I’ve actually never done a turkey trot race. How do you define it? A race on Thanksgiving morning? Any race on Thanksgiving weekend? If so, then maybe this weekend I finally did one: The Leftovers Trail Half Marathon.
I signed up on Monday night and the race was on Saturday. I had no intention of “racing” it and I assure you, I didn’t. I signed up to use it as really-long-training-run. I opted out of the shirt; they had ran out and I didn’t want to buy last years (at the race they had some no-shows so I could have still bought one but I passed). Last Saturday, I ran eight miles at the local track, partly so it would be easy on the legs and since I didn’t have anyone to bike alongside with me- it was also in the low-40s that morning… That run averaged 8:36 pace, which still surprises me. My long runs in July were around 9:30 pace. Normally, after my annual Big Bird 10k race I tend to hibernate from running. I can’t do that this year!
So after eating Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday, I had plenty of carbs to fuel my long run on Saturday.
The race was held at Stony Creek Metropark. I know Stony to be hilly on the bike path around the lake; I expected that the trails would also be. They also were collecting canned goods and I remembered to bring some. After I got my bib and saw my friends, I stayed in my car for a little bit. It was lightly raining but I wore shorts and a long-sleeve shirt. The temp was in the high-40s. This turned out to be good choice. It did rain lightly about half-way through but I was okay without a hat and leggings.
The course was two loops and well-marked with bright pink flags. There were about a hundred runners and this was the second year this particular race was put on. The Move-It Fitness group actually has a lot of trail running events throughout the year! They had races on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. My friend Janet ran all three days!
It has been a long time since I’ve ran on trails, let alone a full race on trails (high school cross country, maybe?). The Great Turtle Trail Half on Mackinac Island was mostly paved so I can’t count that. I took it easy to watch my footing. The second loop of the course I came close to slipping and realized this was partly because I was getting tired. We talked to each other on the run and it was very friendly during and after.
Let’s not forget about the hills. Oh my goodness. I can’t say whether I’m more or less in shape than I was at the Brooksie Way Half with their rolling hills BUT these hills kicked my butt. They were steep and frequent. I think anyone who trains on trails and then moves to pavement must get awesome PRs because I’m as sore today as I am after an doing a glute-exercise video! I finished in 2:09:49.
Anyways, it was a challenging and long training run. But what am I training for? Nothing at the moment. Still looking around for a spring marathon. I think I will be able to pull off training in a Michigan winter now that I have made new running friends this year! Now that’s something I’m grateful for.
And so many more running friends not pictured here!!!