O M GEE, kids! Saturday was rough. Originally, I thought that my biggest problem would be pain in my feet, but that ended up being the least of my worries.
It was a cold morning, but really beautiful. I decided not to wear a jacket at the beginning of the race and boy was I glad I didn't have to carry that thing around with me for 15.5 miles. I also noticed that I screwed up the laces on one of my shoes, right before the race, but didn't have time to fix it. I hoped that it wouldn't come back to bite me during my race...
|I think I was doing the Frankenstein Shuffle here. Thanks to the Hawkeye 50 for the photo.|
No surprise, my biggest problem during the race turned out to be how undertrained I was. There wasn't anything I could do about that, since I couldn't make myself be uninjured all Winter long. So, all I could do was plug away and hope I was strong enough to finish the race.
About 2 miles or so into the race, a woman came around me and asked, "Are you a talker or a quieter?" I think she was looking for someone to run and chat with, and we were pretty closely paced. I felt bad, but I told her I was a quieter, because I couldn't breathe very easily when I ran. She said, she totally understood and went past me. I really appreciated her asking me, because some people just assume you are like they are and want to chat. We ran pretty closely together, passing each other at different times until I got to the Spillway. The water was a bit higher than years past, and there was ice on some of the rocks, so I was pretty careful not to fall as I crossed. There was a nice little group of us running/walking up the crazy hill after the spillway. It was there that I realized that my shoe lacing problem was going to mess with me. My shoe was so loose that I was afraid it was going to come off, so I had to stop and untie and retie it tighter. Of course, it all took way longer than it should have because I got my hands wet during the water crossing and they were freezing in the cold air. By the time I got all recombobulated (it's a word in my head. Trust me), all my running group friends were long gone.
By the 7th mile, I was in a bad place. I was already exhausted, I couldn't see anyone in front of or behind me and I thought I might be last. I also was silly and was trying to do math to calculate what time I might get into the finish at my current pace...I can't really do math when I'm not oxygen deprived and exhausted, so that was clearly a bad idea. I calculated incorrectly, and thought it would take me 3.5 hours at this pace. I also started breathing too shallowly, which can turn into panic breathing. So, I told myself to chill the Eff out. I worked on slowing down my breathing, tried to rationally look at the chances that I was actually last, and admitted that I saw people behind me at the water crossing, and even if I was last and it did take me 3.5 hours to finish, so what? All I had to do was get through this next mile, and if I had to walk, then I'd walk. My breathing calmed down, and I carried on...Albeit, very slowly.
I walked up most of the big hills, because I knew I didn't have much left and I didn't want to burn all of my matches on the uphills. I ran past a woman and then a couple and then a man and by the time I hit the paved road with about 4 miles left, I passed another woman. I kept trying to go one more mile and see if I could do that without walking, and finally I was at the turn-off with about a half mile to go. John was waiting for me there and told me I was almost there. Two women came out of nowhere and passed me like I was standing still on the home stretch. If I had any oxygen left, I would have said, "Good on you. Go get it!" I finally finished and I could barely stand. I finished in 2 hours and 38 minutes the year before and this year it took me 2 hours and 55 minutes. Yikes.
I will say, that if my whole point of racing is to push myself past certain limits, then I was a HUGE winner. Unfortunately, I may have pushed myself way harder than I should have. I could barely walk after the race, I've had digestive problems and haven't been able to eat much since the race and I was passing-out on and off for a day or two after. Today things are getting back to normal, but I'm not doing any physical exercise, except bike commuting to work and back to let myself rest until tomorrow when I'll reevaluate.
John's race went better than mine, but not as well as he had hoped. He finished a few minutes slower than the year before and said he didn't feel that great during the whole race. He still managed to be 4th in his category and 18th overall. A pretty great result, as far as I'm concerned.
After the race, we met some of our friends at Big Grove for lunch and beer. I was feeling okay at first and got to play with my friend's beautiful baby girl. I gave the baby back and then I was starting to feel hot and dizzy again. I tried to go outside and sit with my head between my knees, but that wasn't working either. I went inside and told John that I needed the keys to the car. I was pretty embarrassed, but I knew if I didn't hightail it somewhere where I could lie down, I was going to pass-out. John came out to check on me, but we had ordered food, so he went back into the restaurant. I told him to go back and have fun. I would be just fine, as long as I didn't have to sit up. I don't know how long I was out, but when I woke-up/came-to, I felt a lot better. I went in, and John had already eaten and had the waitress box up the rest of our food. I told him I was feeling better and took a few bites of my salad. I wasn't hungry, but all I had eaten so far that day was some oatmeal and a couple of Gu's and I had burned about 2300 calories during the race, so I figured I should. We stayed and chatted with everyone about a half hour more, and then we headed home. It was a great day and I was happy I finished it. My body might be a little pissed off at me, but what else is new?