Turkey Legs Trifecta RR
Today, I ran the Turkey Legs Trifecta, which consists of a 4K followed by a 5K followed by a 6K, each race within the hour. It was held in trails in downtown that are normally somewhat technical but we were given the pleasure of having rain and mud and cold weather for the event. It was a blast!
Mind you, I have never run two races in one day, least of all one race every hour. My plan was to have something to eat after each race to keep my hydration and fuel going. I ended up only eating a banana after the 4K and nothing else the whole time which left me wiped and in need of a nap once I got home. Lesson learned!
I don't normally do trail races (or short races for that matter) but my BFF Mary had mentioned these races were a lot of fun and they included four medals (one for each event and one for the challenge), and it was on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and away from any pending marathons. Coach and I talked about it and thought it would be fun even when running them on the same week as the Gobblers Jog 5K on Thanksgiving Day. Since I was to "race" the turkey trot race, I was supposed to run these easy. And of course I started the first race too fast! Fortunately the trails chewed my ass and I slowed down pretty quickly.
Woke up at 7:40am and headed to downtown at around 8:30am with a backpack full of two jackets, a long sleeve, a second pair of socks and gels, donuts, and Mtn Dew. I was in the area by 9am and looked for parking. The rain had fallen overnight but there was no rain at that time, as the forecast had changed from rain all morning to rain to be started at noon. The forecast was somewhat right. Temps were in the 38-39F range, and a slight wind.
I headed under the NY Street bridge to the official tent to get my gear and meet with Mary. We chatted all through 10am when the first race would start. We said goodbye and good luck at the start line.
Turkey Legs 4K
The first race consisted of two loops of loose gravel and grass. However, because of the rain, the loose gravel was mostly sand and it had that consistency and the grass was full of leaves. I hate running in grass because my surgically repaired knee does not tend to like the unevenness but the race went well. I started out too fast and my first mile was 11:13mm and was breathing hard. I also made the mistake of overdressing and had my jacket on and gloves. By the second loop I had them all loose and off and never wore them again (which by the last race it might have been a mistake, but more of that later).
The first loop has us running half on the loose gravel and half on the grass, heading back to the start and looping almost in front of the finish line to do another loop of the same. The course was fairly flat (not Miami flat!) and had one incline that was run on loose gravel. My plan was to run the whole race and in that I was successful, with Mile 2 at 11:50mm (more of an easy pace and paced correctly) and the last 0.42 was at 11:49mm. And done.
You could check your results with every race and apparently I had finished 8th in my AG. Cool.
Turkey Legs 5K
After my finish, I headed back to the main tent and grabbed a banana and headed back to where Mary and I had set "camp" and finished my Mtn Dew. My stomach was not doing well earlier that morning and I left my other Krispy Kreme donut in the car and I forgot to eat a gel immediately after I finished. I dropped the jacket and gloves in my bag and stayed chatting with Mary and heating ourselves near the portable heater until the next race was called.
The 5K course was slightly more technical and difficult than the 4K course and on top of that, the rain had left those trails muddy AF. The first mile was spent stopping and letting people cross over the water and heavy mud until I could pass them. I also wanted to run the entirety of this race, but as soon as I saw how technical the course was, my strategy changed to run all that was runnable.
At this point, the course was slippery as hell and I kept slipping in the mud like crazy. Wouldn't it be nice if I had not sold my trail shoes on ebay before moving, don't you think? Live and learn. PS, get some Hoka trail shoes for the next adventure. Anyway, landed twice on my hands and they became muddy, so I kept washing them in the standing water (clean water that had fallen earlier) which left my hands freezing but fortunately, I didn't have my gloves because the amount of mud was crazy. Mile 1: 12:11 (not too bad with me stopping for people that didn't want to get wet in the water and to clean my hands)
I ran everything except the big grass hill that one had to push through at a power walk to be faster than running and not lose a lot of energy. Since the course was an out and back, we had to go up that hill, run on some grass path and head back to the hill and walk it down. It started raining by Mile 2. Mile 2: 14:25 which included the hill and the slippery mud and cleaning my hands for a good 20 seconds).
The last mile was emptier so I was able to run those water and muddy sections better than the first mile, but it was fucking slippery still. I almost fell several times. My operated knee started to protest at this sliding left and right, but I kept pushing. The rain was falling heavier. Mile 3: 12:11mm - I am a metronome, right? Last 0.14: 10:35mm.
Headed back to the tent and spent 30 minutes with Mary waiting for the 6K. I didn't check the results then because of the huge line for them and I opted for resting. Except I didn't eat my gel AGAIN.
Turkey Legs 6K
It was raining harder by then but I opted for running with my long sleeve like I did for the 5K and no gloves in case I got my hands muddy again. I was wearing shorts and knee high socks which I doubt they can be fixed with all the mud they got, but at least the shoes are clean now. Fortunately, I had opted for a visor and I was glad I did because my ears were fine but the rain was falling harder and it didn't blind me.
The 6K course was even more technical than the 5K. The first mile runs part of the 5K course and then heads into another giant grass hill but this time we head to the road to cross a bridge to the other side of the river were I was hoping we would stay on the road but nope, we headed to the trails there and that one was hard! It was super muddy by then and there was a part of the trail that was a single file trail that had tons of roots. There was also the big stones under the bridge we had to run on to get to the trail. I was the leading runner on a small group (not in the lead) on the single file so I kept apologizing for making everybody slower and they kept yelling at me: you're doing great. That was nice.
I kept telling them where the roots, trees, and other weird things were so they could manage them. We jumped a lot of fallen trees and branches and there was no trail; it was all shoe deep mud by then. I got stuck a lot and was carrying what felt like 20lbs of mud. And it was fucking slippery; I kept screaming woot, every time I slid so people behind me were probably hearing woot, woot, woot... All the time. LOL.
We got to the turnaround and a lot of those runners I kept behind me passed me saying great job. The turnaround was a slight incline into a mound with grass and that was a slow going but better than the mud. I had managed to run all the muddy trail but there was also another mile full of those muddy trails heading back and that side was muddier and more slippery if that's even possible. Since a huge amount of runners had already run through there, it had made the trail more slippery. I had to walk 1/2 of it because I kept sliding and almost falling, to the point that a lady had to grab my ass or I would've been ass on the mud. She apologized for touching me and I yelled, feel free, anytime, lol.
Finally I'm on the bridge and had to go up the side of it through mud and grass. I tried not to fall so I had to grab the wall and bridge to get up there but I didn't fail, score! I headed back across the bridge on tired and super muddy legs and shoes, but the rain was falling so badly it was cleaning the shoes as I headed back. Once I got back down from the big hill and back on the loose gravel/mud pit sand fuckness again, I started running through the water spots to clean my shoes, which made my feet numb and my hands were super numb too from the rain. I was ready to be done so I pushed the last 1/2 mile and even passed some walkers (I guess they had quit at this point with the muddy parts and said FTS). Once I passed the last girl I knew I could, I started running and running through the mud with a silent plea of fuck, don't fall now! When I saw the finish line from afar I was like don't fall now, people are looking at you! And I finished the 6K in 55 minutes and change. Done!
Splits were slow but it reflects the hardness of the course: 13:11 (mud and big hill), 14:24 (single file mud and roots), 19:44 (mudness all over, lol).
Ended up with 5th in my AG out of 23 and 49 out of 157 females.
This was a really fun race. I would do it again!
PS, no idea how I'm going to do my long run tomorrow; everything is SORE!