Rain was in the forecast and as I went to get the paper in the morning the ground was wet. But, the sky was clear. Here's a picture of the start of this years Mesa Turkey Trot. Three races were on the schedule. A one and two mile untimed fun run, followed by the 39th running of the 10k race.
The course is a nice one. A two mile loop around the park on closed streets, then about four miles thru a neighborhood and on Power Road, a busy thoroughfare that is half closed. Thousands of runners make it a fun race.
My plan was to do 10 minute miles. All six of them and to finish strong to come in under the 1 hour and 2 minute mark. Maybe get under 1 hour. In 2006 I did this race in 1:11. Last year was my PR of 1:07:59 at this race. This would be my fourth 10k race and I was hoping to PR.
You can see it was overcast at the start. But, I didn't think it would rain on us. I shedded my sweatshirt and left it at the start. I felt sluggish in the beginning, but was running in the 9's, so I just kept at it and figured I'd find out what I had. Lot's of traffic, so I ended up weaving in and out and around runners, strollers and walkers. My first mile was done in 9.41. A good time for a 10k race.
The road we start on has lots of desert shoulder to run on and lots of runners where taking advantage of it. The problem was that they were also off course and not running the full 10k. I kept on the street and stayed on the course. No big deal. My second mile was done in 9.32. I was actually getting faster. I figured I was banking my time for later. A lady passed me with a jog stroller. Music blaring. Not my choice of artists, but it was nice to hear. Too bad she was faster than me. I never saw her again.
Mile 3 was done in 10.49. Took a quick walk break around 2.5 mark. I was congested a bit and that left me a bit winded. Mile 4 was done in 11.04. Another walk break and I ate a GU. Vanilla Bean. I've been eating a few more carbs, so running out of gas was not a worry for me this time.
Being well rested, I cranked it up a bit and ran a 10.37 and a 10.34. I actually ran some 8 minute fartlek's in between some walk breaks. It's nice to run that fast late in the race, but I can't sustain it for a long stretch. I was playing leap frog with about 20 runners.
The last portion of the race is in Red Mountain Park. It has a beautiful lake and lots of grassy areas. I kicked in in gear and did the last .2 at a 7.59 pace. It's tough to do because you're running on a concrete sidewalk (see picture) and there's not much room to pass people.
Today, for the second race in a row I PR'd. My finish time was 1:04:36. I bettered last years time by 3.23.
The New D Tags
This race used the new disposable D Tags. It comes on your race bib and you just loop it onto your shoe laces. No need to collect them after the race. Mine is still on my shoe.