Sunday, December 1, 2013

Turkey Trot Race Recap

This Thursday, I started my Thanksgiving morning with the 8 mile Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot. I didn't commit to this race until Tuesday.  I had a number of reasons for my last minute entry.  I was undecided because no one else in my family was going to run it with me.  I hated to inconvenience people on Thanksgiving to go with me to an early morning race all the way in Dallas.  I was worried about the crowds and the parking and had heard some bad reviews from people who have run this trot in the past.  As the date got closer, the weather turned colder.  I asked my brother and boyfriend to come watch me run, but didn't mention the 35 degree weather forecast until after I had convinced them.  After putting all of those excuses aside, I was glad I signed up.

This year, there were two options when signing up - timed or untimed.  Timed runners were eligible to start in a timed runners corral near the starting line. I've heard in the past that serious runners have gotten stuck behind strollers and walkers and been very frustrated.  I opted for the timed option and had to arrive at the race before 8:40 to get in my corral. 

Since I wasn't sure about parking downtown, I insisted we leave the house no later than 7:30.  The race venue was about 30 minutes from home.  We were able to easily find parking, but had to pay $10.  The downtown lots upped the prices since there was an event going on.  I prefer races that offer free parking, but it wasn't a major inconvenience.

After parking, there were lots of volunteers directing runners to the starting line.  Since it was a large race, I expected it to be crowded, but with an hour until the race start, there was plenty of open space.  I was able to snap this picture in front of the starting line.  I bundled up to stay warm before the race started.

Since my brother, sister in law, and boyfriend were all with me, I didn't do a whole lot of exploring.  I did a quick warm-up jog/stretch and then went to take a picture with the inflatable Thanksgiving turkey before taking my place in the corral.

The race started promptly at 9 am.  I felt like I started a little slow.  I was watching my steps since there were a lot of people and scanning the curb for my cheering squad.  After I spotted them, I picked up the speed.  There was a band for entertainment around mile 1.  I didn't hear much of them as I sped past.  Then we made 2 left turns to head down Elm St.  I was surprised at my pace - quicker than expected.  Around mile 2.5, my cheering squad made another appearance.  I was excited my brother brought his DSLR so I could have nice race photos.  I also threw off my gloves to them.  The sun decided to come out and I was getting warm.

I was laughing at #5395 for photo bombing me

At mile 3, the 5k runners took a sharp left turn to their finish line.  From there the race course opened up a bit.  We ran through Dealey Plaza and the Design District.  I was able to see some of the first place runners during a part of the course where the out and back loop was on opposite sides of the median.  I always enjoy seeing the fast runners, it is very inspirational.  At the halfway point, my pace slowed some, but I was okay with that because I started out faster than I expected.  I began getting a little warm.  I was wearing 2 long sleeve shorts, capri length tights and the loose adidas pants.  I made notes for my upcoming half marathon that will likely be similar weather.

The last mile had 2 tough hills - the last one right before the finish line.  I saw my cheering squad for a third time right before the finish line.  I tried to smile but my legs were tired.

I crossed the finish line and my official time was 1:15:46.  I was very happy with my results.  After the finish line, volunteers handed me a water bottle and a banana.  I gobbled down the banana quickly and headed to the meet-up spot that I arranged with my brother and boyfriend.  We snapped a few quick finisher pictures and then headed home for a turkey lunch at my parents' house.

I'm glad I started my Thanksgiving day with a run.  It was the perfect dress rehearsal for my half marathon on December 8th.  Would I do it again?  Maybe.  Definitely if I can find some running buddies to do it with me.  My brother was sad I didn't tell him there was a 5k option.  I told him he has 12 months to train for the 8 mile course.

Anyway, today begins my taper week and then the Dallas Half next Sunday.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Do we have any other trotters out there?


  1. Congrats on the Turkey Trot! I did it a few years ago and vowed never to do it again because it was SO crowded and too many walkers/strollers/dogs, but it sounds like they've made some good changes this year! Bummer about tomorrow's big race being canceled :( Better to be safe, though!

    1. Yeah, I think the Dallas Marathon made the right decision. It's for the safety of everybody. Plus I'm sure the policemen and emergency crew have had their hands plenty busy without adding a large race event.