You must be thinking…Why is there a race report post right after a sick run post? Truthfully, I don’t know myself. Inside of me there must be a masochist waiting to be discovered. Yesterday, after my sickness have regressed to just some sniffles, I decided to sign up for this race as a way to shock my system back to health. I’ve had a bunch of lackluster runs and too many days off and wanted for all the world to get back to marathon training. What better way to signaling my return off the DL than by running a good race? I knew my legs love the idea; I just wasn’t sure if the rest of my body was up for the challenge.
It turned on my assessment was dead on. I should have just stayed in bed. By the start of the race at , the temperature was already over 80 degrees with 70% humidity. Omigosh! To top it all off, in my rush to get out of my apartment this morning, I forgot to bring my water bottle, and so had no beverage in hand on my walk over to the park. Bad, bad, bad Laminator!
And so that’s how it came to be, that even as I kept warning myself over and over at the start line to go out easy and conservative (no PR chasing!), I got carried away by the rush around me and ended up running 6:13 and 6:12 for the first two miles. What the heck! Mind you, my PR pace at this distance was min/miles, and these numbers would be fast even for a 4 miler in the middle of winter, never mind 5 in mid-June! I knew I was in trouble when somewhere shortly after the second mile, I saw my HR already at 181 and climbing. Those numbers are usually reserved for my finishing kick…not mile 2. I screamed at myself to slow down, but my legs weren’t as responsive as I would’ve liked.
As expected, I started melting at mile 3, running it at . Full meltdown occurred at mile 4, going over Cat Hill. I was dehydrated, sweating bullets, and wanting for all the world to just stop running at this point. I think I came real close to registering my first DNF during this mile. Luckily, I spot one of my teammates taking pictures somewhere during the climb up the hill, and somehow managed to wave, put on a fake smile for the camera, and press on. Time for mile 4, …yuck!
Mile 5 was about just holding on for the finish. For the first time in as long as I could remember, there was no planning for a kick, no looking for a nemesis to pass. In fact, I think I got passed by like 4 or 5 guys during this final stretch. Instead, it was just about reaching the finishing line before I’d totally collapse. I did all I could to just keep my legs moving and to maintain balance. In my extremely dehydrated state, I could see myself swerving in the roadways ever so slightly from side to side. By the time I finished mile 5 at , I was so delirious, I almost felt on top of one of the volunteers as she handed me my cup of water.
Finishing Time – 32:41;
Pace – ; Age Graded % - 65.7%;
Overall Place – 94/3096 (3.0%);
Gender Place – 87/1600 (5.4%);
Age Place – 33/1211 (2.7%);
Sorry for the terseness of this report, but my memories after the race are as jarbled as my brain was during it. I guess in a way it is a perfect representation of my experience.
All-in-all, it was a forgettable race, as I saw my string of 9 consecutive road race PRs finally snapped…Boo! What began as an attempt to shock my system into shape became overall more detrimental to my health than the effort it was worth today. Luckily, in the end, all that really got damaged were my pride and my confidence.