The day before Thanksgiving when most people are cooking, shopping for appetizers for Thanksgiving or meeting up with friends at bars, I was freakin' out because I didn't have an outfit picked out for the following day's Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-Miler ($28) in Davis Square (Somerville, MA).
I headed to Target, Kohl's, Party City and KMart with no luck at finding anything that could pass as a Thanksgiving-themed hat. I was feeling deflated. One of my favorite parts of races is finding an appropriate costume to rock! ;)
I had lost hope, but I wasn't ready to give up. After picking my wife up from the train station later that day, I gave it one last shot - Christmas Tree Shops. I mean that store usually has everything...
... and they came through in the clutch! :)
I found this beauty for $5!!!!
Amazing, right? The store had three different options (yay!) and this seemed like the one that would actually stay on my head while running.
Once I had my headgear set, I could sleep soundly. It is the little things with me apparently.
Thankfully my friend/fellow Weight Watchers Leader Heather would be running the race as well so she offered to give me a lift. I had already made up my mind that I would run the race with her, but hadn't shared the news with her yet. I was going to surprise her when we got to the race. :)
Heather is new to running - she started in 2012 - so she likes to get to races with plenty of time to spare. A lady after my own heart.
Her husband dropped us off in Davis Square and we went in search of a warm place to hide out until it was time to line up for the race. We decided to step into a Starbucks. After about 5 minutes in the shop, I realized I was wearing a shirt that said "Friends Don't Let Friends Drink Starbucks."
Ummmm oops! :P
I can think on my feet so I used my awesome hat to cover my shirt. As we approached the 9:00am start, we ducked into the local Boston Sports Club so I could use my membership to use the nice bathroom instead of the port-o-potties. Score!
Just as we hit the Start Line my dad showed up! Yay! We had a fan at the Start AND someone to snap our pic.
I told Heather that I would be running with her for the race and she was surprised and excited. Phew! She was pushing for a sub-40 4-mile race and I was going to make that happen! :)
When we checked out the weather report in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving Day race, there was nothing but COLD COLD COLD temperatures being reported. But thankfully New England being New England actually had better weather than predicted. I didn't need the scarf, but forgot to toss it to my dad before we started.
It was nice to get so many compliments about my Sparkle Athletic skirt. People wanted to know where they could one for themselves. I love sharing the sparkle.
The gun sounded and we were off.
Being from Somerville and doing countless races in the Davis Square area, I knew the lay of the lands without needing to look at a course map so I could prep Heather as we ran.
I had a great time chatting with Heather the whole race. She was OWNING it. We had a bit of a clog at the start of the race, but I love the 4-mile distance because it really spreads out the paces. I find some 5ks are congested the whole time since so many people have similar 5k paces. I don't know if it is fact or just in my head, but after we hit Mile 1 - we had plenty of space to get into a zone.
We were chatting about my upcoming Dopey Challenge and how Heather is currently training for her first half marathon (I'm wicked proud). She is going to take on her first Disney race in 2015 - Princess Half. As we were talking Dopey Challenge costumes, a girl next to us chimed in about her experience doing a Run Disney race.
I LOVE chatting with other runners during races. Not all of them like to talk back, but that's okay. I was glad this girl did. :)
As we hit Mile 2, I let Heather know that she was doing awesome and that we were rocking a 9:45 min/mile pace. She was rocking it.
I knew the second half of the race would be a tad hillier.
When running with others, I never know if they want encouragement throughout the race, if they want to know when hills are approaching, etc. So I made sure to keep checking in with Heather to make sure I wasn't taking her out of the zone. We were on the same page.
We headed up one of the bigger hills and reminded Heather that we could slow down whenever she needed it. Slow and steady up the hill and use the downhill to recover.
We took the final turn and almost immediately hit the Mile 3 marker. It was a straight shot to the Finish from there. We would head up one more small incline and then it was downhill all the way to the Finish line. I love that part of the course back into Davis Square.
I counted down the last 1/2 mile or so for Heather in case she wanted to give it a final push to the end.
AND SHE DID IT!
Heather's official time was 38:54 and mine was 38:55 - both good for a 9:44 min/mile pace.
Ah-may-zing! And my dad was right there at the Finish Line cheering for us both!!
I was so proud of her and happy we were able to enjoy the race together.
And my outfit got some great shoutouts during the race! Yay!
Of course I had to celebrate another race completed with a Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee. The folks working at the Dunkins I went to appreciated the shirt. ;) If only it scored me a free coffee - maybe next time.
Did you participate in a Thanksgiving Day race? Rock a costume?