Running Together

Racers at the start line around Lake Harriet
Drumstick Dash 10K, Pi Run, & Cranberry Cruise at Lake Harriet, 2015

My wife and I decided to participate in the Pi Run (3.14159 miles) of the Drumstick Dash Thanksgiving race series together this year. She won a free entry after her awesome race finish (1st in her age group plus a PR) last year, and I decided to celebrate Thanksgiving a week early with my side of the family in Wisconsin, so I was in town for a Minnesota-esque-pre-feast-turkey-trot.

A snowy morning and far more ideal race conditions than last year’s sub-zero temps in Wisconsin/Minnesota. Fortunately parking was quite limited near the race course, so we got in a nice walking warm-up to the start line at Lake Harriet.

Pi Run 3.14 miles number 437 Thanksgiving Day
A lover of math, Jen has several digits of Pi tattooed on her arm, making this turkey trot the perfect race for a math geek and runner at heart.

The deal was to take it easy and run the race together. Off we went to the shout START! command (no gun), and took off with a sub-8 mile. A little ambitious for what was supposed to be an easy run for us. We slowed it down a bit, but still passed groups of runners here and there–I think being an introvert propels me to find the gaps in races where I am not stuck between bunches of other runners.

Unfortunately a couple miles in and Jen’s knee started to act up. Both knees actually. And it sounded like the pain was not going to subside. Jen encouraged me to just run ahead because she felt bad for slowing me down. I smiled and reminded her we planned to run this together so I had no intention of running ahead. A half mile or so from the finish I offered for us to stop and walk, which we did for a mere few seconds because even with the knee pain Jen did not want to experience being passed by a flurry of turkey trotters. So off we went again, me sharing a few words of encouragement such as “the finish is right up ahead!” and her, noticeably limping. Running injuries, thwarting runner aspirations every where.

26 and a half minutes later, we crossed the finish line together and meandered our way back to the car. Sure, I could have gotten to the finish line a couple minutes faster, but it was way more fulfilling sticking to the ‘race plan’ and by the side of my love. The morning also provided a reminder to keep in mind my running partner’s current fitness.

To our surprise, we both managed a 3rd place finish in our respective age groups!

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