The 18th Annual Fox River Trail Runners Turkey Trot was a cold one followed by delicious hot chocolate. That’s the way a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot should be, of course. With temps in the low 20s at best, and a snow flurry wind blowing from the northwest, there was no real incentive to go fast other than to get finished and get warm.
The race starts in downtown Batavia, Illinois and heads up the Houston Street hill. Basically that’s the biggest available climb in this river town. You run right up the west side of the Fox Valley, and it hurts. At least it hurt me. Without much of a warmup save for jogging to the very cold porta-potties, my chest felt cooked and my legs were suitable for carving if you like your meat rare with a side of lactic acid.
There were plenty of people to run with. More than 2500 to be inexact. The Fox River Trail Runners know how to put on a good race. There were plenty of turkey hats to commemorate the holiday race. A few reindeer and at least one greenish Shrek character made appearances as well.
And like most races it falls to me to wonder how in the heck I used to win these things. My best at four miles was 19:49, just under 5:00 pace. Today I ran steady 7:30s, almost to the minute. Seriously, finishing in exactly 30:00 is kind of a freakish thing to have happen.
Pace of life
The fact that I’m 10:00 slower over four miles than my racing peak is not really disturbing to me, yet it is a bit humbling. All you can say is nothing. If I was two minutes faster or four minutes faster what real difference would it make. The racing experience would not vary one bit. There would be tons of people around to run at the same rate. It’s like you’re just another chunk in the apple pie.
And that’s not such a bad thing. When my girlfriend came cruising in not long after I met her about 400 meters out and we ran in together. Coming back down the Houston Street hill we both put on the brakes.
There’s a lot of nutrition in humble pie, you discover. You’re part of the human race and not worried about any other sort of race; not speed or pace or color or clan. We’re all breathing oxygen and pushing blood around with our hearts. It’s a happy place to be if you give thanks for your health, the opportunity to run and the ability to do so. When it’s the main course, humble pie actually makes a pretty good meal.