Race Recap: The 2015 HCC Turkey Trot

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all enjoyed your meals without any guilt! After all, Thanksgiving only comes once a year so whatever calories you eat that day, don't count! Right?

For the past 3 years, including this year, I have participated in the Turkey Trot 5k,  hosted by Hagerstown Community College (stay close, go far). As I have mentioned in my previous recap of this race, this was my very first 5k, so it is very special to me! I competed for the first time in 2009.

Not long after, I suffered back pain which may have caused the numbness in my thigh. Thankfully, all that had passed and I have been able to compete in it 3 more times after that!

It was also Peter's first 5k just last year.

Anyway, we arrived just short of start time to grab our race packets. Typically, I show up to races way early, but ever since I've stopped getting pre-race jitters, I try to arrive just in time. We arrived at 8:30, which gave us enough time to attach our time chips, bibs, and throw the packets in the car. Since this race does not have official photographers and Peter, my back up photographer,  was participating, I had to rely on my GoPro to capture the race itself. So I attached it to my cap, made adjustments and by the time that was done, it was time to race!

If you didn't catch it in the previous post, here it is!

Here's my commentary!

It was freezing and as much as I have been told to warm up before a race, I never do. Maybe it's laziness or I just feel stupid doing it, but I never jog around prior to a race. So when the race gun shot off, it took a while for my body to adjust to the temperatures. I started off at a quicker pace to try to warm my legs up, but  going too fast in the beginning can ruin a race at the end. I did my best to keep consistent and not to let the quick first mile ruin me. I was able to settle into a good pace about a mile in (1:00 into the video).

In all honesty, I was hurting pretty early. The cold air felt like glass on my throat and stabbed my lungs. Going uphill also killed me despite running many hills over the past few weeks. For some reason, my legs felt like glue when I had an incline. I still pushed through the pain and did my best. I knew that a great Thanksgiving dinner would make up for this pain.

As I made my way through the second lap, the amount of runners thinned out and that's when I knew I was in the top half of the group. Despite the discomfort, I performing above average. Yet, the miles seemed longer now just because I was ready for it to be over. With one more mile to go (around 2:00 into the video), I had to dig deep to keep at pace.

At the 2:38 mark, I was passed by a runner in pink who I had not noticed previously. I envied her. She must have been behind me for the majority of the race, but had the energy to speed up. I tried to stay on her tail and maybe catch her at the end, but I wasn't that lucky. Our gap only widened.

At the end of the video, I slowed it down to show the BIG finish (3:00), which was still in good time. As soon as I stopped the video and took the camera off, I was approached by the runner in pink. I didn't recognize her at first, but she knew my name. She introduced herself as Gabby and it clicked! The Running Goober! It was my first blogger to blogger interaction. Unfortunately, I was huffing, puffing, and dying. Probably didn't leave the best impression. Sorry, Gabby!!! It was still nice meeting you and I will see you in Disney! :o)

I quickly made my way back around to the track to wait for Peter. You will catch a glimpse of him finishing at 3:20!

So here's the stat rundown for the both of us:

Finish Time: 23:36
Average Pace: 7:37
Overall: 91/697
Females 20-29: 12/89

Finish Time: 25:12
Average Pace: 8:08
Overall: 124/697
Males 20-29: 20/54

We both did very well, but like me, Peter also complained about the pain in his lungs. Although neither of us are strangers to running in the cold, this was the first race we did this year, so we ran that much faster and breathed that much harder.

Anyway, once I returned home and showered, I put on my 4th Turkey Trot shirt, which I loved this year.

Peter and I both matched by the end of the night.

This will be my last race of 2014. That's the plan for now, anyway! My next race will not be until January when Peter and I will be in Disney for our honeymoon. About 40 days to go! I can barely contain the excitement! I have always wanted to do a Disney race! My dream will be a reality soon!

Did you do a Turkey Trot this year? Where and what was the distance? How did you do?

Have you ever met a fellow running blogger in person? 

Do you wear your race shirt same day?

2014 Turkey Trot 5K, My POV

Until I have the recap written, here is a POV of the Turkey Trot I ran yesterday :)

Trail Running...At Night!

I did the unthinkable tonight. Something I swore that I would never do. I ran the trail...wait for it...in the dark! Sure, sure. This may not sound intense, but it was truly an experience that was unlike any other.

I've run at night before. I've run trail before. I've not done both at the same time. I always thought it was dangerous. I assumed the worst would happen. What if I fell and seriously hurt myself? What if some nut tried to attack me? What if there was a bear!? Then I got to thinking. I am going to have to do this eventually. After all, I signed up for the American Odyssey Relay Race in May and there are trails that will have to be run in the dark!

So after a slow day at work and a mix up in running plans, I decided to take a chance. I grabbed two head lamps, a pocket knife, and my iPod, then made my way to the trail. It was deserted, but I wasn't surprised. I can't remember anyone ever saying that they enjoyed taking a stroll on the trail after sunset. I would have rather it be empty anyway. Having someone come up on me or vice versa may have increased my panic (Are they a murderer? Are they going to attack me?).

Once I started running, my fear faded. I thought "This isn't so bad! I've got this!" It wasn't until about a half mile in that my fear slowly returned. I was surrounded by trees on both sides. All the nearby homes were far behind me. The trail suddenly appeared darker than it was before. My head lamp provided decent light, but I was having a difficult time adjusting to only seeing 10 feet in front of me. At times, I had a hard time seeing if I were on the trail or veering off to the right of it. A trail I've run hundreds of times was suddenly a stranger to me.

