Posted by: thehungryrunner | November 30, 2008

Unusual Race Report, Photos and Video: True-life Love Story Behind 2 Turkey Trots

Palatine, IL, Thanksgiving Day


Alright, let’s begin with the video, which is the start of Turkey Trot #2, the 5-miler, complete with the designated “trotting turkey” you’ll see near the beginning.  Oh yeah, you’ll see me about 47 seconds in; I’m the goofball in hot pink and black who waves like an idiot at the camera!




 And here is one of many photos from that memorable day (to see the rest of the Photo Story from that event, click the link:

Evamarie, Bundled up and stretching out before Turkey Trot #1

Evamarie, Bundled up and stretching out before Turkey Trot #1

And now, the love story/race report (how often can those two things go together?):

The medal for this one really goes to my husband, Dan, and for several reasons.  No, he didn’t run either of these back-o-back Turkey Trots (a 2-miler and a 5-miler) with me, but he was there, as always, to babysit my stuff (particularly important this time as I needed to change into warm, dry clothes in between the two races), and take his usual cornucopia of photos and video….this after he’d had to work 18 hours Wednesday; he left Wisconsin at 11:30pm, got home at 1:45am, didn’t fall asleep until 2:30. Yet at 7:00am we were pulling up to the race site. So ask me what’s at the top of my gratitude list this Thanksgiving!


But there’s another reason I dedicate my Thanksgiving morning’s races to he who is behind the camera. I hope you’ll indulge me the chance to tell the love story behind these races.


What happens when your first-ever Turkey Trot just happens to be taking place at the college campus on which, 19 years ago (eek), you met, became friends with, and experienced your then-budding romance with your spouse? You get an unforeseen but oh-so-pleasant dash down memory lane! The Mister and I were originally lab partners in human anatomy class, had developed a deep friendship long before we finally braved that first date. And it all happened HERE. In fact the building in which they had runners check in was where we were first introduced; the cafeteria where they served post-race refreshments was where we shared our first cup of coffee together.


The significance of this didn’t fully hit me until after that initial “starting line rush” of Race #1 (the 2-miler). But I quickly realized that there wasn’t a single stretch of this course (which took us around the perimeter of the entire complex) that didn’t bring with it an almost dizzying feast of memories, both the heart-a-flutter kind and the “must listen to angsty music” kind. As we ran past Building E, I recalled that icy winter day we were walking from one building to the next, at which time he stopped suddenly, dramatically exclaiming, “I think Hell just froze over!”….only I didn’t know why he stopped, and in my own jolt, I promptly lost my footing on the ice, landing most un-gracefully on my tush (oh, the mortification! ). As we zoomed past the twin lakes, I remembered the fluke snowstorm that nearly stranded the few of us still on campus that Friday afternoon. Ill-prepared for the knee-deep snow (wrong shoes, no gloves, insufficient jacket), I’d moaned that “I don’t think I’ll be able to make it (to my car)!” Seizing the opportunity, my James-Spader-lookalike lab partner chivalrously responded, “Oh yes you will!” and grabbed my hand, practically hoisting me over each drift as we slowly trudged our way to our buried cars, a moment akin to the Davy Jones sparkly-eyes phenomenon. Speaking of eyes, I had to chuckle as we raced past the science lab building, my mind replaying the infamous “dissecting an eye” incident (I’ll spare you the details, though they’re not gory, just chuckle-worthy) with Mr. Handsome and Mischievous, who clearly had already figured out how to push my temper-tantrum buttons. Oh yes, and then there was the stretch of course that took us past the north parking lot, jogging my memory banks of the “devastation” I’d felt when this object of my rabid crush announced he was taking his then-girlfriend to her senior prom….and should he drive her in his car or rent a limo? Yes, you can see I’ve never let him live that one down!


Even so, wow, what an unexpected sweet treat, being able to lose myself so totally in these magical moments in time. The miles just flew by, both Race #1 and Race #2, to the point in which I found myself wistful that the second race, the 5-miler, was “already” coming to an end!


I suppose I should offer some details of the races themselves. Ironically, they almost didn’t happen; Wednesday night I felt a last-minute return of some pain in my foot – echoes of a minor injury I had recovered from only about three weeks ago. I went to bed hoping it might subside by morning, but the pain was still there when my alarm went off, to the point in which I was limping slightly. I wondered if running not one but two races would put me right back to where I was when I initially hurt my foot. I can’t afford the setback as we had our next video shoot scheduled for Friday and Saturday, for some “regular” and “contortion” stretch how-to’s. Thankfully, fatefully, upon warming up the discomfort began to fade. I decided to give it a go, though I scratched any potential goal of any PR’s or even going all-out, instead setting my sights on a pace similar to my recent tempo runs: 8:55 or a little faster. I don’t have my chip times yet, but I crossed the finish line at about 17:30 for the 2-miler, about 43:00 for the 5-miler. So a good, solid outing even if not as fast as I must have gone had I been running to “race” (truth be told, I was running more for pre-dinner caloric penitence, anyway). Actually, ironically, the 2-miler is an automatic PR (never having done a 2-miler before), and if my 5-miler chip time is as it appears, it’s quite likely a PR as well. But in my present state of mind, caring about the stats surrounding my finish time has not yet registered!


And true to Cameraman Dan’s fine form, he managed to snag both a 2-minute video clip and plenty of photos of both races.


Needless to say, I’ve made an extra batch of my deviled eggs: one to bring to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner; the other for my better half. It’s one of his favorites, and after Thanksgiving’s unusual twist of events, how could I do anything else?


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