’m not holding back. (Matt keeps a 8 minute pace typically, sometimes in the 7 minute range.) I came in 610th place out of 1295 total and 95th out of 227 in my age group.
And when I finally found my family, Claire immediately asked me if I won.
Yes, Claire, I won.