After the Cambridge Half Marathon, I was just one 5K away from being on official “no running” orders from well, myself. Ben the Physical Therapist agreed with this plan, but I had made up my mind weeks ago that the half would be my last race for a while and that I would not run at all after Thanksgiving – for as long as it took to fully rehab my hamstring and foot.
Back in the summer, my dad signed up for a Couch to 5K program at his office gym. He was doing really well with it and then threw out his back (as old men do!) and running took a backseat. So on Thanksgiving morning, he insisted I didn’t have to stay with him but honestly, I didn’t have much to give. My hamstring pain was worse than it had ever been. I had indulged in two beers and a heavy pasta dinner the night before, and had overdone it at yoga all week. It was cold as hell so running would’ve been more pleasant and a quicker way back to the heat, but this race was all about my dad. Unfortunately it wasn’t the race he was hoping for when he signed up but it was still his fastest ever and the first one that we ever completed together – as in side-by-side for all 3.1 miles.
The name of the race is because all runners/walkers are asked to bring donations for The Open Pantry. My dad actually filled the back of his Suburban with enormous Costco-sized mac & cheese, oatmeal, granola bars, and peanut butter. I brought a measly bag of things from my pantry that I was clearly never going to eat before their expiration dates, but I helped my dad unload his donations so that made me look really generous.
At the start of the race, it was 28 degrees with full sun and light wind. This would be great for me normally, but since we did about 5 minutes of walking for every 30 seconds of walking, I never really warmed up. My dad said he felt good the entire time but it was so cold that it was hard to talk (more like, hard to move our mouths/faces), so we were mostly quiet. When we sprinted across the finish line, the official time was 47:27 for my dad and 47:28 for me. Yay for a Dad’s PR!
Afterward, we went home to start our Thanksgiving for Two. It doesn’t matter how fast you run any day, but especially on Thanksgiving. All calorie burns = turkey earned!