2005-11-26 - Turkey Burn-Off

10 miles @ ~10:40 min/mi

It's a chilly morning, with temperatures near the freezing point and intermittent gusty breezes. Ken gives me a ride to the park where we soon find our buddies Carl, Evan, and Tom. I take pictures of Ron ("Tarzan Boy"), Wayne ("Way-no"), and Christina ("The Incomparable", who in turn photographs us). After some soul-searching over what to wear, Ken & I make a last-minute trip to ditch outer layers in his car. The "Go!" signal is given as we're returning, so we sprint to the side of the course, wait for the dense crowd to flow by, and cut in as soon as we spy Carl. We cross the start/finish line about 20 seconds after the gun.

Our first mile rips a slightly sub-10 pace and I'm concerned that we'll burn and crash, but soon the serious slopes begin and we slow to a sustainable speed. Carl is energetic throughout the race and jogs fore-and-aft or out-and-back on side trails whenever Ken & I take walk breaks. We catch up with and salute Wanda, who remembers us well from the "PieceOfCake" 10k race where K&^z finished within a few seconds of her exactly eight months ago in this same park. Shortly after the 52 minute mark we round the traffic cone at the halfway point, almost three minutes ahead of my most optimistic expectations.

The next five miles are surprisingly comfortable and fast, though we do slow a bit. Evan (my "Speed Coach") is on the home stretch when he catches sight of me during a walk at my mile 7 (his mile 9); he scolds me as he zips past. I attempt to sing some Christmas carols in German, but after renderings (note from note!) of "O Tannenbaum" and "Stille Nacht" I take pity on my companions and refrain from covering David Bowie's "Let's Dance" — even though it includes the apropos chorus line, "If you say 'Run', I'll run with you ...". Ken finishes his inaugural 10 miler in good style at 1:47. We eat, drink, thank the volunteers, and head homeward before we start to shiver in the suddenly-cold wind.

(correlates: GrowingUp, SlowThyself, Comments on Where Was God, ...)