Monday, 28 November 2011

Turkey Trotting

I completed the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, and have now been bitten by the running bug. I enjoyed the five mile run so much that I was inspired to do another identical one three days later, and I'd like to work my way up to 10k sometime.

For someone who was never a runner, the news that you can break through that pain barrier and feel fantastic after a five mile run is a real revelation. (Although I can't imagine ever doing a marathon. I just don't fancy that kind of pain). As a child, I routinely came last in sports day races (prompting annoying comments from people that they just couldn't understand it, as I had long skinny legs that looked perfect for running. Yes, clearly I was JUST SLOW).

Not only was the race great fun, it was also fabulous for people watching. Having failed to meet up with the people I was planning to run with among the 2000 odd runners, I found myself on my own - something I didn't mind at all once the race got going. I didn't have to speak (probably a good thing) and I didn't have to keep pace with anyone. I just went at my own pace, took in the crowds of runners, and listened to snippets of conversation from around me.

There was the competitive Dad, who told his seven or eight year old son: "Just remember to keep a steady pace at the beginning. Save yourself. Then when we get to Sandy Lane (a gentle stretch of downhill road), we're going to BURN it."

There was the teenage girl who told her friends half way through: "I'm going to take a break now. I'm having iPhone issues." (Clearly much more important than completing the race).

There was the teenage boy standing one the sidelines who held up a placard and shouted 'Occupy Turkey Trot!" as we came through. (It made me laugh, anyway).

I loved how families, old and young, turned out to watch the race, calling out 'Happy Thanksgiving' as well we came through. (I think Christmas day runs should become a tradition in the UK - it's such a great idea). There was a real community spirit and American tradition on display - a nice antidote to the relentless slew of ads about Black Friday and 'Doorbuster Deals' on US TV that gives the impression that Thankgiving is all about spend, spend, spend.

But the best thing about the run? Seeing The Doctor and The Littleboys cheering me on, and finding them coming to meet me as I wended my way back from the finish line towards home. Oh, and the fact that I could eat an enormous Thanksgiving dinner, washed down with plenty of sparkling wine, afterwards - and not feel guilty.

10 comments:

About Last Weekend said...

Good on you. I have been thinking I should just go out there on the streets and do it. No faffing around driving to the gym or yoga or paying for everything...

Iota said...

Good for you!

MsCaroline said...

Well done, and what a nice public-spirited contrast to all of the frantic Black Friday shopping! Best part of all = no guilt! Happy Thanksgiving!

Nota Bene said...

Well done! 5 Miles is a long way, you'll never catch me doing that. We were wondering - if you eat so much turkey at Thanksgiving, what do you eat on Christmas Day? Please enlighten us...

nappy valley girl said...

ALW - exactly. Beats a gym membership!

Iota - thanks! I would highly recommend it...

MsCaroline - yes, it made a refreshing change, those Black Friday ads were doing my head in (and I have to write about them, too, for work).

NB - Well, we will be having a ham this year, particularly as there will just be the four of us on Christmas day. I think some Americans have turkey again, but many have other meats, or even seafood!

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

Well done you! I'm planning on being in NY for 2 months next summer with both kids so maybe we can go running together since you probably know that's my kind of thing...by then you can whip my bum in shape post baby as I'm sure I'll need it!

Ditto completely what you said in your last post re blogging less frequently. It's nice to see what you are up to when you do have the time:)

I was actually just on LI for Thanksgiving and thought of getting in touch but with family stuff and the holiday the week was just too short. That's why I'm planning a nice long jaunt while on my maternity leave next year! x

Knackered Mother said...

Oh well done you, very impressed! And love that you can have guilt-free drinkies at the end ;) That would keep me going, for a bit anyway.

PantsWithNames said...

Well done you - sounds magic. Think I need one to get me back on the running frame of mind. I love those snippets of conversations you get as you run. I remember one 'race' that I did when I was considering whether to break up with a boyfriend and enlisted the advice of all my surrounding runners. The boyfriend hit the dust the next day.

You'll be running a marathon before you know it. We all started this way and then ambitions grew.

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

Well done! I remember visiting family in Dallas last spring and my bro-in-law was very into runs like this. London Marathin next year?? ;)

nappy valley girl said...

Tanya - looking forward to seeing you in the summer! Certainly on for a run....

KM -that, and the thought of food, makes it all worthwhile...

Pants - didn't know you were a runner too! It'd take a lot to get me running a marathon....

Michelloui - NOt likely, I think 5 miles is quite enough for the moment!