Sierra up at O' dark thirty, Thanksgiving morning. The first words
Sierra spoke were, "Mommy, I am nervous, I want to WIN". I told Sierra,
"Sweetie, Mommy wants you to win too, but you are not running the
children's race this year. You will be racing the 5k with grown ups."
Sierra responded, "But Mommy, I want to win because I want to win a
thousand dollars". Sierra's motivation for winning the race was money?
Where did that come from? Certainly not from me. Well, I thought is was
cute that her head was already in the game at 5:00am. Who can blame a
girl for wanting more toys, clothes and Barbie dolls?
Sierra picked out her cute black and white striped running skirt and
sequined black and silver tank top the night before the race. My little
girl always runs in style and she has more fashion sense than I. We
arrived at the Dana Point Harbor at 5:40am, just in time to get a
parking spot. Sierra and I walked over to the registration booth and
grabbed our bib #'s and timing chips. Oops, I thought to myself, Sierra
is wearing slip on Nike running shoes, where am I going tie this
timing chip? I creatively weaved the plastic tie wrap over and under an
elastic band of her shoe. Sierra had never seen a timing chip before,
because this was her first 5k. They don't use timing chips at the cute
non-competitive kids races.
concerned with finding her 1st grade friend Sophia, who was also running
the 5k race. She asked me look up her friend Sophia's name on the race
list, just to make sure she was signed up. I didn't see Sophia's name
anywhere on the list, but I assured Sierra not to worry because her
friend Sophia still has plenty time to sign up.
needed to find Grandpa. I told him to meet us at the Fleet Feet booth,
but we missed each other. My boss Scott White, owner of Fleet Feet
Laguna Niguel, let Sierra help him work the booth and she really liked
First the 10K race!
Less than 30 minutes until the 29th annual Turkey Trot 10k race start. I
leave for a quick mile warm up across the bridge with my friend and
co-worker Steven Owen and his friend "Bones", who looked like pure lean
muscle to me. Together we concocted a secret goal of breaking 40
Sierra hugs and a kiss and told her Mommy will be back soon. I didn't
see my Dad, amidst the 9,000 racers. I was sure I would see him on the
out-n-back portion of the course.
seemed to be a delay in the start of the race because people were still
registering for the event. Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem or
was it a pre-recorded tape? Steven and I decided to run more strides to
keep our legs warm.
Race starts. I took off quick with my IPOD blasting Metallica. I saw
some familiar faces along the first mile. I went out hard and didn't see
Steven or Bones anywhere. Running a 6:30 minute mile feels much
different than running an 11:30 minute mile for 100 miles.
- I started getting passed and here comes Steven and Bones looking
steady and strong. I wave them on. I saw my Dad for the first time. He
yelled my name and he was looking good!! I had a feeling he would
accomplish his goal of breaking 60 minutes.
- I am having so much fun and it is a beautiful morning even though my
stomach hurts, my hamstrings and quads are already burning and my
heart and lungs are working double-time. This is a great feeling and the
perfect start to Thanksgiving Day or any day for that matter!!
- Yippee!! I see my hundred mile Ultra friend Andy Kumeda and he is not
far behind!! He looks cute in his bright colored racing flats. This is
Andy's 10th consecutive Turkey Trot. I am feeling the burn and hope if I
turn up my IPOD volume a bit, it will help me run faster, as this
usually works on training runs.
- I spot Steven and Bones still running together. It looks
like Steven will be close in accomplishing his goal of breaking 40
minutes. I went to Plan B and decided PRing would be nice, because a sub
40 wasn't in the cards. I saw Andy again and it seemed he was getting
closer and closer. I was happy for him because he was having a strong
- My plan was to leave it all on the course and kick it in. I tried and
I didn't break 40, I didn't PR. I finished in 43:06. I was happy because
it put things in perspective and made me realize I need to do speed
work. Steven and Bones finished in 40:55. My Dad finished in 57:29.
the 5K Master's race for those older than 40, which our 76 year old
friend Gene Langworthy was running in. Gene came in 3rd in
his age group with a 33:01 time.
Next was the 5K
race for those 39 years old and under
THIS was Sierra's race!
indeed Sierra's day. The main goal for today was to make sure Sierra had
fun. I went to the Fleet Feet tent and it was mobbed with people buying
apparel. I whisked Sierra away for the start of her race. She was ready
and excited. As we waited for the start, one of my Laguna Beach Cross
Country girls recognized me and Sierra. She was also running the 5k. I
told her to hop in with us. I started chatting with the runners around
me. That was a blast. I love meeting people at races and learning what
type of runners are out there. I met a lady who started marathoning this
year and has already finished 8 marathons. I met some dudes who spent
the previous night drinking one too many Cervesas. A dog was whisked up
and over the barrier to run the race too.
FAST!! Sierra started blasting through weaving in and out of people five
times her age. She kept looking back to make sure I was still there. I
was taking action pictures of her from in front, beside and behind. This
was great fun watching Sierra and her natural stride. As we are booking
it up and over the bridge I see my friend RJ and I snap a quick picture.
I was coaching Sierra and telling her to keep it steady. Sierra was so
cute she would surge for 30 seconds and then slow down. Sierra really
enjoyed the water stops and she took full advantage of all the water she
could get. Sierra's cheeks were starting to get rosy, she was having a
remarkable race for her first ever 5k.
- Sierra is still passing grown ups and looking fresher than they are.
Here comes another Laguna Beach Cross Country girl, Alyssa. Sierra was
ahead of Alyssa for half of the race and Alyssa almost made the Varsity
Cross Country team. Wow!
- More water and Sierra wants to take a few walking breaks. I said, you
are doing great!! We are almost finished!! Sierra starts to surge again
accompanied by more walking. I remember telling Sierra only one more
block to go. She wanted to finish in 30 minutes, this would be close.
Sierra had not run this far before but she has hiked a 9 mile
day-hike in Yosemite over the summer, so she remembered this and knew
she could finish strong. Once Sierra saw the crowd of people, she
started blasting away from me.
to take more pictures, but she was not in the mood, "No more pictures
Mommy". I saw my friend Andy near the finish with his camera ready.
Perfect timing!! I love action shots!!
crossed the finish like in 31:55. A ten minute pace (10:17 minutes per
mile average for the 3.1 miles)!!
Sierra finished three
minutes ahead of Santa. One of Santa's Elves gave Sierra 2 candy canes.
That made her day!! Grandpa was there to greet us at the finish line and
take more pictures of