Today was the big day for the Chaska Turkey Trot- my first 5k race.
I went to bed early last night. I knew I needed to be up at 6:00 to make sure everything was ready to go and I could make it in time to get my bearings at the race venue. Surprisingly, I slept well. I had been worried that I wouldn’t sleep well, but that wasn’t a problem. I got up on time, got Isaac fed and 2 out of 3 kids dressed, set out the diaper bag and camera bag and left instructions for Nathan. He and the kids would leave about a half hour later. No reason to be there too early!
When I was leaving Winsted, I noticed our friends pulling out of their driveway. They were heading to the race as well, but I didn’t see them as I looked back later. I assumed they stopped for gas. I stopped for a banana at Qwik Trip. I hadn’t taken the time to eat before leaving. When I approached Chaska High School, I couldn’t believe the number of people already there. I later saw that there was about 450 runners.
Part of the excitement of the day was that our friends, Andrew and Marie, would be running. They had registered their son, Josiah, for the race and told the family that they were all going to support me and Josiah. The kids had no idea that Mom and Dad were running. When I saw Josiah arrive to get his number and chip, I approached him and stayed with him. I did my best to keep him occupied! I knew that Andrew and Marie would need to get set to run and I didn’t want Josiah to figure it out. So, I had Josiah help me warm up. He was my “coach”. He had me doing all kinds of pre-run warm-ups. It was fun. Josiah was so excited about it and he was encouraging to me too.
When it came closer to race time, Josiah went up to his folks and noticed that his mom had a number. He was shocked that she was running. She convinced him that she had just decided to do it last week and that he was going to TRY to run, but that she might walk most of it. I joked with Josiah that I would beat at least one person! Even though Andrew was standing there in his running gear (number wasn’t showing though), Josiah didn’t even notice or ask about that. He handed his warm-up jacket and pants to his dad and went to line up. Marie and I lined up toward the back of the pack and Andrew met up with us later. We were near a group of ladies who had recently finished the Couch to 5k program (just like us!).
The gun shot sounded and we were off. I guess the start point was where the first runners had lined up. I expected that there would be a mat that we would cross that would start our race time (we had chips on our shoes to record our time). It took me about 20 seconds to figure out that we were already past the “start” point. There were so many people that I’m not sure I could have broke free to run before then anyway.
The course was very hilly. The first mile seemed to take forever. I found my pace and just kept going. I slowed after the first mile because I was not going to be able to run the entire race at that pace. Once the finish line was in site and I passed my family on the sidelines, I kicked it up a notch and sprinted in to finish! I finished my first race with a time of 33:20. I was very excited. That’s the fastest I have ever run. It felt awesome to complete the race.
Andrew and Marie did awesome. You’ll have to read their side of the story here.
Nathan forgot the camera at home, but he used Missy’s iphone to record my finish:
To give you an idea of the hills on this course, this is a map that shows just one mile. Click on the map and check “show elevation”: