When I ran the Patrick Henry Half Marathon back in August, it prompted me to investigate other small, local half marathons. Before that, I’d only run big half marathons, with tens of thousands of runners. But I really liked the smaller race. When a coworker mentioned how much fun he’d had running Fredericksburg’s Blue & Gray Half Marathon, I signed up. I’d already looked at the race, already contemplated it, and his positive review was the last thing I needed to fill out the registration form.[...]
Richmond’s Turkey Trot 10K is one of my most favorite Richmond races. This year, I ran it for the fourth time in five years, missing it last year only because I was in Texas. I ran Houston’s Turkey Trot 10K instead, which was fine, but mostly it just made me miss Richmond’s trot.
Recently, turkey trots became America’s most popular race, with almost one million runners participating in more than 1,000 turkey trots nationwide. It’s a tradition that apparently dates back to 1896. Maybe that’s the thing that makes it so popular, the whole tradition thing. That, and it’s always nice to knock out some fitness before spending an entire day eating and drinking.[...]
On Sunday, I ran my fifth Army Ten-Miler. Last year’s was in Kuwait, and I was anxious to run the official race in Washington, D.C. again this year.
This year’s race was extra special. It was hot. And humid. When I woke up it was 75°F and the humidity was hanging at about 94%.
About 25,000 runners showed up to run this year and the first wave started at 8 a.m. At 10:08 a.m., a little more than an hour after the last corral starting running, the course was altered. The race was also officially downgraded to a “recreational run.” Finishers were sorted into three categories: the first who finished before 10:08 ran an official Army Ten-Miler; the second ran 10 miles, but finished after 10:08 and received an “unofficial time” for their “recreational run”; and the third got credit for running, but didn’t complete the course so did not receive a time.[...]
I ran my last half marathon three years ago, almost exactly. It was August. It was hot. It was humid. The course was flat, at least, but I was miserable. I hit my goal, inching across the finish line with absolutely nothing else to give in just under two hours. But I hated almost every minute of that race. I swore I’d never run another summer half again.[...]
I’m clumsy. I trip over everything, even things that aren’t there. My toes are often stubbed. My ankles are weak and have the tendency to roll in a way that looks (but mostly isn’t) painful. I whack my head on things a lot, too. On my kitchen cabinets, on my car door, on my dining table.[...]