On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Friday, November 30, 2012

Turkey Trots: a weekend in review

What's up with my running lately, you ask?

Oh, you didn't ask? Umm... this is kind of awkward. Let's pretend you asked, okay?

Last weekend I ran not one but TWO different turkey trots. On Thursday I ran the PPTC* Turkey Trot 5 miler. For those of you keeping score, this is the fourth time I've run this race. In 2009, I ran it in 52:21 and was ecstatic. In 2010, I ran it in 47:35 and was even happier about it. In 2011, I took that time down to 46:37. This year, I finished in... are you ready for it?


No joke. I finished with the exact same time as last year.

Can you explain why my thigh looks all square at the top?
Seriously, can you explain that? Weird.

Now... the big dilemma/question: WHAT'S MY 5K PR? Astute reader-stalkers will remember that my existing PR was 27:50, set way back in June, 2011.

Last Sunday, I ran the Coney Island Sports Foundation's Turkey Trot 5k. I dragged Samantha out to do it with me and told her that she was going to pace me to a PR. Problem is, we hadn't counted on it being freezing cold (at the end of November! never saw that coming!) or on there being a massive wind in one direction (on an out-and-back course) or on us both feeling lethargic and lazy and not really wanting to run that morning. So we warmed up exactly zero miles and started the race cold.

And then I finished right around 27 minutes flat with even splits of 8:42/8:43/8:42.

I have to say "right around," because I have no official time. They did time the race - I saw the clock, I saw the recording equipment - but when the results still weren't posted this morning, I emailed the race director and was told that due to the "dire circumstances,"** the race wasn't timed.

I'm bummed, frankly. I know it was a pretty significant PR, and the race was small enough that I  definitely placed in the top ten in my age group and possibly even higher than that.

Lame. It happens. But what's my PR?

*Little known fact: I am a dues-paying member of the Prospect Park Track Club, although I have attended exactly zero of their group runs/events.
**I don't know exactly what is meant by this, but it's my no-questions-asked go-to line from this point on.


  1. Oh mannn, that is disappointing. But beautiful even splits! I have a similar existential question about my 5K PR, since it was set on a Juneau course, and those are all sorts of questionable where actual distance is concerned.

    Are you not allowed to count PRs that aren't set on officially sanctioned courses? And what about Garmin slaves who think their marathon pace was actually x seconds faster because they ran shitty tangents and ended up with 26.35?

    I guess your case is the same as that when some poor soul sets an amazing PR on a chip-timed course only to find out later that the timing mats never picked up the chip...

    1. I would count a PR on an unofficial course unless I knew the course was WAY short, personally. And honestly, I'd probably count this if I'd been wearing my Garmin, although I always always always take the clock/chip time over the Garmin time. Samantha had hers on her, but she stopped short of the finish to tie her shoelace (ahem, also she wasn't registered).

      Don't get me started on the whole "my race time was officially xx:xx, but I *actually* ran the distance in xx:xx because my Garmin said the course was long so I'm taking the lower time as my PR" phenomenon. I'm in awe of that silliness. In a bad way.

      However, the best part of this comment by far is that you're back to being able to comment!!

  2. I would just say you ran an officially timed 5K in 26:59, which comes out to an 8:42 pace which is the pace you ran for almost the whole race. In terms of your Garmin distance comment, I haven't heard anyone say that, but yeah, that is silly.

    1. Bless your heart for giving me the benefit on the doubt on the 26:xx versus 27:xx dilemma. I know, of course, that the long term solution is to find another 5k and run even faster - but there aren't that many in NYC, and this one was perfectly flat.

  3. Ugh. What a freaking bummer :( And it sounds like you really kicked it in the wind.

    Why don't you run the Roosevelt Island 5K on 12/16? That is flat. And it starts at 10 AM, I think. I'll be there. It would probably make Steve (was that his name?) happy if you ran it. LOLz.

    1. You're going to be there? That's very tempting, esp. since I know how much you like pacing people and I'd try to con you into pacing me :) I'll let you know if I decide to, but I probably won't since a) Steve/NYCRuns, ahem, and b) SANTACON. If I do decide to spend all day barhopping on the 15th, it might not be conducive to running on the 16th...

    2. I will be running it! But I already told Gina I would pace her for 32:xx. I would've loved to pace you!

      What is this SANTACON?! It sounds fun!

      Are you doing the 10 miler in Feb? We plan to do that again :)

    3. I haven't signed up yet, but it starts right near my house, so I probably will! And Santacon... you *totally* should come out for it: http://nycsantacon.com/
      It's a cross between a bar crawl and a flash mob. Everyone dresses like Santa/wears Santa hats/dresses in the spirit of Santa and goes from bar to bar in Manhattan. It's crazy, and fun.

  4. I'll totally go with you to a PPTC event/run sometime if you want. I've been meaning to go check them out but...I haven't. Also, "dire circumstances" is possibly the best phrase ever. I'm using that next time I need an excuse for something.

    And, I'd forgotten about that 10-miler. I want to do that again, Steve or no Steve. Besides, don't you want one of those amazing hats?!?!

  5. I was hoping for another race director-gate and I'm disappointed to see all the comments here are mature and respectful. =(

    Bummer about the PR! I count non-race runs that I time on my Garmin toward my PRs, I didn't know there were rules about that. Anywhoozles, great job.

    1. I've briefly spoken to the guy who runs the CI races, and he couldn't be a nicer guy!

    2. Eh, I think the rules are up to the individual runner, but I don't count non-races as PRs. But I like to bitch about anything/anyone, so please let me stir up drama by stating for the record that your PRs aren't real PRs. Is it working?

  6. We'll definitely have to do this again FOR REAL REAL. For the record, I really did have to tie my shoe, but I also was in a world of pain ;)