As has been my tradition for years, I began Thanksgiving 2021 with a race, albeit with a shorter 10K rather than a typical half marathon due to a lack of options nearby, at the Trophy Trot 10K in my current city of Raleigh, North Carolina. Based on how effortlessly my pace has increased recently with the chillier weather, I targeted an ambitious time goal, not realizing the entire course comprised moderate hills.
Kicking off the run going around and through countless joggers who decided to line up front felt irritating, as I unnecessarily wasted valuable energy and was hindered from speeding up for the first 1/10th of a mile. I should have jogged around prior, as my body warmed up on mile 4, evident by my significant negative split the second half. Generally, in a half marathon or farther, I can afford to take a few miles to warm up, but in a race that lasts only around 50 minutes, I should have been smarter, especially in a 32-degree start. I read in the waiver no musical device was permitted, and, although nobody cares, being the OCD-rule follower I am, I ran without music, which I am accustomed to and frankly enjoy at this point. Just over a mile to go, as I was climbing, a lady on the side cheering the runners on said, “Don’t fight the hill. Embrace it.” Something about this statement touched me, as most challenges we face are all about our attitude and perspective. A quarter of a mile left, I, still feeling 100%, sprinted and passed more people than I could count, finishing the 10K, 6.32 miles with an elevation gain of 404 feet according to my Garmin, in 54:09, minutes slower than my prediction but understandable considering the hills. Still, I had fun, all that matters. Happy Thanksgiving!