Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

We won! (RunKarlaRun.com)

The Trot Off Your Turkey 5K and 1.5-Miler on Saturday, November 28 was my third year running the event in Barrington, RI. It’s a fantastic local turkey trot with 552 runners in the 5K and 263 in the 1.5-mile run/walk.

I love everything about this race, from the gloriously flat course and bountiful post-race spread to the warm, community vibe.

Best of all, the course is actually USATF certified, a rarity in small-town 5K running. So I know I can count on these times. I’ve got three other “5K” times in my Athlinks profile that were on non-certified courses both short and long, which I don’t count in my PR logs.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

The race raised money for St. Luke’s School. (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

The turkey trot is a fundraiser for St. Luke’s School, where the race is held. Bib pick-up and the raffle are inside the school gym.

The $20 entry fee is one of the best bangs for your buck out there. After the race, the gym transforms into a smorgasbord with Blount’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Butternut Squash Bisque, Dunkin’ Donuts, Domino’s Pizza, Chips & Salsa from Tito’s Cantina, Bananas, Bagels, Water, and Gatorade. Runners also get a cotton tee.

An additional food drive and raffle raises money for TapIn, an all-volunteer, outreach program that provides food, clothing, household goods, transportation, and other services to Rhode Island in need. Raffle tickets are just $1 each, or six for $5. You can even pre-purchase raffle tickets online with your race registration, which is what I did, so you can leave your wallet at home.

My mom, husband, and I showed up ready to run in the warm, November mist. It was about 55 degrees with no wind—a rarity in Rhode Island!—and a light drizzle coming down. My mom was tackling the 1.5-miler, while Phil and I were running the 5K. I had no idea what my legs might have in them just six days after the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon.

I’m happy to report that Phil, my mom, and I won! Raffle prizes that is! For the third year in a row (what?!) someone in my family has taken home a prize. Phil also won 2nd in his age group!

But I also had a surprisingly fantastic race, turning in my second fastest 5K ever, just 20 seconds behind my PR. I honestly shocked myself.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

Ready to run! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Karla’s Turkey Trot

My first time out of the gates at this turkey trot in 2013, I ran a 5K personal record of 24:46 that stands to this day.

Last year was the opposite. Riding high after a great race at the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2014, I decided to chase my 5K PR. Instead, I crashed and burned. I ended up having to walk thanks to some hefty abdominal cramps, finishing in a slow-for-me 28:03.

I didn’t want a repeat of that performance.

Phil and I lined up for the start, chatting about how his watch had died and he was just going to have to run by feel.

We had no idea the race was about to start; the horn sounded, catching us both by surprise. I clicked my watch to start, but it was jammed on the “Can’t find GPS signal” screen. I tapped and tapped and tapped, but I couldn’t start the workout. Like Phil, I too would just have to run by feel.

Turns out, it was a blessing. It’s honestly making me rethinking running every race with a watch. I’m so much more in tune with what’s going on in my body when I’m running by feel and have no idea what my pace is. When I have that feedback from my watch, I have so many ideas about what a certain pace should feel like. Without even a simple stopwatch function on my wrist, I had no idea how many minutes had passed when I reached the Mile 1 marker. They didn’t have clocks, but folks with stopwatches at each point.

I was shocked when the boy manning the marker called out a pace of 7:50 for a woman who was a few steps ahead of me. I was probably at 7:55. My first thought was, “Wow! I could run a PR!” My PR pace is 7:58. Then I had a moment of panic: “I’m going too fast! I’ll never sustain this pace!” Suddenly, knowing how fast I was going sent off all the insecure alarm bells in my head. When I didn’t know my pace and was running by feel, I was perfectly content. That moment makes me almost want to ditch my watch forever. In running, it seems, ignorance is bliss.

But I turned to positive self-talk to pull it together and keep pushing. The half-way point of any race is always a mental battle for me. Thankfully, I had no idea when I passed the 1.55-mile mark. I skipped the one water stop and just kept on trucking. Before I know it, I’d hit Mile 2. “What’s the time?” I gasped to the time keeper. “15:55!” he shouted. I was exactly on PR pace now. I just had to hold on.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

Course map

The third mile has a few ever-so-slight uphill inclines that I’d never notice on a training run, but that feel hard when you’re going anaerobic in a 1-1 breathing pattern, pushing with everything you’ve got. This is where I lost my PR. I just couldn’t hold that 8:00 pace. I knew I’d slowed as I passed the 3 Mile marker, but gunned it as much as I could.

I saw Phil out of the corner of my eye, cheering me into the finish. I didn’t even have the energy for a nod or any type of acknowledgement. After the race, he asked if I’d even seen him. I did. But the finish line was in sight.

Mile 1: 7:55
Mile 2: 8:00
Mile 3: 8:20
Mile 3.1: 51 seconds
Finish: 25:06 at 8:05 pace, 9th of 46 women in my age group

I was so happy. I had no idea I had that kind of time in me, especially just six days after a tough fought half-marathon.

I’d written in my Philadelphia Half Marathon prep post that I knew I had speed in my legs. I’d faithfully done my tempo workouts and some speed work too. What I’d missed in training were my long runs. Well, this race doubly proves I was right. My speed is there! Yay! Now I just have to work on that endurance to finally—finally!—run that sub-2 half-marathon.

