2017 Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler

2017 Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler - Banner

Scroll all the way down to the end of the post for the tl;dr version.


2017 Running Streak

2017 Running Streak

I ran for five days after finishing the 2017 New York City Marathon so I could break my previous running streak.  Then, I took a few days off before I started training for the 2018 San Diego 50 Miler this week.  This run is a bit of a tradition for me.  It would be my 12th consecutive running of the Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler.


Personal Records:

Achievable: Sub-37:00 (7:24 pace).  If I were racing it, I think I could run (7:20 pace).

Likely: Sub-40:00 (8:00 pace).  I wasn’t racing it, so I thought 8:00 pace would be comfortable.

Strategy:  Based on Tuesday’s workout, don’t pull a quadricep muscle.


The race is in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia.  It starts next to George Washington Middle School on Mount Vernon Avenue.  It goes north for almost a mile and then heads south on Commonwealth Avenue.  After a couple of loops through neighborhood streets, the course goes back up Commonwealth and down Mount Vernon.  The course is completely flat with a water stop at mile 3.  There are spots of fairly enthusiastic crowd support.

ATT Course


I listened to “Can’t Hold Us,” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Ray Dalton) and “Magic,” by B.o.B. (feat. Rivers Cuomo) on a loop for the entire race.


I woke up at 6am and embarked on a leisurely morning drinking coffee and then suddenly realized…  It was 7:30!  I got ready for the race in about 15 minutes and was out the door before 8am.  I got to the race site – the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia – in about 20 minutes.  I parked outside of the race zone and walked a quarter-mile to the middle school.  Last year, race-day registration was slow so I pre-registered this year.  I got my bib in 10 minutes and waited in the gym until it was 10 minutes to race start.  I had my headphones on and was completely tuned out.  If there were announcements or a playing of the National Anthem, I didn’t hear it.  At 9am, the race was off!


Even thought the race start was late in the morning, it was a cold 35 degrees at 9am!  The sun was shining, though, so it felt warmer than the conditions would suggest.

2017 Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler - Weather

2017 Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler – Weather

The Race

I thought I was running pretty fast up Mount Vernon Avenue but runners were streaming by me. I would have guessed high 6:00 pace but when I looked at my Garmin, it only showed 7:15! “This is not going to be fun,” I thought. The course made a left onto Uhle Street before taking another left onto Commonwealth Avenue.

I hit my stride running to the music and was actually enjoying the run.  The field wasn’t very crowded, either.  We took a right onto Chapman Street and passed the 2 mile marker.

On Russell road, I started feeling a little tired.  After a block the course turned right on Linden Street and went slightly downhill.  I ran next to a runner with a stroller and passed him.  I sped up on the short left turn onto a block of Mount Vernon Avenue and the left onto Maple Street.  I expected the next mile marker but didn’t see it.

The course turned right onto Commonwealth again.  There was a water stop but I ran through it.  Some boys ahead of me threw water on one another.  I tucked behind a guy running shirtless.  “There’s always one,” I thought.   The crowds were thickest in this section.  After passing the shops on Monroe Avenue, I started to slow down a little.

I felt like I was ready to find another gear after the course turned right onto Oxford Street.  I hit 4 mile mark and was surprised to see I hadn’t slowed down.  After a block, the course turned onto Mount Vernon Avenue.  “The home stretch!”, I thought.  I ran to the far left side of the road and just cruised.

Back at the school, the course turned left into a driveway to the finish.  I kept a consistent pace all the way to the end.

Splits (by course): 7:27, 7:29, 14:56 (or 7:28 pace), 7:29.


I went inside the gym and grabbed a banana and granola bar even though I wasn’t very hungry.  I walked to my car and finally stopped to appreciate what a beautiful day it was.

Post 2017 Alexandria Turkey Trot

Post 2017 Alexandria Turkey Trot


My time was 37:25 (7:29 pace).  [Log Details].  I was 339th finisher overall, 79th woman, 14th female master, and 11th in my age group.

On the elite side, there were some crazy fast times.  The winner ran a scorching 23:48 (4:46 pace)!  The fastest woman turned in a 26:52 (5:23 pace)!


The race was a good tempo run.  This weekend, I’ll do my first back-to-back “long” runs since I started training for the San Diego 50 Miler.

Next race: 2017 Fairfax Four Miler on Sunday, December 31st. (My Complete Racing Schedule.)

Abridged Version

This was my 12th consecutive running of the Alexandria Turkey Trot 5 Miler, having decided years ago that I didn’t want to travel for Thanksgiving.  I finished in 37:25 (7:29 pace).  It was my first week training for the San Diego 50 Miler, so I decided to treat the race as a workout.  I ran a hard interval workout two days before and had a big weekend ahead.  I ran pretty even splits even though I felt as though I was fading at the end.

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