Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10K Recap: We Got Our Gobble Gobble On!

Running the SV Turkey Trot San Jose-style—people wear the shirt for the race during the actual event out here!
Running the SV Turkey Trot San Jose-style—people wear the shirt for the race during the actual event out here!

Running on Thanksgiving is typical for me, but I can’t remember the last time I signed up for an organized trot. Registering for the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10K was a no brainer—it fit perfectly into my training plan, and it was sponsored by the Sharks Foundation (which was enough to convince Michael K. Farrell to run).

Bright and early Thanksgiving morning, Michael K. Farrell and I donned our race tees, and joined the purple-clad crowd in the “6 to 7” corral. My plan was to do an easy 6 miles, so lining up just behind the pros made me anxious. (I didn’t want to hold sevens for the entire race!) My fear dissipated shortly after taking off, when I realized most of the runners around me weren’t dropping into a higher gear at the beginning either.

One of the largest trots in the nation, 23,552 people participated in the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10K and 5K events this year. That’s a lot of people! Surprisingly, though, the course didn’t feel congested. The route started toward downtown, hooked left through Japantown, then meandered over to The Alameda, and took us on a tour through the neighborhood.

I love running down the middle of a street! The SV Turkey Trot course was especially fun because we took over a mix of city streets and residential roads.
I love running down the middle of a street! The SV Turkey Trot course was especially fun because we took over a mix of city streets and residential roads.

Michael K. Farrell and I ran side by side until around mile 4, when he picked up the pace just slightly during a left turn. I weighed my options—I could push myself to keep up, or I could stick to my plan and enjoy the run. I decided to be on my own for a bit, but I didn’t exactly let him out of sight. (I finished in 52:48, just 30 seconds behind him.)

 

Michael K. Farrell was waiting for me with a big smile just beyond the finish line. I pretended to be annoyed that he had attempted to leave me in the dust at first, and then gave him a huge sweaty hug.

We refueled with water and bananas in the park beyond the finish line, then started heading back to the car. That’s when my lower back decided to give me something I wasn’t so thankful for—a terrible muscle spasm. Suddenly, I could barely walk and I had to drop to the ground to do a couple of spinal twists. It put a damper on the drive home, and it certainly doesn’t bode well for my upcoming secret marathon. (I rethinking my strategy for that, and questioning whether or not I should even toe the start line.)

The rest of our day was spent with food and friends, which is exactly how Thanksgiving should be! I hope you all enjoyed the day!

Which moments from last week are you still thankful for? 

Sharks Fitness Faceoff 10K San Jose, CA Recap: Short Course, Good Photos

I almost bought the coffee mug option of this photo because it was cheaper than the downloadable file.
I almost bought the coffee mug option of this photo because it was cheaper than the downloadable file.

The inaugural Sharks Fitness Faceoff benefitting the Sharks Foundation on June 30 was a blast! I had typical pre-race jitters in the parking lot, but once the event got started I was able to relax into a steady 8:30 pace. Like any first year event, the organizers got a few things wrong. Luckily, the goals outnumbered the penalties.

GOAL: Something for everyone. The event had an activity to suit every fitness level, including 50- and 22-mile bike rides, 5 and 10K runs, a kids run around the arena, and a health festival with booths touting everything from massages to sensible footwear.

Michael K. Farrell tackled the 22-mile bike ride while I ran. Good times!
Michael K. Farrell tackled the 22-mile bike ride while I ran. Good times!

GOAL: Street closures! I love running where cars usually drive, and it was pretty awesome to take over the streets of downtown San Jose. The loop course went by the San Jose Museum of Art, offered up some challenging overpass hills along the Guadalupe Parkway and Hedding Street, and then flattened out on The Alameda and neighborhood streets back to the arena.

Hopefully they can add the missing distance onto the course for next year! (Or simply rename the event to Sharks Fitness Faceoff 6 Miler…)
Hopefully they can add the missing distance onto the course for next year! (Or simply rename the event to Sharks Fitness Faceoff 6 Miler…)

PENALTY: The 10K course was short. I was expecting a regulation 10K that morning, so when someone started their kick with more than half a mile to go (according to my Garmin) I was incredibly confused. I picked my head up to confirm that we were closer to the end than I’d realized, and kicked it into a higher gear for a speedy finish of my own. My watch reported a 5.89-mile run, and I later confirmed the truncated distance using Google maps. Such a bummer!

PENALTY: Not enough liquid at the finish. The race organizers probably weren’t expecting such a large turn out, because they ran out of Gatorade and water at the finish line very quickly. Luckily, I wasn’t too thirsty and I had a stash of water in the car.

GOAL: Great race photos! There were only a couple of photographers peppered along the backstretches of the 10K course, but I managed to smile for all of them. (Looking good in race photos seems to be my M.O!)

Have you ever noticed a course was shorter than it claimed?

New Shoes, New Races, New PRs!

Sweaty shopping: My bank account took a hit during this spree—proof even healthy addictions can be expensive! But happiness returns make new running shoes a worthwhile investment.
Sweaty shopping: My bank account took a hit during this spree—proof even healthy addictions can be expensive!

You know that flat feeling your legs get when you’re running in dead sneakers? I had that feeling on Monday, so at the end of a 3-mile lollipop route instead of heading home, I hung a left and ran directly into Running Revolution. (This small shop just off the main drag of Downtown Campbell is definitely worth a stop if you’re in the market for new shoes.)

In seconds, I went from “flat” to “fantastic.” After trying several brands and styles, I walked out with a brand new pair of Brooks Glycerin 10. I practically hugged the box all the way home! (Running with a shoe box is awkward, so I was forced to walk.)

Happiness (and PR!) returns make these new Brooks Glycerin 10 Women's Running Shoes a worthwhile investment.
Happiness (and PR!) returns make these new Brooks Glycerin 10 Women’s Running Shoes a worthwhile investment.

I was on such a shopping high that I went on a registration binge, too. I have now signed up for three upcoming races, and I couldn’t be more psyched for each of them. They’re all first-time courses for me, which means PRs are guaranteed. (Score!)

I’m saving the dates for:

Pretty Muddy 5K in Sacramento, Saturday Jun 29, 2013 This will be my first obstacle-laden mud run, and I’m really excited to participate. I’ve been going to boot camp fitness classes lately, so the competitive part of my brain is throbbing with the possibility of completely killing this course. (Hey, Rope Ladder, my arms will be ready for you!)

Sharks Fitness Faceoff 10K in San Jose, Sunday June 30, 2013 The Sharks are huge in San Jose—sunny Californian’s are some of the toughest hockey fans, believe it or not. And I’m expecting a big turnout for this charity event. I’ll be tackling the 10K (there’s a 5K and a health walk, too) and plan to attack it like, well, like a Shark—fast and ferocious!

The Jungle Run Half-Marathon in Los Gatos, Sunday July 14, 2013 To be honest, I’m a little anxious about signing up for my first half-marathon in the great state of California. My last attempt at a 13.1-miler back in October resulted in a DNF, but my butt is feeling better and I think putting this race on the calendar will be good for my head—I’m a goal setter, after all. (And, again, it’s a guaranteed PR!)

Which of these races are on your calendar? Are you looking forward to an upcoming PR, too?