Fitness, Running

Back from a break and the 12th Annual CHTDRR

It’s been quite a while since I updated the blog with nothing since my NYC Marathon recap.  Quite honestly, I felt like I didn’t have much to say since I pretty much stopped running for two weeks.  I did a little yoga a couple of times a week but my body was so spent after the marathon last month that I decided to take a long break.   A couple of weeks ago I finally laced the shoes up again and hit the road…and it was ugly.  I was slow, it was uncomfortable and I hated it.  Even when I went for a morning run with Chrissy I was unhappy.  It was great to catch up with her but I still felt sluggish and had to work hard to keep up.  Finally, my legs loosened up a bit and my stride started to feel more natural.  It was starting to click again.

The timing was great because on Thanksgiving I was scheduled to run the Commodore Hull Thanksgiving Day Road Race in my hometown of Shelton, CT.  I’ve run the race every year since its inception in 2002 when I was just beginning training for my very first marathon.  There were about 350 runners that year and it’s since grown to over 700.  There are 23 of us who have run every race and we are affectionately known as the plankholders.

Some of the ‘plankholders’ who have run every year. (minus Mayor Lauretti who was late)

The race brings out the competitor in me.  I’ve placed in my age group several times and my 5k PR is on the course.  I have even been known to look up the other woman in my age group to see who I will be racing against.  It’s somewhat uncharacteristic of me to be so competitive and put pressure on myself for a 5k but once a year…its on.  Last year I ran the race in 23:18 earning me 2nd place in AG so I was hoping to run around the same time this year.

Chilly at the race start

Race morning was very cold and I didn’t give myself quite enough time for a good warm-up so I started the race off very tight.  I haven’t done any racing or speed work since NYC so I had no idea what I was capable of but I wanted to still give a good effort.  I was off to a good start with my first mile at 7:31 but then the course begins a challenging climb and I slowed down quite a bit.  I thought I could make up some time on the downhill but my legs fatigued quickly.  The last mile I wanted to really push but the wind made it a lot more difficult so I just did my best and was able to cross at 24:03 landing me 3rd place in AG. I crossed the finish line, watched Jared cross right after me, found my family and hit the road a few minutes later.

Crossing the finish at 23:04
Crossing the finish at 24:03
Jared finished right behind me.
Jared finished right behind me.

After twelve years the CHTDRR has definitely become a tradition with my family.  Every once in a while someone joins in to run with me and one or both of my parents have been there every year to cheer me on.  Mayor of Shelton, Mark Lauretti, is also a ‘plankholder’ and recognized me this year stopping to say hello and asking how my race was.  I really enjoy the community feel of the event and how it connects me back to Shelton even though it hasn’t been my full time home in many years.  That’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving, coming home to friends, family and people who have been part of my journey.  Just as the race has been part of my journey as a runner.

Boston Marathon training begins this coming weekend!  We are within the 20 weeks of training before Patriots Day and I am committing to a six mile run over the weekend even though I’ll be enjoying Nantucket.  If you would like to support my fundraising campaign please visit my campaign page.  Thank you!


3 thoughts on “Back from a break and the 12th Annual CHTDRR”

  1. Hello Laura- As “one” of the original founders of the CH5K I want to tell you that your post is inspirational. Our goal when we sat down in my office 13 years ago was to start a tradition and community event (not focusing on fundraising). So happy you enjoy the event. Looking forward to the year I get to put down the megaphone and run our race.
    Tom Wilson

  2. Congrats on the AG placement! I ran the Manchester Road Race this year with my sister and cousins, along with the best man at my wedding. Turkey Trots are such a great way to build tradition and family ties!

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