“I am running!” I huffed and puffed up the only hill in the race, a four foot long mound of grass that one would be hard pressed to roll a bowling ball down.
The group of walkers who I shared the road with for 6.2 miles would probably beg to differ, but I “ran” the whole way unlike some folks who started out in a sprint and ended up walking at the end (walked right by me). As a former cross country coach, I wanted to point out to them that if they had paced themselves, they could have run the whole race instead of running, walking, running, walking . . . My motto, “Slow, but sure finishes the race” (I wasn’t a very popular cross country coach).
I also wanted to point out that it wasn’t very nice of them to start running every time I caught up with them. “Here comes the old lady, better speed up lest she feels like she is making some progress.” Then off they would go with their double strollers and guide dogs.
I knew I wasn’t doing too well when at mile three I caught up with a little girl, about four, wearing a black velvet dress with lots of pink taffeta, and the clincher, plastic pink high heels. Which wasn’t quite as bad as the triathlon a few years back – I had a flat tire, and ended up coming in second to last; right in front of an elderly woman dressed head to toe like Ronald McDonald (including wig and tights – think about it; 80 year old Ronald McDonald and me on a dusty trail all alone). I did manage to come in seconds before a young Kenyan man who was finishing the long triathlon which had the same start time as my race only it included an additional 150 miles of swimming, running, and biking.
I had to dig deep during mile four of the Turkey Trot as several young, fit women sprinted by me. Initially I felt encouraged, until I realized I had seen them waiting at the end of the quarter mile long line for the bathroom as the start gun was fired, and they had started 30 to 40 minutes after me. Which reminded me I had to go to the bathroom.
If I were in charge of the world, more bathrooms! And while I’m at it, race divisions should not be based on sex and age, but weight, leg length, and whether or not a runner has a broken toe or a dead arm. And one more thing, there should be a law requiring the words “shampoo” and “conditioner” to run the length of their respective bottles (I know that has nothing to do with running, but it had to be said).
Mile five. I had a blister and I was really thirsty. Oddly enough, I didn’t think to carry water or band-aids because why would I, an overweight, middle-aged woman, follow the advice I gave to my two physically fit, young, bungee jumping, river rafting, rock climbing, marathon running sons (they finished the race an hour and 15 minutes before me)? Kelly, by the way, who had the idea for the family Turkey Trot in the first place, didn’t run. She has strep throat. I genuinely did not expect her to run, however, one last thing I would like to point out is that the only thing that doesn’t hurt on my body other than my left hand, is my throat, and I ran the race!