Do Turkeys Really Trot?

7 Dec

For the second year in a row, I signed up the family for the Sugar Land Surgical Hospital Turkey Trot.  My husband wondered whether it might more aptly be called the “Sugar Land Turkey Run for Your Life” because, let’s face it, if someone’s trying to kill you and eat you, you’re probably not going to be moving at a leisurely trot.

But I digress.

The race is a nice, active way to start Thanksgiving Day alongside friends and neighbors from our community.  There are only about 1500 participants, so it really does feel like a community event.

The day began with a 1-mile race for the kids.  Peter, my 9-year-old, was excited for the race and had a goal to finish in less than 11:40.  It’s funny — Peter is the decidedly less athletic child, but he has really been inspired by Hubby and me and our decision to lead a more active lifestyle.  After Hubby completed his first sprint triathlon last summer, Peter decided to train for a kids’ triathlon.  He completed his event in August and has joined Marathon Kids at school this year.  He was excited for the Turkey Trot and comfortable running the race on his own.

Jacob, my 7-year-old, didn’t have a stated goal.  But probably the single overarching goal in his young life has been to beat his brother.  At anything.  Jacob, though he enjoys sports, was grumpy that I had decided to sign him up for this race.  He was a little less confident in his distance-running abilities and requested that Daddy accompany him.

After the National Anthem was played, the gun went off and so did the kids.  My father-in-law and I waited patiently at the finish line to cheer them on.  I kept looking for Peter’s head of shiny black hair to come into view.  Much to my surprise, the first familiar sight I saw was Jacob, with Daddy running just behind him encouraging him to sprint for the finish!  Peter followed a few seconds later, with a finish time of 10:52.  What a day — Jacob beat his brother AND Peter beat his goal time.  Everybody wins!

About 20 minutes later, it was time for Hubby and me to line up for the 5-miler.  It was a warm, humid, sunny day, which wasn’t ideal for running.  Thankfully, the course winds through a stately older neighborhood with lots of mature trees to provide shade.  My finish time last year was around 59 minutes, so my only real goal was to try to beat that time.  Additionally, I knew we had a 12-mile run scheduled two days later, so I was trying my hardest to treat this as a training run instead of a race.

Ultimately, I finished in 51:59, even though I really did not push myself.  Again, mission accomplished!  I stayed to cheer on some of my friends, then we headed home to begin the cooking frenzy for Thanksgiving.

I love that we have started this tradition of participating in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  It gets the day off to a good start and sure helps ease the guilt over that second helping of mashed potatoes!


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