here were some exciting substitutions made in my training log this week:
2 full boxes of tissues,
3 boxes of theraflu (2 nighttime, 1 daytime),
5 varieties of cough/throat drops (i love that there are plentiful varieties now made sugar free or organic)
1 box of oscilloccinum (which is a box of homeopathic crap if you ask me $20 later)
various scattered doeses of nyquil and dayquil to change things up a bit.
okay, back to the race. woke up saturday and headed to the race site. it was a beautiful day and i met the other 3 girls on my team to warm up. the searing throat feeling and incessant coughing during warm up should have been a clue to pack my bags....but no, i lined right on up. right there along side (well, behind) the 90 fastest cross country runners in the US.
even on the start line i knew things were not quite right. after all, all the little girls (these were not the bodies of women, although they were of age) had on their bun huggers and cross country spikes (what the hell are those?). i didn't even have racing flats. just me and my training mizunos. i told my teammate afterwards that i felt like a freaking minivan lined up to race the grand prix. sweet. anyhow, i STILL thought it would be fun. i was totally prepared to just run my best and have fun. gun goes off..
mile 1 (6:34): pain, but held on to an okay pace...why do i feel asthmatic?
mile 2 (6:58): can't breathe, throat feels closed, not to mention a sudden digestive issues. 1st time i contemplated walking off the course
mile 3 (7:18): all things mentioned in mile 2 getting worse. i keep eyeing the bathroom. times #2-40 i contemplate DNF. the bathroom looks sooooo close! then i realize- i don't even know if there is some kind of DNF protocol and i don't want to get yelled at or embarrassed in this type of serious race situation and told that i didn't DNF properly (note to anyone reading this- are you supposed to do anything if you DNF or just walk away?)...hmmmm...thought about this until...
mile 4 (7:31): ssssssllllllllloooooowwwwing. i'm actually passing 1 or 2 people so i'm glad i'm not dead last, but also hear someone yell, "you're a winner just for being out there!" OUCH! don't care much because....throat ON FIRE!!!!....need to get to the bathroom.....BAD! ugh. terrible terrible pain.
mile 5 (7:29)...finally lapped by shalane flanagan (who was the female winner clocking 25:26), actually, that must be mile 4 because my finishing time for the 8k was 35:42..yeah, 7:10 pace average
sweet. over 40 seconds slower per mile than the 4-miler i did the weekend before and 20 seconds slower than half marathon a month ago....still, i wasn't last (74 of 81, 92 started)
so let's say i learned a lot in this race:
1) racing sick=not smart for me in this case. my new rule is never race if you are less than 90%.
2) consider dropping out if it's that painful/physiologically uncomfortable. i wouldn't have considered it if i was just having a "bad day", but this was unbearable, and the potential damage i did running through it may not have been worth "not quitting".
3) smile, it will all be okay. and damn, it was kind of funny. i can laugh at myself.
4) this was my first "bad race" and i think its a good experience to realize that i will not always place, or even do remotely well, or come close to a goal i have set for the race. there may be more races where i finish in the back of the pack. and that's okay. it's good to know what the back of the pack feels like, i'll cheer people on even harder next time....
after my debaucle, i got out the camera and watched the men tear it up...
ryan hall (5th in men's race)
so after the race, i went home and rested.
today (sunday), i went on an easy, beautiful 50 mile ride along the coast and inland with a fun group from the san diego triathlon club. it was nice to chill and go at an easier pace and especially nice afterwards when bethany and i stopped and got some big frozen yogurts......delicious recovery...i feel much better and overall recovered from the flu nonsense. back to some real training next week and i'm excited! with two "rest" weeks behind me (one intentional, one not), i'm ready to go! I'm actually thinking of adding a third masters session this week only for a little swim kick in the butt....thinking is the key word here, we'll see.