Remember how I mentioned I’d been dealing with a sinus infection all week? And how I went on a run Thursday and that prompted a huge coughing fit?
That fit lasted the next two days and nights which means that on Saturday morning (race morning), I had slept like crap, my chest and throat were burning and my stomach muscles ached from all the coughing.
In other words, I wanted to go back to bed more than I wanted to race when the alarm went off yesterday morning.
But…onward we must go so I had what is starting to become my traditional breakfast if I have a morning run-Love Crunch carrot cake granola with almond milk, banana and tea with honey.
I am finding that if I have this meal about an hour before I run, I feel energized and satisfied enough to get through 3-4 miles pretty easily without feeling too full.
Then Jason and I headed to Addison where the race was being held and met up with my friend, Lauri, who is a veteran racer and was nice enough to run this with me for support and encouragement.
So tired (notice the attractive bags under my eyes) but still excited and ready to go:
I had gotten a lot of good advice from a couple of racing friends before the race and the advice that kept getting reiterated was that the crowd often started out too quickly and to not let myself get pulled into that, especially since I was sick. Just set my pace and stick with that.
So I did and I have to say, it was a little disheartening at first as I seemed to get passed by everyone-people with strollers, 5 years olds, the elderly, people in wheelchairs (okay, not that last one-it just felt like it). My competitive nature reared it’s head and I was tempted to step it up and push past people but fortunately, reason won out-I knew I didn’t have a whole lot in reserve and I needed to pace myself.
Did I mention it was also almost 90 degrees by race time (8:30am) with almost equal humidity? Conservation was key here.
After the first mile, those that had surged ahead of me started slowly down or walking so I was able to catch up with people as long as I kept a steady pace. Lauri fell in next to me once to check on me and we walked together for a little bit before starting up again and going at our own pace.
I had a podcast in my ears and I found myself needing to just put my head down and go into a zone, letting the podcast help me tune out everything around me. I wonder if that will be my normal race procedure or if this was more because I wasn’t feeling well and needed to focus my energy only on my progress and not on what was going on around me. I guess we’ll find out with the next one.
I let myself take a couple of walk breaks when needed but all in all, was fairly happy with the pace I was able to maintain. My legs felt strong and capable-which was encouraging-and I felt like I would have needed to take less walk breaks had I been less tired.
By the time I was at about 2 miles, the heat and sun were getting a little uncomfortable so I was happy to be turning into the last leg that would get us back to the finish line.
I crossed the finish line at 40:33 minutes-which is only a few minutes off my normal time for that distance. That is also 545th overall and 45th in my division-solidly mid-pack. Honestly, I couldn’t be more pleased with how I did for my first race!
The people behind me are pretty pumped too-I’m assuming at my finish.
So that’s it! After the race, Jason and I headed home and picked up Taco Bueno for an after race snack which is probably the exact opposite of what I should have had but it’s what I craved so I went with it. Then it was naptime and we finished off the day by watching the new Star Trek movie (loved it!) and early bedtime.
Lessons from the race:
-Get more wicking/dry weave shirts now. That cotton tank I wore is a fave of mine because it’s soft and comfy but it wasn’t cutting it in the heat.
-Don’t depend on the race provided water stops. Fortunately, I had brought a small bottle with me but I almost didn’t and as hot and muggy as it was, I would have regretted it.
-Race energy is great but it can also be distracting. I need to find a balance between allowing myself to enjoy the fun of a race while still focusing on what I need to do.
The next race is Capt’n Karl’s 10K at Pedernales Falls state park. It’s my first trail race and I cannot WAIT to have that experience!
Jason and I are off on vacation next week so I don’t know how much I’ll be posting before we leave on wednesday-but when I get back you’ll have photos of Grand Cayman island to drool over.