Running For Kicks 4 Mile Turkey Trot – 2013

I love the holidays.  I love spending time with my family.  I love getting in an extra run here or there when I can.  I love that running has not only become a regular part of my life but one on which I now center a few holiday traditions.  Thanksgiving is one such holiday.  I run the Running For Kicks 4 mile Turkey Trot every year not only because it has become one of my “traditions” but also as a way to gauge my fitness level on an annual basis.  The race is always post Chicago Marathon season, in a relatively low mileage month, on the same course year after year, and at time when my fitness is decent.  Plus the weather is pretty steady usually ranging from 20-30 degrees.  All of the above factors produce decent conditions for a realistic comparison on an annual basis.  So let’s get to Turkey Trotting!!


This year was a normal year.  I was healthy.  Conditioned.  Ready.  Going in I felt fit, somewhat fast and was ready to see what I could do.  My only concern was that I had registered Aby and in my head, I was tossing around the idea of running with her.  The course is HARD.  Lots of rolling hills.  Aby is good on hills but a Thanksgiving race puts her out of her season and not anywhere near peak conditioning.  It’s the end of running season for her and the start of volleyball.   Last year since I was just coming off an injury, I ran with her and she wasn’t necessarily grateful.  We normally do not race together but rather “run our own race”.  Since that time, we made another attempt to “race together” and while it went much better, the fact of the matter is that we are different runners, have different strengths {and weakness} and to be honest, it doesn’t do either of us any good to make the effort to race together.  We don’t “need” each other and in reality we hold one another back at various points, resulting in neither of us having our best race.  So, I decided to let it fly off the start line and she would either follow, or not.  Pre-race photo while we shivered waited.  Me & Aby on the left.  F’N Runners on the Right:  Pam, Brian, Aby, Me & Nicki.

RFK Turkey Trot_2013 me & aby  RFK Turkey Trot_2013 group

So I let it fly.  This race is different than most.  Since it’s so hilly, I have to focus on really running the straights/flats & downhill’s as fast as possible because I’m a crappy poor uphill runner.  I once described this race as a 4 mile fartlek session.  It’s a constant variation of pace due to my uphill running weakness.  So I run fast when I can, like off the start line.  My only indication of how the race goes is the finish time cuz let’s just say that running it never feels great and pace is sporadic.  Here is my “history” with this race.  I started running it in 2007 after a much more “relaxed” Turkey Trot in 2006.  I wanted more structure.  More challenge.  I found it.  And I keep coming back year after year.

  • 2007 – 34:21 – I was a bit in shock over the hills.  Hardest road race to date.
  • 2008 – 32:33
  • 2009 – Mr. Michael arrived
  • 2010 – 31:53 – Under 8 min/mi average – HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!
  • 2011 – 31:55 – Consistent, Plantar Fasciitis was at it’s height & I was preparing for time off running so happy with the result.
  • 2012 – 34:29 – Recovering from torn tendon in June 2012 (damn PF!!), only been back to running for a couple months, decided to run with Aby “for fun”.
  • 2013- 31:02  – Proof that fewer miles, the addition of CrossFit & regular Chiro sessions with Dr. Alexis has been a winning combination for me!

Great day that brought us an amazing run with a local food bank as the choice charity.  Great swag, several store coupons, plus lots of free stuff, mainly socks, which was pitched into the crowd while we awaited awards.  Plus, they raffled off 7-10 pair of shoes at the end of the event.  Aby happened to win a pair of the FREE shoes but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are sending them to a young lady who happens to need a pair.

RFK Turkey Trot_2013 swag

Aby improved a lot this year too.  Last year she ran a 34:25.  This year a 33:14.  Her time was good enough for third in her age group!   Yay, Aby!!  Love to see the progress!!  I have high hopes that this will become one of her cherished Thanksgiving Day traditions too.  See you next year, in Palos Hills on Thanksgiving Day! 

** Who Runs to Eat? ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

11 thoughts on “Running For Kicks 4 Mile Turkey Trot – 2013

  1. Sounds like fun. I totally feel you on the weather issue. Usually Thanksgiving in Atlanta is a nice 40-50 degrees but this year, the year decide to do my first half marathon on Thanksgiving,turns out to be 24 degrees at run start. Cold, very cold.

  2. woo-hoo…you broke 8-min barrier! That’s a hard course to run in threshold zone! Your race strategy is just how I would do it…taper-back up hill and fly in the levels and on downhills…especially 2nd half. Unlike you…I have rarely fared well in that race coming out of Chicago Marathon in marathon-recovery and low-mileage phase, and in some years as this one…contending with lingering injury issue. I always joke Mel should turn this Turkey-Trot into an Easter-Trot, because after a winter-long training through those hills…running 4-miles in the threshold and beyond…wouldn’t seem as daunting as it always is on TD. I wasn’t there cause I can’t even slog-run now and couldn’t muster the energy and motivation to get out of bed that morning and go do my duty as cheerleader! So…I am glad you were there running and nurturing Abby. It won’t be long before she will smoke you in that 5k-4-mile distance…so get ready to accept…speed ultimately lies with youth. Oh…24F way to cold for me…go into torpor!

  3. Oh…Who Runs to Eat? Why only answer to that is the “Run-To-Eat” running club. Fine folks and pretty awesome runners to boot! They run Waterfall Glen and Morton Arboretum and probably other turf as well.

  4. Rock on! My kiddo is only 8 so when we run a race, we usually stick together. I’m looking forward to the point when we can run our own races yet run the same race. Of course, by that time, he’ll probably be faster than me. But that’s a-okay by me! 😉

    • I didn’t let her start racing until she was 8, then we started with very small, local 5Ks. Even then I didn’t run with her because I see parents all the time yelling at their kids to hurry up, speed up, or be upset when the little ones wanted to walk {which really upsets me}. So I didn’t let her go to races until she was big enough and mature enough to follow the runners in front of her and not be scared. We always dress somewhat alike so that other runners identify us as being “together” and when she was young, I went back for her and ran her in. Now, she’s either on my tail or in front of me. She’s definitely faster than me when she is in season but at this point doesn’t have the motivation to run much when she is in the off season.

      • I hear you on the parents yelling at kids – I always let him pace at this point, we do a Mother’s Day 5k together which is so much fun.

        He does track and field in the spring which is awesome because he always picks up the pace at that point. Once he feels confident, we’ll probably run our own races like you do with your kiddo. 🙂

Thoughts? Comments? Tell me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s