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.

Prologue

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.

Goals

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.

Course

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

Playlist

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.

Pre-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!

Weather

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.

Post-Race

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

Result

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)!

Epilogue

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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