Another Thanksgiving has come and past. And another Talking Turkey race is in the books. I've run this race each year since 2006. I had to sit out in 2005 due to a hamstring that I strung at the Monson Half Marathon a couple weeks before. I got a whole new perspective on races helping out with the finish chute. Ripping the tags off hundreds and hundreds runners was almost as exhausting as running the race itself. It left me with a lasting appreciation of what it takes to put on race. It's something all runners should do, at least once, help plan, prepare and time a race. If they do, they might find themselves not so quick lay out criticism. Anyways, standing in that chute that year I was able to catch with my own eye Nate Jenkins take down Paul Low's course record by a full minute. That record since taken down by South Hadley's Zac Hine last year on a brutally windy day. The wind today was again unpleasant but nothing like last year. Even with a steady and strong winds, temperatures were rather acceptable at race time.
It was an up and down week for me. There have been a mix of warm days and cold days this week and my body could not adjust. I was fighting to keep a cold at bay all week while trying to get in one more solid mileage week before taking it down for Nationals. I was using doubles to get in the miles which with dictates a lot of late night treadmill runs with my work and family schedule. That puts a strain on my sleep schedule and oft I feel tired and on the verge of catching something. That Is why I tend to get my mileage in using singles as much as possible. At times doubles seem to inefficient a use of precious time and energy. But every now and then you got to ratchet it up a notch if you want to get better. And I do want to get better.
There's been an unfavorable trend for me at this race that I would like to reverse. 2006 was something of a breakthrough year and the fall race season which was topped off with a solid 33:40 5:37 paced effort. Each year since has gotten slower and slower: 33:52, 33:58, 34:33. Hard to explain. I have continued to work hard, stayed healthy and overall feel stronger and more fit than ever. Yet in some of these races that I've done each year, my times haven't come done much at all. Hard to explain. Harder still to not go crazy. To not do something stupid like have a knee jerk reaction, start over-training and get hurt or lose motivation and give up.
But I don't. For better or worse I seem to keep pretty level headed about these things. After all it's not the end of the world. I never had delusions of becoming a great runner - just better than average. I think I've done that. I had my fair share of success. None of it has come without it's due amount of dedication and hard work. As of much importance, if not more, I enjoyed the work as much as any given result. For sure the day after day day training can be tiring, laborious, and at times seem all too self consuming, all too self absorbing an endeavor for a 40 something year old husband and father.
It's getting late. I'll have to wrap it up for now and finish this topic later.
For now the short and skinny on the race is a somewhat disappointing result. Of course there's a couple good and valid reason for a weak performance this week. First time I hit 80 miles a week since January and not feeling 100% to name a few. Still I'm in good shape right now and should have been able to extract something better than 5:47 pace over just six miles.
Splits 5:54, 11:37 (5:42), 17:15 (5:39), 23:09 (5:54), 28:59 (5:50), 34:45 (5:46)
32nd TALKING TURKEY 6 MILE CROSS-COUNTRY RACE
Saturday, November 27, 2010 1:00PM
Place Name Bib# S Div/Tot Ag City St Time Pace
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1 DAVID JOHNSON 33 M 1/87 22 LUDLOW MA 29:49 4:59
2 KEVIN JOHNSON 5 M LUDLOW MA 29:50 4:59
3 JASON AYER 4 M 2/87 23 SOMMERVILLE MA 30:21 5:04
4 ERIK NEDEAU 19 M 1/133 39 BELCHERTOWN MA 30:46 5:08
5 ANDREW MULVANEY 6 M 3/87 22 SOUTH HADLEY MA 31:27 5:15
6 KENT LEMME 8 M 1/191 44 WILLIAMSTOWN MA 31:31 5:16
7 JOSEPH CZUPRYNA 13 M 4/87 24 CHICOPEE MA 31:57 5:20
13 TIM MAHONEY 11 M 4/133 31 HOLYOKE MA 33:27 5:35