This past Thursday was a very special holiday for me. It was THE Turkey Trot, the race of the beginning and the ending, my forever benchmark, the only race that I have successfully streaked, and my first love.
The Turkey Trot, a four miler held each Thanksgiving morning, was my very first race back in 2011. I never thought I could be a runner before I crossed that finish line. I had started running that July and running (without stopping!!!) for FIVE MILES(!!!) felt like the biggest achievement of my life. I had been reading every book I could get my hands on about running and racing at that point and I showed up guns blazing. I tried my best not to "go out too fast," (what does that mean, how does that feel?) as I read that that was a mistake. I also had read that this is it - showtime - you run as hard as you can and leave nothing on the track. I did my damn best to make both those things true while trying my hardest to tune out everyone else.... while also comparing myself to literally everyone else. (Am I really one of these people? Is that guy wearing a sweater? Why aren't some people wearing shoes?!?!?) Remember 2011?
Over the years, this race became a marker for every season and every phase of my life. When I had a good season, I ran it well. When I had a bad season, I ran it poorly. When I was injured or in a boot, I ran or walked it injured or in a boot. The people I talked into running with me were the people who were important to me. Oh and the muskratting! I LOVED muskratting!!!
This year I ran it with Erika and our couple friends V & J. J is just starting to run with the goal of running a marathon next year. At almost 10 years younger than me, she is the baby of the group and it felt appropriate that she was running this one too. Something like looking back.
Like I said before, it's my 10th* time running this race. This one was the big one. Erika and I stayed together the whole time. She was content to follow my pace and I tried hard not to race it race it. Oddly for us, we didn't talk at all during the race except for the occasional, "Y'ok?" "I'm kay." I could think about how much this one meant to me.
My 2011 pics are sadly lost to the old Loop. For some reason, I don't seem to have 2018 or 2019 pics but they are probably on instagram even though I am not.
*We realized this morning that this is my 11th time running it (10th in person as last year was virtual). The sentimentality of this post might be undue.
Edited by Keep Running Girl