When we decided to spend Thanksgiving in Oceanside, I didn't think about doing a race while we were here, but when I saw my friend Rich Cruse post about the Oceanside Turkey Trot and I realized it started less than a mile from where we were staying, I thought it would be a fun way to start Thanksgiving.
The start of the 10k was 6:45 so I left the condo at about 6 and walked over. It was a little chilly but as long as I was moving I was ok. I had forgotten my water holder belt, so I decided to just go with water available on the course and drank a water bottle on the way and while waiting for the start.
It only took a few minutes to get there and find the race bib pick up. The only downside to the process was that even though they had plenty of volunteers, it looked like everyone who had pre-registered had numbers in the same range so there was only 1 volunteer that could help everyone which caused a line. Not a big problem for me because I was early enough so I got my number pinned to my singlet and walked around the start area where I found my friend Rich and said hi. Rich is easy to spot, just look for the guy with a bunch of cameras.
Just before the National Anthem, I lined up based on my planned pace of 9:30 min/mi and made sure my watch and phone app were ready to go. My plan was to start at between 9:30 and 10:00 and then assess and speed up halfway if I was feeling good.
The first mile was 9:11 and I was feeling good so I just kept going and didn't try to slow down. Actually I ended up speeding up and passed the second mile in 8:33 which ended up being my fastest mile. That could have hurt me, but I don't think it did since my slowest mile was the first and the next slowest was the last full mile at 9 flat.
It was great at about the 3.5 mile mark to see my favorite cheerleader. I stopped for a quick kiss from Christine and then kept going. Mentally the last 2 miles were tough, but other than the short ramp up to the pier, it was dead flat or downhill so it was just a mind game to keep my legs moving.
I guess the lesson for me is that I am faster than I think I am. That should be a factor in my final race plan for the Hot Chocolate 15k a little over a week from now.