I love Iroquois Park. I grew up a block away from it and when I first started running, I did the majority of my runs in the park. The constant hills were good training grounds for me. I know the road that loops around the bottom of the park better than any 3 mile stretch in the world.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and every year (for the past 32 years) the Iroquois Hill Runners (IHR) have held a 5 mile race at the park. The races doesn’t loop around the road that I know so well – it starts on this road, but then heads straight up a huge climb (200+ feet) to the top of the park. You basically run uphill for 2.5 miles, then turn around and run downhill back to the start. Fun times.
Despite my love for the park, I have only run this race once in the past. I did the race in 2010, just a few weeks removed from the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. The weather was horrible that day. It was a little chilly and it rained from the time I pulled in the parking lot until I drove off after the race. I remember being a little disappointed in my time that day; but more than anything, I just wanted to get out of there, dry off and eat some turkey!
The goal tomorrow is to just have fun and get in a good workout. This is an “offseason” race, so I haven’t really been training for it and I know I’m far from being in peak race shape. I’m about 5-7 pounds heavy and I haven’t done any speed work in months. If I had a goal, it would be to try and set a PR for this course…which is currently 36:36.
One last thing that I would like to mention in regards to Thanksgiving and eating in general this time of year. While I still try and eat healthy and clean even in the offseason, I have given in to a few sweets and second helpings over the last few months (thus the extra 5-7 pounds). I will also be enjoying all of the typical Thanksgiving Day foods that I normally steer clear of. I’ll have some rolls and even a few sugar-packed desserts over the next few days. Keeping all that in mind, you don’t have to go crazy over the holidays and add unnecessary weight. You can enjoy all of your favorites without going overboard. Here is a link to a post I did last year at this time…Food Guide for the Holiday’s.