Holy crap there are frozen turkeys running everywhere!!!

After Saturday I not only got to celebrate my longest run ever, but I also got to celebrate taper time!  For the next two weeks, until the Half Marathon, my training is cut back so my legs will be fresh for the race.  This week I ran 3 miles on Tuesday, and for yesterday my long run was 8 miles.  The great thing about yesterday’s run, is that I was able to participate in the 43rd Annual Turkey Trot.  I have never walked this before, let along ran it.  The timing was perfect.  I was supposed to actually have 6 miles as my longest run this week, but figured that an extra two miles would not be a big deal, and also I would have enough of a calorie burn to inhale the only thing I was craving this Thanksgiving – pecan pie. YUM!

I looked forward to this run ever since I ran the Komen 5K.  The only thing I was not looking forward to was the arctic front that headed our way for Thanksgiving.  Figures this would happen.  We have 70 and 80 degree weather for the past two weeks, and now this.  Not only was it going to be cold, but the weather folks were saying that there was a good chance that we would have some rain; not just rain but COLD rain.

Wednesday I drove to sports equipment stores looking for a rain vest that I could wear for my run.  I was shocked at how scarce the supply was around town.  Not only were stores out, but they had not had hardly any in stock all season.  Instead of paying about $100 for a jacket/vest combo from Nike, I decided to use a light cycling jacket, and just HOPE that the rain would not be heavy.

That night, I prepped my outfit with a base layer and a t-shirt. Over that I would wear my cycling jacket.  I also had  my superhero tights, a pair of gloves, hat, and headwarmer headband thingy.   I also swapped out shoe laces that I experimented with early in the week, to resolve my shoe slippage issue. Yankz did not help – I could never get the adjustment right.  I went for a different set of bungy laces that had one tension adjuster at the top.  Yankz has one at the top and one at the bottom.  My weird and awkward foot did not cooperate with this set up, but my other foot did just great.

Yankz – good for normal feet, crap for weird ones.

I also placed a no-slip pad on the orthotic, to see if that would keep my foot from sliding forward.  To curtail my heel from popping in and out of the shoe I added some baseball grip tape strips to the back of the heel, and around the collar of the shoe.

Yes that’s right – bat tape.

I tested this set up and with a liner sock, along with a wool running sock, it seemed to do the trick.  I walked around the house for a couple of hours and my foot felt really secure.

I am a freaking genius!

I was a bit rushed getting everything together.  This is what I get for plopping my ass in front of the TV in the early evening.  I got everything finished, but I ended up with a major attitude problem – cranky CRANKY.

Yesterday morning I woke up, and it felt really warm in the house from the mild temps overnight.   As soon as I opened the door to let the dogs outside, I knew there was a change in the air.  The wind was picking up and there was a scent of frost in the air. Frozen Turkey Front 2010  steamrolled in at about 5:30 am.  By the time 8am rolled around the temperature dropped 30 degrees!

I got down to City Hall, where the race was to begin, by 8:00.  I paid to park, got a spot and started to re-inventory my gear.  I had a backpack with me just in case I needed more tape for my foot, more cushioning for my shoe, an extra long-sleeved running shirt, and socks if what I had on suddenly felt uncomfortable.  I also had a towel to dry off with in case that rain came through.

Yeah I tend to over prepare.

I made a pit stop at the porto-potty, and then walked around City Hall and took in the crowd.  There were displays, photographers, coffee venders (free), and all kinds of costumed people.

The wind was getting fierce.  I checked out the starting area, and made a decision to go grab my other long-sleeved running shirt to add to my layers. As I walked to my jeep my left shoe started digging into my inner ankle.  So I grabbed some small foam in my backpack to put into the shoe, to cushion my ankle bone.  After my pit stop I headed back to the starting area.

Porto potty. Should I?  Do I have to?  I think I might need to.  So I get in line.

It’s 8:40 am – 20 min before start time.

Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Do I need to do this?

It’s 8:50 am – 10 min before start time.

The guy ahead of me tells everyone that they never start this right at 9:00.  It is usually 9:05.

By 8:55 I am in the potty.  I’m fast.  In and out and jogging to the starting area.

I take off my glove to re-attach my iPhone to my Amphipod belt, and get my music started.  I put back on my gloves, but the right one has vanished.  ACK!  I retrace my steps back a little.  I hear the announcer start the race.

CRAP!  Forget the glove!  Aww man my new Nike running gloves.

I haul butt.  The crowd.  Oh hell the crowd.  THOUSANDS of people.  I’m zig-zagging between people.  There are other runners trying to do the same thing.  Apparently walkers, baby stroller pushers, grammas, grampas, and dog walkers got mixed up with where they were to begin, and lined up in the runners pace areas.

It was frantic. The pounding of runner feet sounded like thunder to those poor people walking.  We ran anywhere there was space to do so.  The sidewalks were fair game.  I zipped around people, apologizing and excusing myself.  At one point I could look up and see far down the street in front of me.  THOUSANDS.  The ocean of people was incredible.  I found space where I could and just ran.

There was just enough space to see all the people who were watching the race off on the side.  People were cooking out and drinking wine, cheering us all the while.  Bands were set up along the route singing us through the cold. It was fantastic!

For the first two miles it was not bad temperature wise.  I even decided to remove my jacket and put it around my waist.  Then that wind hit when we headed up Elm street.  Good GRIEF!  A 30 mph gust hit us in the face, and all I could do was yell, “WOOO!!!”  That wind knocked the vocabulary right out of me! I couldn’t think.  I just ran.

We headed across the Houston St bridge into Oak Cliff.  This was a very familiar route to me.  I ran this several times while training.  I felt at ease.

Then my shoe acted up.

My left foot started to slip itself into the toebox of my shoe.  The no-slip pad was working a little, but my foot was not just slipping some, it was bunching up like a bag of bones! I stopped to the side and kicked my heel into the heel-part of the shoe.  I adjusted the laces and took off.  Three blocks later – again.  This time the foam shifted and the collar of the shoe was starting to dig into my ankle bone. I stopped, loosened my shoe, adjusted the padding, adjusted my foot, and re-tied the shoe again.  I get a half mile away and I feel the shoe starting to get out of alignment again.

Screw it.  I keep running.

I gimp along until mile 6 or 6 1/2 and have to run off to the side to kick my heel back into the heel of the shoe.  At this point my foot is just hurting no matter what, so I just run.  I be damn if I am gonna start walking this!

We round the last corner to head toward the finish line. Up ahead is a camera man, filming the runners.  He grabs his camera and comes right up to me.  He films me at an up angle – hello unflattering to the chin but thanks – and is asking me how I am doing, and why I am running.  I smiled and played off any pain I had.  I talked to him and the camera, but I think I started to not make sense.  He tells me to have a Happy Thanksgiving and I tell him to do the same.

I see the finish line.  I pick up my pace as much as possible, but there is a hill right before the finish.  Now… THAT is just mean in my opinion! A hill?  At the finish??  REALLY??

I kicked up another gear and head for the finish line.  There are camera operators filming everyone.  I just pray that I do not trip.  I ran under the banner and finished my first Turkey Trot.  At the finish line I actually ran into an old classmate of mine from grade school and high school.  That was really cool.

I walked around for a minute, finished my Gu gel, drank my G2, and called Christie to tell her that I made it.  I was happy to be done!

It took me almost two hours, wrapped up in a thick bathrobe, to defrost.  My foot was killing me but it was worth it.

I ran my first Turkey Trot and I got my pie!

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