How do you know you're a hardcore runner? When the temperature is barely in the teens and you're still suited up to run a race. Of course, there was no way I was going to miss the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot. It's one of my favorite races of the year! In fact, I've run either the 10K or the 5K every year but one since 2009. And I always run it with friends.
This year I ran the 10K and, as always, it was a little bit crowded for the first mile or so and then once the 5K split off the 10K course was nice and clear. Some people don't like all the turns but I don't mind them at all. The course is wide enough that you can easily run tangents.
Of course, when it's somewhere between 12 and 15 degrees at the start line you don't do much except show up, get your bib number, run, and go back to your car. Although the race director said this was their largest year ever with 2,000 participants it looks like just over 1300 people actually finished. Too bad. Those other 700 missed a fun time staying warm by the fire pits the race set up near the start line. You know it's a good race when you come home smelling like camp fire! Thankfully my Swirlgear jacket washed up nicely AND kept me warm on the course. So warm, in fact, that I threw it to my husband when I saw him at mile 4.5.
Post-race we always go to brunch and warm up with hot chocolate and pancakes. Because there's nothing I like more after running a cold race than pancakes.
I've run several PRs at this race but this time I think I set a PR for coldest race temperature. My time was a personal worst on this course but that honestly doesn't matter to me. I had a good race, hung with my friends, and admittedly, felt a little badass for running in those temperatures.