It really was a no brainer... $18 entry fee for 5 miles. I loved the fact that it was longer than a 5K, but there was also the option of a 2 mile run/walk. This included not only a chip-timed race bib, but also a long sleeve t-shirt and a pumpkin pie at the finish! Considering race prices these days, I thought this was quite the deal.
I showed up Thanksgiving morning in the worst race shape I've ever run in. I had been sick with the flu for the previous week, and I was still harboring a severe chest congestion. If I was smart, I would have sat this one out. But this tough chik is stubborn as a bull.
It was a chilly 22 degrees when I arrived in Oshkosh. I met up with a friend who scored a parking spot right next to the starting line. We huddled in the car until they played the National Anthem, jumped out, snapped a photo and were running within minutes. It was all way too smooth and convenient...
|PreRace Photo: Me, C, Dani and Janet|
Staying true to the race name, I trotted down the road... slow and comfortable. I hadn't run in a week so my legs felt fresh and eager, but I knew my chest couldn't keep up. I focused on my breathing, keeping it easy and controlled. The last thing I wanted to do was keel over in this fun run.
The first two miles were a straight stretch down Algoma Blvd through the UW campus. I've run this stretch several times as it is also the start for the Oshkosh Half Marathon. I can't help but be a little nostalgic through this area... I spent a good part of my early 20's here. It seems like so long ago!
We made the first turn in this triangle-shaped route around mile 2. I noticed a group of costumed minions up ahead and set my sights on passing them... gradually. This keeping it "easy" was difficult. By now, I was warmed up and honestly, I felt the best I have all week. My chest seemed to open up as I ran and that was a welcome relief.
As we entered the neighborhoods, runners were shuffled to a coned lane on the side of the road. Because of the fresh snowfall over night, the side of the road was sloppy and a bit slippery. Runners naturally veered to clear road. But there was a cop nazi with a speaker who patrolled the route, constantly telling people "Runners to the right of the cones!" It made me laugh... because on a holiday morning, there was zero traffic.
Finally... I caught the minions!
The finish was rather anti-climatic. I resisted every urge to sprint the finishing stretch. I crossed the finish with a smile as it felt so good to run again. But almost just as immediate as I stopped running, the coughing began. Oh my goodness, it was like my chest suddenly seized up. The cold air had gotten in my lungs and wasn't doing any good for my already severe congestion. I quickly grabbed my pumpkin pie and headed to the car. For the 25 minute ride home, I warmed my tush on seat warmers and calmed my chest by breathing thru a dry headband.
Official Chip Time 51:26
10:04 average pace for 5.11 miles
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday!
Did you run a turkey day race?