I always spend Thanksgiving with my dad. It's just what I've done since I was little (my parents are divorced). I'm so happy that we've managed to keep up the tradition for many years now. Last year my brother talked us all into doing the Drumstick Dash and several of us participated. I guess this year it was a little too much to ask out of everyone because it was just my dad and me.
After driving all the way to Indy from Pittsburgh, I'll admit I wasn't too keen about waking up early to go run in the freezing cold. Nonetheless, I set my alarm and got ready to go. I never regret doing it, it's just hard to get mentally into the game when it's 25 degrees outside.
My dad and I got to the race in PLENTY of time. We hung out in the McDonalds, which was very close to the start line. About 7 minutes before the race, we left and headed to the start line.
This is a pretty big race (about 15,000) and it was very crowded at the start but there were signs up with the anticipated minute per mile. The first one I saw was 15:30 minute miles. We walked up to the 10:00 mile and lined up there.
My dad kept asking me what we were going to do and I kept saying I didn't know. I didn't really want to go all out racing. I wanted to have fun, but I did want to do better than I did last year.
Last year's result:
Official Distance: 4.6 milesOfficial Total: 45:56
Official Average: 9:52
We started off and it was apparent about 3000 people hadn't lined up in their correct "corral." It was absolutely ridiculous how crowded it was and the number of people that started off walking (of course 3 abreast right in the middle of the road). We spent sooooooo much time weaving in and out of people and it was so frustrating.
I wasn't wearing a Garmin. I was just using Map my Run on my phone so I didn't know my "right now" pace, I only knew my splits as we hit each mile mark. Once we hit the first mile mark, I was kind of upset.
Mile 1: 9:48
We spent so much time weaving and slowing and it was so incredibly frustrating. I mentioned to my dad that I was glad I wasn't really racing because I would be super pissed if I was. Mile two didn't seem to improve at all, in fact it got worse.
Mile 2: 9:51
Just when I was about to give up on this race and phone it in, things started to open up a bit. I started to really run and I felt really good. I just decided to run and have fun and I wasn't really worried about things at this point. I figured we'd just do worse than we did last year. Oh well.
Mile 3: 9:41
Then mile 4 happened and I kept telling my dad he picked up the pace and he said he didn't, but I knew I was working harder than I had been. I figured, what the heck I felt GREAT and I could pick it up for the last 1.5 miles. Then with about .5 miles to go my dad told me to really pick it up. I told him I didn't want to (lazy much?) and we joked around. He really picked it up and I was definitely not feeling it, but I kicked it in too.
I held back to about 2 to 3 steps behind him so he didn't know I was there. I didn't want him to really sprint. About 300 yards before the finish, I came up right beside him. He was really surprised I was there. He didn't think I had anything left to give since I told him I didn't want to pick it up.
He said, "let's just finish together" and so we did.
Mile 4: 9:18
Last .6: 8:44
Official Total: 44:07 or 9:29 pace
I was really happy with that performance because this felt like such an easy effort for me. It was a fun race that made me happy. I love running when it feels that way. Unfortunately my dad already set our goal for next year. 9:15 drumstick dash here we come!