Last year, I ran the same Thanksgiving Turkey 10k Race in Utah. It was a cold race, but there wasn’t any snow on the ground.
This year…we got dumped on more than 24 hours before the race. At my house, there was at least 18 inches of snow. We cleared snow off our driveway and sidewalks using snowblowers and shovels 5 freaking times.
And for some reason…I still wanted to go run this 10k.
I think part of my desire to run this race was my romanticized view of running in the snow, doing a race with a bunch of other crazy runners, and wanting to burn some serious calories before eating a huge Thanksgiving meal later that day. I could have just run 6.2 miles on my treadmill where it is warm and dry but…what fun is that?
Our 22-mile drive to the race was nerve wrecking at best. The snow was still falling, but thanks to my husband’s 4-wheel drive truck and skillful driving, we made it to the race safely. To his dismay, the race was NOT cancelled.
Training and Preparation
Most of my fitness carried through the summer from my Air Force Half Marathon training cycle, and then the Halloween Half at the end of October. Just 4 weeks later, I basically repeated the last few weeks of my half marathon plan after taking a week to fully recover.
My Must-Have Gear for a 10k
- Bib Number! (And safety pins)
- Comfortable, Warm Running Tights
- Long sleeve Underarmour Cold Gear Turtleneck
- PRO Compression Socks (The wool ones are warmer!)
- Brooks Adrenalin 19 Running Shoes
- Reliable, Comfortable Sports Bra
- Bose Soundsport Headphones
- Custom Oakley Half Jacket Sunglasses (Actually, I should’ve had ski goggles for this race due to all the snow falling!)
- Phone Armband
- Warm Winter Touchscreen Running Gloves
- Garmin Forerunner 35
- **Full set of dry clothes, undergarments, and shoes to change into after the race**
- One thing I wish I had brought with: Running hat at with a visor to go under my headband and keep the snow from falling in my eyes.
Race Morning Routine
My typical breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter and Nutella and a cup of tea.
We had to shovel 8 inches of snow off our driveway AGAIN before we left, which took us about an hour because it was wet and heavy. Nothing like getting the muscles all warmed up!
After we drove through the snow and arrived safely at the race location, we picked up our bibs and went back to the truck to keep warm until the race start.
Inside The Thanksgiving Turkey 10k: Recapping the Miles
The South Davis Recreation Center hosted the “Thanksgiving Day Races” which included a Turkey 10k, Family 5k, and Kids 1k run.
I strongly, STRONGLY considered dropping to the 5k because of how cold and wet it was. Then I remembered that the reason I chose to still run on Thanksgiving morning was to burn calories, so I toughed it out with the 10k.
Start Through Mile 2
During my training and up until a couple days prior to the race, I was planning on running a new 10k personal record at this race. My goal was to run between 8:45-9:00 minutes per mile. Once all the snow fell and I realized that the roads would DEFINITELY NOT be plowed, all pace expectations went out the window. I had never tried to run fast on snow before, and I knew it wouldn’t be possible with little traction.
At the start of the race, I vowed not to check pace on my watch and just run by effort.
We jumped out of our truck about 10 minutes before the race start time, and the race started about 5 minutes late. Which means we were standing around freezing for about 15 minutes.
By the time we actually got started, I was REALLY cold. The snow falling was wet and soaked our clothes. My fingers were frozen, and I wished I had an extra pair of dry gloves.
Just before the 2 mile point, my blood was flowing enough to start warming me up, and I got circulation in my fingers again.
Mile 2 Through Mile 5
Around mile 2, we turned onto a bike trail. I was really hoping that the trail would be plowed, but no such luck. There was about 6-8 inches of snow on the trail, and a tiny path had been packed down by runners ahead of us. So…we ran single file down the narrow track.
At this point my body was warm, but the snow falling in my eyes was REALLY annoying. It would build up on my eyebrows and then dump right into my eyes, or the huge flakes would just fly right into my eyes. I alternated between wearing my sunglasses and putting them back up on my forehead, because they just kept fogging up with the humidity. I definitely wished I had a hat with a visor to keep my eyes clear.
Mile 5 Through the Finish
After mile 5, I just wanted to be done. The snow in my eyes, the cold, the wet…I was really wishing I had opted for the treadmill this morning.
On most of the roads, there was 1-2 inches of slushy snow. Since I didn’t have any trail shoes with decent traction, it felt like I was running in place for most of the race. In the final miles, my legs were feeling extremely burnt out, and I had a tight spot right above my left knee, most likely from the odd movement through the snow.
As we rounded the final corner before the finish line, there were several 5k walkers along the path. I sped up (or tried to) in the final half mile before the finish. The frustrating part was…most of the walkers were shoulder to shoulder across the sidewalk and didn’t bother to move to single file and give room for the runners to pass despite polite shouts of “ON YOUR LEFT!”
Thus, I fell off the sidewalk a few times trying to go around them and resorted to running through the deep snow to pass and finally come up on the finish. The final quarter mile was definitely slower than it could have been, because I spent most of my effort zigging and zagging around walkers and running through deep snow.
Finally I finished! And I was very grateful when this race was over.
It was honestly a very frustrating run, from beginning to end. Despite my prior goal of finishing around 55 minutes for a new 10k personal record, I finished in 1:01:22. I’m happy with this time, considering the conditions. Plus, it was still 2 minutes faster than last year when the conditions were dry and cool!
Immediately after my husband and I crossed the finish line, we went directly to the locker room to change out of our cold, wet clothes into our warm, dry clothes we had brought. This was the smartest thing we did all day.
After changing, we went back over to the finish area to see if we were even close to placing. Many of the runners there were huddled around the space heaters in their soaking wet clothes, shivering like crazy. Not fun.
Once we found out that we were not in the running for age division prizes, we headed home to shower, shovel our driveway again, and settle in for some Thanksgiving treats.
As a celebration for running a 10k in miserable snowy conditions, I uncorked one of my favorite limited edition wines for the afternoon.
Ready to Join Me in Ogden May 2020??
If you haven’t seen yet, I’m volunteering with the Ogden Marathon to help promote the race! This is a beautiful course through Ogden Canyon in Utah and definitely worth traveling for.
Click here for more information about the half marathon and full marathon courses, plus a registration discount code.
If you have never run a half marathon before and you want help navigating the training process, jump in my FREE 6-Day Kickstart Course!
Are you planning on running a half or full marathon in the Spring 2020? Which one?
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About Me: I’m Alexis, Founder of RunningMyBestLife! I am an avid recreational runner, half marathoner, wife, dog mom, busy professional, downhill skier in Northern Utah. My mission is to help new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport of running. I believe that running is a catalyst to taking control of your life and living your best life by design. Learn More –>