Turkey trotting is as synonymous with Thanksgiving as watching the Dallas Cowboys or FINALLY being able to listen to Christmas music without side eye glares from friends and family.
Well for many the two go hand in hand, but for me it was always about the food... until I started my weight loss and fitness journey.
I'd done a Thanksgiving race a couple of times with my dad when I gave running a try the first time in 2005, but it quickly went to the back burner when I swore off running almost as quickly as the love affair began. (Quick recap: I started running in 2005, caught the high, finished my first marathon in Sept 2006, swore off running. I think we've heard this story before from a friend or two, right?)
But in 2013, I gave another go to the Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-miler in my hometown (Somerville, MA). I even wrangled my friend who I had talked into starting to run to do it with me. Love you Heather! ;)
Well fast forward and 2017 marked our 5th year running this race together. And yes I wore the same thing every year. I mean why would I pass up this lovely ensemble. That $5 hat from Christmas Tree Shops has been worth the investment.
So knowing that this would be my last Thanksgiving in the states for awhile (note: moving to Amsterdam for indefinite amount of time in January 2018), Heather and I were ready to run, walk, or crawl our way to the Finish. Heather has been dealing with one injury after another so we said no matter how long it took we would finish together!
I picked our numbers up the day before at Marathon Sports in Cambridge so we wouldn't have to deal with it race morning. Per our tradition, her husband dropped us off at the race and my wife would pick us up. Gotta love a local race where you don't have to leave hours before the start to get there in time.
We left my house around 8:30 and were near the start line before 8:45. We even saw our amazing running friends for some Holiday hugs and of course a group photo.
I was even surprised by an appearance by one of my favorite Couples (I can't believe I failed at us getting a selfie). Still wicked proud of Tina for not spilling the secret of being there. :)
After chatting about the new Wegman's opening up (yes we are that cool), we realized it was time to line up and get this party started.
When I want to look like a hot mess, I can really pull it off. Hey self, throw on all the brown/orange/red/white pieces of clothing you have and call it an outfit. Check!
Thankfully the course is the same every year and my guess is has been the same in all 21 years of the run, but don't quote me on that. ;)
I hit Start on the Garmin and we were off. Since Heather was nursing an injury, she was setting the pace and deciding if we had to walk or not.
I love using running dates/races to catch up with friends so Heather and I got right into it.
As we made our way down Powderhouse Boulevard we approached Tufts University and I saw a familiar face... my dad! He took a quick break from work for a Mile 1 selfie.
Mile 1: 11:11
After seeing my dad we were off again, we bumped into more friends. I will definitely miss constantly seeing familiar faces at a race when we move. :/ But I shook off the sad thought and caught up with friends.
I'm not sure why, but inevitably each year I only take a picture of the Mile 2 marker. I must really love the halfway mark. ;)
Mile 2: 12:02
We took our yearly water/walk break to check out the surrounding costumes and mentally prepare for the hill during mile 3.
I was so into talking to Heather that I failed at taking any pictures. #DaniFAIL
But I made sure to snap a selfie to prove we were in fact making progress. :) Heather was doing a great job and the hip/butt/pain wasn't getting too tough yet.
See Heather was all smiles before the "hill." Each year Heather curses me when we run the same hill on Central Street. Seriously it isn't Thanksgiving until I hear that "I hate you" or something else a little more explicit. ;)
Thankfully without fail it was there and really she crushed it the hill. She chugged up the entire thing with a smile on her face. :)
Mile 3: 12:21
Now the final mile starts on a gradual incline, but ends on the down into the Finish. I tend to "forget" to bring this up to Heather until we are taking that turn on to Summer Street.
To help distract Heather, I started talking about my costumes for the Dopey Challenge. Luckily Heather loves Disney and Run Disney races as much as I do.
Internally I was sad to see the race come to an end as it would be the last one Heather and I run together for awhile.
I loved seeing Heather going for the high-fives from the crowd as we headed toward the Finish Line. It makes me smile to see my friends living in the mile they are in and soaking up the fun of running.
Mile 4: 11:33
FINAL TIME: 48:03 (12:01 min/mile pace)
After a quick hug and high-five we made our way to Dunkin Donuts to wait for the wife. We've never made it to the after party for the race at The Burren bar due to Thanksgiving plans so we scooted out quickly. Thanks for the coffee Heather. :)
If you are in the Boston area, I totally recommend everyone checking out the Somerville Road Runners Gobble Gobble Gobble 4-miler.
How did you kick off Thanksgiving this year? Turkey trot? Crossfit workout? Backyard flag football? Rest day?