For the past 3 years, since I’ve lived in my house, on Thanksgiving, I’ve stood on the front porch and watched about 200 people participating in the annual Give & Gobble 5 & 10k run by. Every year, for the past 3 years, I’ve questioned why I wasn’t running it. Every year. It likely would have happened again this year, were it not for Maureen asking me to run it with her. For that small action, I owe her great thanks!
The Give & Gobble is a local event that benefits the Oregon Food Bank. The 5 & 10k runs start at the high school and wind through the lovely parts of Sherwood, Oregon, which includes right by my house, before ending back at the high school.
It starts at 9 and is over by 10:30 so even if I were cooking some gigantic turkey for an early dinner (which I wasn’t) I could have put the turkey into the oven, gone and ran and come back in time to finish the food. As it was, however, I wasn’t cooking a huge turkey (I don’t even eat turkey) and dinner in my house wasn’t until 5 p.m., so I had plenty of time to run.
I met 3 of my favorite ladies at the high school and we jumped around (well, Maureen and Patti danced around) and giggled trying to stay warm before the start. It was kinda chilly – but everyone was in a really great happy and thankful mood.
Here is a group picture of us pre-race.
At 9:00 a.m. the crowd of 5k runners, 10k runners and 5k walkers headed out. It was kind of a jumblef*ck of a start because there were so many people and no organization, but it’s a small, local event and it was Thanksgiving, so no one really cared that much. The people who did care were at the front of the pack anyway and were not held back by the mass exodus. Once out on the street the crowd dispersed a little and we were able to run comfortably.
It was strange, but so incredibly comfortable to run on the streets that I run on a normal basis. Maureen, Patti and I ran, talked, laughed and enjoyed being out there. We passed my house with no one on the front porch this year, since I was actually running and I’m the mother of teenagers who do not rise before noon if it’s not necessary.
Shortly after passing my house the 5k runners turn left to continue through the neighborhood and the 10k runners go straight. It got really peaceful at that point because the majority of runners were running the 5k. The 10k’ers ran down the old highway to Brookman Road.
Here is a picture Maureen took right after passing my house, heading down the old highway.
Brookman Road is the ultimate training road for runners in Sherwood. It’s farm country; people have acreage, goats, cows, llamas and horses on Brookman Road. It’s almost 2 miles in length, completely paved, no sidewalks, little traffic and nonstop rolling hills. I’ve run it before, but not in a long while because, well . . . it’s hard. I always feel as though I walk more than I should and that frustrates me.
When we turned onto Brookman I was running a nice, steady, easy pace with Maureen by my side and Patti not too far behind us. I heard Patti say she was going to turn on her music so she could get into her zone and I remember thinking, “that’s what I’m in, a zone.”
The morning was crisp and there was a low fog atop the mountains. We ran by llamas, open fields, and goats. Maureen stopped to take pictures and I just kept running. Here are a couple of pictures Maureen took on Brookman.
As time passed I got further away from Maureen. Initially I thought about stopping to wait for her to catch up (she wasn’t THAT far behind me) but I was so amazed at the ease at which I was running the rolling hills that I didn’t want to risk stopping and losing the zone. So I continued on. I ran the entire length of Brookman, for the very first time, at the Give & Gobble and I was pretty overjoyed with that progress. (Especially since my running has sucked so much lately).
Coming off Brookman I fell into my comfort zone because once again I found myself running on a street I knew like the back of my hand. A street I run on with regularity. I turned on my own music and just enjoyed the familiarity of Sherwood. When I approached the last water station I got some water and then started up the last pathway and to my great joy Maureen showed up at my side. She has a way about her that I love.
Together we finished the 10k and a couple minutes later Patti came across the finish line as well. It was a lovely start to Thanksgiving and I’m forever grateful that I ran it.
Here are some pictures from the finish.
I was so pleased with my performance on Brookman Road; I told myself I would incorporate Brookman into my running routine at least once a week. Sunday I went out for a run started with Brookman. Again I ran its length and it felt so good. Hard, but good. I went on to run a total of 9 miles and ended the run on Brookman as well – not the entire length, but as I was headed home I made the conscious decision to go left and hit Brookman in the middle. It was a spectacular finish to my Sunday morning run.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have recovered from any food hangovers you may have suffered!!