Today, I ran my second 5K race. Everyone runs the Turkey Trot in Clearwater at this time of year, but I didn’t feel like trying to get to over there before the sun rose. So! I found a race that was much closer — the Tampa Y Turkey Gobble 5K. It benefits the local YMCA.
I signed up for the race about a month ago and figured it’d be a typical Florida morning in November, cool but nice. I was wrong.
Your eyes do not fool you — my car is registering a chilling 39 degrees. In Florida!! What was this sorcery? Who turned the heat off in this state? I had never run outside in anything under 70 degrees. The race started at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, so we were able to go inside the box office and warm up in the heat. I saw people dressed for all sorts of weather — some looked like the Michelin man, all bundled up and puffy, and others had cut-off t-shirts and shorts. To each their own.
We started exactly at 7am. I think the cold may have helped, or I’m getting a little faster. It’s pretty exhilarating to run with hundreds of people. The streets were closed for us, cops and spectators cheered us on. I saw runners encouraging each other, helping one another. Sometimes I cover all these terrible stories for work, and little moments like this remind me that we’re not all killing each other.
I finished at a personal best of 36:20 (which I know isn’t incredibly fast, but I’m not incredibly fast). I expected to finished under 40 minutes, if I was lucky. But when I saw the clock ahead of me say “35:58, 35:59, 36:00,” I freaked. That’s way faster than I thought! I started sprinting and I’m sure I was smiling like an idiot.
I also passed these guys a few times during the race and I finally got a photo.