I feel like I phoned that last update in, guys and gals. Sorry about that. I wanted to get something up because there was much to talk about but my brain wasn't interested in been thoughtful or creative. My apologies. Here is the overdue report on the Pete Keyes Turkey Trot 5 Mile Run. I hesitate to call it a race report because I was not racing, not even close. I had been in PT for a month at this point and technically this distance was well out of reach for where my body was. It was important to me to be able to join the rest of my family at the race and I had a very clear action plan (okayed by my PT) in my head for race morning.

Normally the family treks an hour or so away from the house in NY to a local 5k turkey trot, but the addition of my nephew makes staying close to home a priority (especially when you need to leave said toddler with Grandma who is also trying to cook the Thanksgiving feast). Enter the Pete Keyes Run. It was super close to the house and it was a longer run for a killer reg fee of just $20 (long sleeve tech shirt too!).  Put on by the Triple Cities Running Club, the proceeds of this race go towards scholarships for high school runners in the triple cities area. Aside from the proximity to my house, I also loved that it was held at Otsinengo Park. I have ran in that park many times while still living in the area, so I know it well. Added bonus: the course is entirely inside the park so I didn't have to worry about wayward cars and the like.

So, race plan. It was pretty simple, logistically speaking, but the execution was a guaranteed shot to the ego. Warm up: walking briskly for about 5 minutes to get the blood flowing. Stretch those pesky calves. Once the race starts, take it easy. Snail-through-molasses easy. Walk as needed, and stop if the pain level in the Achilles or hamstring hits a 2 on the 1 to 10 scale. Yes, a 2. After the race, however far I get, do all the stretching and foam rolling I've been doing for the last month. Simple? Yes. Frustrating? You betcha. The most helpful thing was having my family there. My father, my sister, my brother-in-law and MS all ran as well. They reminded me that it was just great to be out here at all, that I’d been injured, that it was temporary, and that running smart today would pay off big tomorrow. Not that I’d say it to their faces, but they were right.

The race had a little bit of a late start, which irked me only because the temperature was in the low 20’s with wind and snow flurries, not to mention the 8 or so inches of snow that fell overnight. I wanted to get moving if for no other reason than to feel warm. Glad to finally be going, I started my Garmin (pace display covered with tape) and tried to settle in. The pavement was wet but not slick, they did a great job of keeping the course clear. I had that “I’m going to finish last” feeling, but for the first time it seemed like a real possibility. I’m not going to lie, the first mile was rough. My leg had been aching for the past few days, especially during the 7 hour car trip up from VA. I was trying to focus on the form tips given to by my PT and calm myself down.

I haven’t been sedentary since I started PT, but the elliptical and spinning alone haven’t kept my cardio level where I would like it to be and I felt it. I took a minute walk break somewhere around the end of the first mile, more to pull my head together than anything else. I wasn't experiencing much, if any, discomfort yet so I forged ahead. MS has been down for the count with a wicked case of PF, so I had (miserable) company along the way. Between mile 2 and 2.5, I started to stress again. It was taking forever and realizing I wasn't halfway yet didn't help. I haven’t had a DNF yet in my running career, and while it may be unavoidable I did not want it to happen today.

After the first mile and a half, the course becomes an out and back. Although it meant I knew exactly how much I had left to run, it also let me see the lead runners coming back and cheer on my family as they came by. Looking for people you know during a race is a good distraction if you are not having the best day. Other than that, I tried to focus on a specific form tip and the fact that I got to be out there in the first place. I don’t have to run, I get to. And on the morning of a day devoted to being with loved ones, surrounded by the incredibly beautiful sites along the trail. Pristine snow on the ground, tree branches draped in white, flurries coming down and landing on my tongue. Who in their right mind could be unhappy?

Like any good race, there was a short but steep hill within the last ½ mile. I knew it was there and I tried to maintain effort and form on the way up and over. Crowd support has appeared now, and it was greatly appreciated. I heard my Dad yelling for me and it was exactly what I needed. I didn't have a kick at all, but I tried to push a little harder because feeling strong at the finish is important to me. The time was what it was and I decided right there to let it go. I finished. I was not in pain. That’s a win in my book.

Because the race was small, the only pictures I've seen were of local race club members, not of all participants. We did snap a quick picture before the start (someone is clearly freezing).

No one was interested in lingering post-race so we piled into the cars and headed home (after a brief stop for coffee and donuts as per tradition). I stretched and rolled like a good PT patient, then showered and got ready to embrace the holiday. If I was sore later, fine (I wasn't).  I’m so relieved that it went the way it did and I’m looking forward to more runs as PT progresses.

I was going to wrap this up with a request for good thoughts as I waited to hear back on my application to be a Nuun Ambassador for 2015. As luck would have it, I didn't need to wait any longer. Behold:



We are so happy to welcome you to the Nuun family! You have been selected to represent Nuun in all of the amazing areas in which you live, work, play, and compete in.

This year we have restructured the program a bit and we're excited that you been accepted as a Nuun Ambassador within our program!

I am beyond excited (if the Facebook and Twitter posts didn't bear that out already).  I've got another post ready to go, you'll see that later today or this weekend. Early Merry Christmas!