If you poked me right now, excess pumpkin pie may come splurging out of my eyeballs.
I can’t believe that Thanksgiving has already come and gone, as well as my own tradition of running the Scheel’s Turkey Trot in Sparks, Nevada every year. If you do something by yourself every year does that make it a tradition or just a habit? Whatever it is, it’s something I do every year.
This year, Chicken Face hadn’t made it into town yet and I thought I had suckered my little sister to join me in the frigid, 6+ mile fun run. What started as a “yes,” slowly turned into a “maybe,” then a “I’ll cheer you on,” and then finally into a groggy “Do I really need to go?” Thus, I ventured out on my own and can I just say that there is really something strange about racing literally all by yourself.
I arrived early enough to stand in a ginormous port-a-potty line, curse at my Garmin for literally shutting down on its own and make shivering small talk with the fellow line standers (that may or may not be a made-up word). I soon found my way up to the starting line and wouldn’t ya know it, I was off.
The higher elevation made my lungs burn a bit and I longed for the oxygen-laden air of California. When I finally came to and remembered that the course that went around the Sparks Marina is no more and instead we were running around industrial warehouses and a shopping center, the allure of the Turkey Trot was over. Le sigh.
I still was pretty happy with the results: 42:01 minutes, 6th female overall and 2nd in my age group – score! But it was the strangest thing: I arrived, I peed, I ran, I finished and then I just left. Usually I stay and cheer on friends, family, bloggers (well, I did see Turi!), or strangers I’ve met on Twitter, but given that I was all alone, something was just off and I just went home (to be fair, I went to Starbucks then the grocery store for more Turkey Day supplies). But it made me realize just how much I like racing with other people, and even more, just how thankful I am for this running community.
Racing is so much more than logging the miles, earning that PR, or burning calories. To me, it’s the experience with people that I love and the people that share the same crazy passion that I do. We may obsessively sputter our splits, ramble on about racing, or gab for hours about GI issues. But as crazy, gross, or socially ostracizing as it may be, it’s my little community and I love being a part of it. We cheer each other on, we motivate when we’ve lost our mojo, and most of all, it’s good fun with good people.
Tell me, have you ever raced completely alone? Do you prefer racing with friends?
I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving… Happy Running!