About a mile and a half in, paranoia settled in. First, my heart began to race because I could hear music that was not coming from my iPod. I soon realized it was coming from my cell phone. By the way, my phone's ring tone is the Ghost House theme from Super Mario Bros. Not exactly the most comforting tune you want to hear on a dark trail by yourself.

The deeper I got into the woods, the more I worried about my own well-being. I ran faster, but kept a sharp eye for any objects I could have tripped over. Eventually, I felt it was in my best interest that I turned around, sacrificing a mile. I didn't see any harm in cutting back since my adrenaline was pumping. But I thankfully made it back alive (obviously) with a strange appreciation for the fear I felt. It was...thrilling.

Though I accepted the challenge and was okay with trail running at night, I will NEVER do it again alone. One, I think my mom would kill me if she found out (I love how much she cares! :o]). Two, I don't think my heart can handle that much adrenaline pumping through it in a 30 minute run. I will make sure Peter joins me next time. As long as he is okay with joining. Otherwise, it's the roads for me!

I thought my experience was worth sharing as many of you may be curious to try trail running at night. I definitely think you should try it if it sparks your interest, but I would highly recommend the following:
  • Bring a headlamp or flashlight...or two. You may think a single flashlight may offer enough light, but I was extremely surprised at how difficult it was to see with just my headlamp alone. Thankfully, I had two.
  • Bring protection. Pepper spray, a pocket knife, etc. You never know who or what may be lurking around a dark corner. Be safe!
  • Have a cell phone. If you injure yourself, having the ability to call for help in a deserted area is important!
  • Tell someone where you are and how long you plan to be! If you aren't back by the time you have indicated, someone knows to come looking for you!
So be safe, have fun and run on!!

JFK 50 Miler 2014

I. Am. So. AMPED!

Yesterday, immediately after my 15 miler (which was sans iPod, by the way...it was dead), I reserved my spot at mile 38 on the JFK 50 route to watch the lead runners.

Mile 38 is the place to be! They have red velvet cake for the participants! How's that for service in an ultra marathon?

Anyway, I stuck around to see the first few runners make their way through and they looked pretty strong considering they had 38 miles behind them!

The young man in the video above, Jim Walmsley, is actually the one who took 1st in the race. He finished in 5:56:31. Epic!

Seeing these strong runners really inspired me. I have had a desire to run the JFK 50, but now, it has become a need! This past year, the reality of running the ultra hit when they changed the women's class C qualifying marathon time to 5:00 or better. Before, it was 4:45 (my best marathon is 4:47). Though they may change it back to 4:45, I will do anything to run it in 2015. That means I may do this for charity. That would not only allow me raise money for a good cause, but it would give me a 5 AM start, giving me 14 hours to finish the entire race (I may need this). If that's the case, who would help me raise the money to get me in!? ;-)

Anyway, after my runner's high just watching the race participants, while also losing sleep thinking about my first ultra, I had a bit of a rough run today. Peter and I went out for an 8 miler in the canal. Which, by the way, Peter ran his first 10 miler just last week! He is now in the double digits and well on his way to half-marathon status!!! But to get back on topic, our 8 miler was pretty quiet. Typically, we I have a lot to say. Today, I was pretty breathless. I think I was just still reeling from my 15 miler, but it wasn't too bad.

I still have the intention of running on both Monday and Tuesday, despite my sour run today. They are calling for snow on Wednesday, which I will try to avoid at all costs. I am not a snow fan, but am still prepping for future storms. I need to buy a few items that will help make it tolerable.

Anyway, as much as I would like to blog more, I will hold back for another update this week! I am prepping some great articles about both fat & snow. It is way better than what it sounds! Trust me! You'll see!

I'm Back!!!

Good evening and happy Friday!!! I know that more than half of you are out doing bigger and better things than reading my blog, but I thought I would actually post something!!!

I wasn't going to "officially" return until I completely revamped the page, but I have been extremely busy and haven't had the change to utilize my Photoshop skills. That aspect of the site may take a little longer than I thought! So again, BIG changes are coming...but it may be a month (or a few).

So...what has freckles been up to exactly? Well, I started to get a bit crafty! I did inform you before that I started creating those "Save the Date" running bibs. Well, I have had a few of those orders come through, which has been super exciting!

Here are just two examples of those I completed...

I also started dabbling outside of this, and began making wreaths with leftover burlap from my wedding.

I have been quite successful with it and have made several wreaths so far. I have more to start/finish this weekend! I was thinking about making a running themed wreath.Stay tuned! :o)

Aside from the crafting, I HAVE been running. I took a week off earlier this month due to the time change and honestly, I was just exhausted from running! I knew if I kept it up, I would be injured in no time. Once I returned, I have been forced into night running. After work, there is minimal daylight, so it's back to reflective vests and headlamps. This time, I have Peter running in the dark with me! We complain together. It's been pretty dang cold!!!

I've been trying to ramp up my mileage on the weekends just for fun. I don't have any planned marathons or half marathon races until 2015. But I wanted to increase my distances like I were training for a marathon. There just may be a race that would tickle my fancy in the spring.

Tomorrow, I intend on doing a 15 miler while the JFK 50 festivities are going down. I'll be starting at mile 38 on the JFK route and continue down the canal for 7.5 miles. I hope to be back in time to see the first runners come through around 11. It's extremely motivating watching those elite runners! I still intend on participating next year, letting this race be considered my first official ultra.

Anyway, there are more updates to come! I have much to talk about and more adventures to take!!!


Be Prepared!

I'm coming back!!! I cannot wait to resume blogging to tell you all about the changes that are going on in my life! And BIG changes will be coming to the website! Be prepared!
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