In years past, my 5K times have been good predictors of my half-marathon performance. Based on this 5K, Jack Daniels’ VDOT Running Calculator at the Run SMART Project—which I’ve been using this training cycle—says I have a 1:55:40 half-marathon in me. The McMillan Running Calculator says I have a 1:56:13 half-marathon in me. I believe them! This will really motivate me to keep training through winter to up my endurance.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

V is for Victory! (RunKarlaRun.com)

What I Wore

I’d like to thank my MOTOACTV watch from 2012 for punking out. I honestly love this watch, which is why I’ve been wearing it for almost 4 years. It’s never failed me until this day. I’m so glad it did.

I’d also like to thank my Puma Ignite PWRWARM shoes for carrying me through—and keeping my feet warm and dry in the drizzle! By comparison, Phil’s feet were soaked in regular running shoes.

My entire outfit was courtesy of Puma. I’ve been partnering with them for a 21-day challenge on Instagram and Twitter, and have loved running in these shoes and all their cute purple gear. You know I loves me some purple. I wore: Essential Graphic Bra, All Eyes On Me Tank Top, All Eyes On Me 3/4 Tights, and Ignite PWRWARM shoes.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

Thank you watch for breaking down, and shoes for being so warm and fast! (RunKarlaRun.com)

Karla’s Mom’s Race

After the finish, I caught my breath, caught up with Phil, and headed back to the road to cheer my mom into the finish. The 1.5-Mile turkey trot started after the 5K.

Disney Family Fun Run 5K

So much smiling! (MarathonFoto.com)

My mom finished her first 5K with me at the Disney Family Fun Run 5K at Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in 2014. She’s an avid walker, has been sprinkling in running with a run-walk method, and has decided to train for her first 10K.

So she used the 1.5-miler as her kick-off event for her training season. Since it was drizzling and a little slippery, she decided to walk the whole thing.

She did great! She finished in 26:00 and wasn’t even remotely out of breath. She looked like she’d gone for a stroll in the park.

I’m really excited to pace her through her first 10K in 2016! She’ll be turning 70; what a great way to ring in a new decade. I’ve set her up with a training plan, some new shoes, and a run-walk strategy, and will be by her side once again come race day.

We Won!

I’m not going to lie: I really like winning. And since I’m not fast enough to win races, I really like raffles at races. And I’ve got a great track record at this turkey trot. I buy 6 raffle tickets for $5 and place them in the pots for the individual prizes I want.

In 2013 I won a large gift box complete with toys, food, treats, shampoo and more…for your cat. When I was doling out my raffle tickets, I saw a bucket that read, “Warren Animal Hospital.” Being a dog lover and dog mom, I threw my ticket in. When it turned out to be a cat prize, I had a good laugh about it.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K Turkey Trot

Cat box prize (RunKarlaRun.com)

In 2014, I didn’t win anything, but my best friend won an espresso and cappuccino machine.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

She won! (RunKarlaRun.com)

In 2015, both my mom and I won. I won a triathlon gift bag from TriFitLab that included two rides at TriFitLab‘s MultiRider Center, a FuelBelt FuelBox for my bike, Tek gloves and Tek hat. Score! The gloves and hat fit Phil perfectly, and I’ll be using the rides and FuelBox.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

Tri prize pack (RunKarlaRun.com)

My mom won the most perfect prize for her: a “Relax At Home” basket that included a teapot, tea, books about tea, a scented candle, puzzle, calendars, and $20 gift certificate for a home store in Providence. It’s like someone put this prize together especially for her. What are the top three things she asks for for gifts? Tea, calendars, and games. I’m not kidding. She’s a tea fanatic, and by fanatic, I mean she loves tea as much as crazy coffee aficionados love coffee. She also loves doing puzzles, reads voraciously, and likes having a calendar in every room. The fact that she won gardens and birds calendars? Perfect. Her bedroom is decorated in a bird motif.

Race Report: Trot Off Your Turkey 5K 2015 Turkey Trot

Tea time! (RunKarlaRun.com)

All around, the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K was a rounding success! I hope I’ll be back to run it again in 2016.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


11 2015

4 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Yay for speed!! What a great validation of your speed work. You are so close to that sub 2!

    I’m drooling over the butternut squash bisque!

    I love that it was certified! I did two 5Ks over the Thanksgiving holiday and both were fun runs and not certified. Granted I was also treating them as fun runs but still, the stickler in me would prefer certified, even in a fun run! :)

    And of course I love the purple outfit! Purple makes me happy! :)
    Emily recently posted..2015 Rock ‘N’ Roll VegasMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thank you, Emily! Hope you enjoyed your 5ks too! I like knowing that a course distance is what they say it is, whether that’s 3.1 or 3.3. Just don’t call them all a “5K,” you know? But I’m super nerdy that way!

  2. 3

    Congratulations on the great races had by all! That’s awesome! And on the big raffle wins! And on your mom getting ready for her first 10k! So many good things happening in one post! :)
    Kellie recently posted..Wine and Dine 2015 – Race RecapMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Thank you! It was a big day for the fam!


  1. Honolulu Marathon: Ready Or Not, Here I Come! | Run, Karla, Run! 04 12 15