Turkey Trotted to Victory

39:05 PR

The PR after my official time for the 2010 Chicago Turkey Trot almost didn’t happen.  Going on 3 hours of sleep, I jolted out of bed at 7:30 to my second alarm.  It wasn’t that I was out celebrating Black Wednesday or anything that would cause me to be tired.  No, I was baking for Thanksgiving and went to bed by midnight.  However, I just couldn’t fall asleep and didn’t manage to shut my eyes until 4am.  Perhaps I was nervous about the 8K and the potential of PR’ing.  Whatever it was, I couldn’t sleep.  When the first alarm rang but it didn’t phased me.  But the second one shot out of bed, threw on my clothes and headed out to the race.

Pre-race rituals of gear check and a visit to the porto-potty down, I went to the corral to prepare myself.  Mentally, I was telling myself that if it doesn’t happen, then don’t be disappointed.  Maybe I couldn’t achieve the sub 40, but I could still PR.  But even if I didn’t PR, I’m still negating some calories before the night’s feast.  I knew my body could PR.  I knew mentally I could PR.  However, I wasn’t sold.  This wasn’t the first time I set out to PR, but knowing my record, every time I set out for a personal best, I would fail miserably.

As the anthem was played, I refocused myself.  I was in shape and ready to break this 3.5 year record–granted, I haven’t ran in 2 weeks.  But I knew I could do it.  I knew I could…

The horn went off and the race began.

I went out with the first 300 runners.  I wasn’t sure what my pace should have been, but I knew what I needed to do.  Passing runners within the first 100 yards, I knew that I need to own the course and go all out to make this record a reality.

Not running in the cold for almost 8 months, the mid-30 temperature pierced my lungs with every breath.  My limbs were tight and stiff after 2 weeks of laziness, but I kept on pushing on.  I wanted the PR more than Thanksgiving turkey.

The first 2 miles I was heaving as I trotted along the fast course as if I was on stilts.  Just before mile 3, I was tempted to walk due to the pain of the cold.  I won’t lie, I was ready to walk until I saw mile marker 3.  I was on pace.  I was on pace to not only PR but finish sub 40.  That was when it all changed.

I kicked it as my body finally started to get loose.  Mile 4 breezed by.  As I hit the turn around, I knew that I had it in the bag.  I gave it my all the last mile knowing that the PR is mine.  With a tenth of a mile to go, I saw the clock just turned 39.  That’s 39 minutes!  I booked it to the finish using every ounce of energy I had left.  I was determined to finish while it was still 39.

Step after step.  Each stride longer and faster than the previous.  I wanted 39.

I crossed at 39:22 (7:55, 7:45, 8:00, 7:45, 7:40).

As soon as I cleared the finish line, I put my hands on my knees and heaved.  I threw up everything I had in my empty stomach.  I felt sick but I didn’t care.  I PR’d.  I finished sub 40.  I broke my previous PR of 41:28 dating back to March 25, 2007.  I achieved something that I wasn’t sure that I could.

This was my 4th consecutive personal record time.  I cannot believe what I have accomplished this year.  With my last race completed for 2010, I am anxious to break the time that has been haunting me the last 3.5 years:  1:56:52.  I know I can do it.  I can’t wait until April 10th when I will have the opportunity to defeat myself.

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8 thoughts on “Turkey Trotted to Victory

  1. Pingback: Ode to 2010 « .:: phampants

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