8 miles in 1:20:27 @ 10:03 pace and 165/195 bpm for 1,193 calories

After almost 20 years of hearing from my best friend Curt Brewer and his dad about the infamous Turkey Trot, I finally got a chance to run it this year.  I originally registered when I first started exercising in the Spring, and back then 8 miles seemed an impossible distance.  Fast forward to today and 8 miles is slightly less than my typical weekly long run, but this morning when I woke up at 6:30am I was still just as excited as I was on the morning of my first triathlon.

After I woke up and put a groggy Emma back to bed so that Joanne could get a bit more sleep, I had what is becoming my typical pre-race breakfast of Honey Nut Cheerios and skim milk and I dressed in shorts, a long-sleeve running shirt, and a black wool cap for the race.  I drove downtown and parked a little more than an hour before the race began.  It was remarkably empty when I walked over to Dallas City Hall to meet Joey Martinez (Curt’s brother-in-law and my running buddy for today), but by the time Joey and I hooked up and found our way to the start line, it was packed!

Starting line crowd at the 2008 Dallas Turkey Trot

Starting-line crowd (photo by travelcodemonkey)

It took about three minutes for us to cross the start line, and once we did the road was clogged with walkers, jogging strollers, dogs, and runners with all sorts of crazy gear—everything from a woman with a backpack full of clothes and food and who-knows-what-else to a group of girls in pilgrim outfits.  It was fun to run through downtown and Deep Ellum with thousands of other people, and I will definitely do it again next Thanksgiving.

In terms of my performance, I finished 4,622nd out of 7,174 runners in the 8-mile race, which put me in the top 64% as compared to my last triathlon finish in the top 40%.  This result confirms to me that running really is my weakest triathlon discipline, and I’m enjoying spending the “off-season” focusing on it.  I honestly could have tried a bit harder to keep up my pace, but I was thinking of negative splitting the race and enjoying my time with Joey.  I did manage to increase my pace throughout the run, but not very evenly.  I really need to work more on this aspect of my race.  Here were my mile splits:

  1. 10:21
  2. 10:31
  3. 10:00
  4. 10:28
  5. 10:21
  6. 10:00
  7. 9:08
  8. 8:32

Finally, here’s a cool graph from SportTracks, the open-source software I use to process my GPS/HRM watch data.  You can see elevation, pace, and heart rate.  The spikes in pace were my walking through the aid stations to stop for water and the dips were running down hills.

Pace, elevation, and heart rate by distance

Pace (blue), elevation (brown), and heart rate (red) by distance