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? 

It’s National Kale Day & I’m Training for a Secret Marathon!

One of my favorite dishes: Sautéed kale and scrambled with eggs and black beans, topped with ketchup. All organic—natch!
One of my favorite dishes: Sautéed kale and scrambled eggs with black beans, topped with ketchup. All organic—natch!

What does National Kale Day have to do with marathon training? Honestly, nothing. But if you keep reading, I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with some clever connection.

I’ve been a lazy runner lately. My butt started acting up again this summer, so I didn’t sign up for any fall races, and recently I’ve only been running when I feel like it, usually no more than 3 miles in any given stint. This year, running just hasn’t felt as important to me. Like any relationship, the one I have with running ebbs and flows; there are times of intense passion and moments when I take the love for granted.

When I lived in New York City running was my escape from the stress of work and living with a bazillion people. The 6-mile loop in Central Park served as a refuge, a place where I could feel alone (though I never had the park all to myself—I was living with a bazillion people!). Today, my life appears to be 180-degrees different. I’m often alone. I work from home and set my own schedule, and I’ve never had so much space in my life. There are wide-open parks everywhere in the Bay Area, and Californian’s are so much more relaxed than New Yorkers—no one ever seems to be in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything.

As if I need another marathon medal. OK, most of these belong to Michael K. Farrell… But still. I don’t run for the hardware, I run for the love.
As if I need another race medal. OK, most of these belong to Michael K. Farrell… But still. I don’t run for the hardware, I run for the love.

I still want to get faster, that’s always been my back-of-mind running goal, and I still tend to push myself on those easy 3-milers. But my endurance has really tanked and I want to get that back—I miss the mind space of a long run, and the feeling of accomplishment, so I’ve put myself on a marathon training program. I have my sights set on a race that I haven’t registered for yet, and I’ve decided to “decide later” on whether or not I will actually line up for the start. If I do, it will simply be to complete. I just want to have fun and go long.

Now, back to kale. Part of the reason for the lull in my running relationship has to do with my focus on food lately. After graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition earlier this year, I’ve attempted to gain traction as a health coach. I’ve set up a private practice, read a bazillion books on diets, and started consulting with a start-up (so very Silicon Valley of me!) that’s teaching people how to eat better. I’m so consumed with healthy eating, there are days I forget to make myself lunch. It’s not a surprise that I forget to run, too.

My brain has turned to kale. And while kale seems to be getting more than its 15 minutes of fame, I’m still a big fan of the green stuff and I’m so happy there’s a group of people who love it as much as I do (if not more!).  I hope you all have big plans to celebrate National Kale Day! Be sure to raise a fork to me and wish me well as I train for my secret marathon.

What’s your favorite kale recipe? And what are you training for now?