Monday, December 16, 2013

Santa Barbara Thanksgiving 4 Miler

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I’ve been crazy busy with Christmas events that I haven’t even had a chance to blog about it! Thanksgiving morning I woke up bright and early to run the Santa Barbara Thanksgiving race, which is our version of a Turkey Trot. This race had a lot of issues last year, but I couldn’t help but be excited about it. A new Turkey Trot was being held downtown, but I decided to support the local one that has been held on Thanksgiving for years!

Cute race t-shirt (although it is cotton)
After the crowds of last year, I was happy that they offered packet pick-up the day before and the course was changed from the out and back of the year before, to a large loop that they had done in the past. It seemed like they learned from their mistakes and were eager to make up for them!
I wanted to get in a couple miles before the race, so I decided to jog to the starting line which made for a great warm-up. I passed other people on their way to the race and even got some … possibly sarcastic cheers. I knew I had a PR in me, I really did, but I didn’t know if mentally I did. I PRed at my last 4 miler on tired legs and a half hearted effort, but the pain of the last few miles of my PR half marathon was still very fresh in my mind and making me anxious.
Good turn out!
Daddio had acted like he was going to let me fly this one solo, but sure enough, there he was at the starting line to cheer me on. It’s amazing how much support he gives me! A girl couldn’t ask for a better father!
Turkey hat! I had people checking Targets all over for one of these!
For once, I started near the front of the crowd… mostly by accident. I didn’t realize the person sending us off was about to say “READY… SET… GO!” until it was too late. Ends up, we started almost five minutes early, so a lot of people were scrambling to get into place (the only complaint I heard all day!). I started with the crowd, hitting about an 8:12 pace. It felt fast and I was worried it was too fast, but I was also hungry for that shiny PR. What had caused anxiety before the race, felt like uncontrollable desire the second I heard magical word “GO”.
I held 8:12 for the first two miles and was starting to question my sanity. Instead of focusing on the effort I was exerting, I started focusing on catching whatever ladies that I could see. I didn’t count how many I passed… that would have been too much for my over taxed brain, but I passed a lot and managed to only let one get passed me in the last mile. I finished mile three at an 8:09 pace and I felt like I was ready to throw in the towel! It hurt so much and a mile is a long way to go when your heart feels like it’s jumping out of your chest.
I said a prayer of thanksgiving. Thanking God that I had the ability to run when so many people didn’t and that I was running faster than I ever thought I could. My focus returned and I zeroed in on the next person ahead of me. I finished the last mile with a 7:53 pace, setting a new PR for the 4 miler with an overall time of 32:28!
Coming up on the finish!
Daddio was there to greet me at the finish and walk with me as my heart rate dropped. Studying my Garmin data later that day, I learned that I was at or above my max heart rate for the majority of the race. Yeah… that hurts.
I ate doughnuts and animal cracks hanging out to find out my age group placement, and was happy and disappointed to find out I placed 16th out of 101. Yay, awe moment. And to show how lazy I am, I took Daddio up on a ride home instead of running the two miles back as I had originally planned. 
Happy holidays everyone!

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