As I mentioned before, I have a problem with signing up for races. I really should look into the course before signing up and hoping for magical PRs. Case in point: the Drumstick Dash 5k.
I had high hopes of running a sub-20 minute 5k at this race. Looking back, that was dumb. I didn't know the course at all. I knew it started at a golf course in a southwest suburb, and according to their website had "a few gently rolling hills." What I didn't realize is that we would be running the entire race on the golf course. We ran on the path that the golf carts drive on. If you've ever golfed before, then you know that the golf cart path is not the straightest or most direct path.
There were an overabundance of twists and turns in this race, and it was really hard to get into any type of running groove. When I would speed up, I had to slow down to make another turn. Also, there were countless little up and down hills on the course, which ended up just making me frustrated.
Needless to say, the race didn't go as planned. However, given the course I can't be too unhappy. I ended up running a 21:14, and being 6th overall (out of 200) and the first female. I have only been the first female in one other race - in 2006 when I was a senior in college - at a 5k that the school where I was student teaching put on the race. I'll be honest - it has been a goal of mine to be the top female at a race this year. Why do I have this goal? I'm not 100% sure. I think I wanted the feeling of accomplishment of being first female, of being the best on that course on that day.
And although I feel like I should feel great for being first, I would rather run a PR than win any day of the week. I feel disappointed at myself for this race. Now that I've gotten over my pity party, lets talk about the best thing that happened.
After I finished, they told me I was the first female. I waited around for the awards, expecting to get a medal that said "1st place female" but what I got was unexpected. One unique thing about the award ceremony was that they handed out all of the female awards first. That means my name was called out first, being the first finisher. As I went up to get what I assumed would be a medal, instead I received a blue ribbon about the size of my face that said "1st place" on it, and a 16-pound turkey. I had to laugh. I've gotten medals and ribbons before, but never a turkey.
Having no use for a turkey, as I'll be going to my parents house for Thanksgiving, I posted on Facebook that any of my friends that wanted it could have it. I didn't want it, and was hoping someone would take it. One of my friends from my running club responded, saying she would gladly take it. Wonderful!
I took my turkey to running club Sunday morning to give to her. She told me that a family she knows is going to get the turkey. The dad of the family lost his job, and money is tight for them. So my turkey will go to make a Thanksgiving meal for a family. I could not be happier about that.
I am thankful I could run, and although the race didn't go as I had hoped, I am happy that another person will benefit because of it.