"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Turkey Trot Adventures

Thanksgiving was something special this year. I have made it a tradition to run the Turkey Trot 5K every year-even last year-even in -12 degree windchill I might add. I had the privilege to run the Turkey Trot 5K this year with my mom! Not only was it her first time running the Turkey Trot 5K, but it was her first 5K race experience EVER!!! I have been begging her to run a race for years. She runs regularly, but had never done a race. I promised her that I would run every step of the way with her, if she committed to it. And sure enough, she signed up!

Prior to the start of the race, my running buddy, Aileen and I ran 9 miles around Minneapolis. We made it back to my apartment in time to change into dry running clothes, meet up with Austin, Meghan, and Jeremy, and run to the start line to meet my mom (another mile). Note that, 10 miles prior Turkey Trot 5k. It was a near perfect day on Thanksgiving, unusually warm, and not windy. I met up with my mom and we found our way into the start corral. There were more people running the race than I had ever seen in the past! It took us a couple minutes to even cross the start line once the race began. We crossed the start line, and started making our way towards the river. There were so many people, dogs, strollers, walkers, we had to zig zag in and out of clusters of people. But we stuck together. We made it to the river, passed the Guthrie Theatre, passed the Stone Arch Bridge, enjoyed the panoramic view, and made our way up the only hill in the race. I prepped my mom saying, "Okay, there's a hill coming up, and people will stop and walk it. But don't stop. Let's just get up the hill and it will be over." She agreed, and we made it up the hill. After the hill we made it back into downtown again. When we were about a quarter mile from the finish line, I called my Dad to tell him we were close, and to have his camera ready. We crossed the finish line, holding hands, celebrating our victory together! My mom's first 5k, and I got to run it with her! It was such a fun experience and I was so proud of her. After the race, I heard my mom talking about other races: 10Ks, 10 milers, half marathons. I knew it would only take one race and she'd be hooked!

I had another really good friend, Kristi, who ran the Turkey Trot, and it was her first 5K too! I was so thankful to be able to be a part of both Kristi and my mom's first 5k experiences. It is fun to celebrate with people, as they accomplish their goals! Both of them ran the whole way-NO WALKING!

I should also note that Jeremy decided to take this opportunity to beat me in this race. In his words, "this might be my only chance." I wouldn't trade my Turkey Trot 5K experience for the world! Next year we're hoping to rope my dad into it. Who knows, maybe we'll even get my brother, and make it a family tradition :)