Thursday, June 12, 2008

Flag Day 5K

I am not sure why it this has happened but I have a few ideas. The only problem is it could be a combination of two or more. All I know is my less than stellar running on Sunday had carried over into last night's race. My goody bag came with an upset stomach, a bittter, bitter taste in my mouth and more disappointment than I ever felt racing before.

I arrived around 6:00pm and the parking lot was already packed. I was still feeling sluggish and really hoping I had recovered from the triathlon to have a decent performance tonight. I was thinking negative thoughts the whole time as I knew there were quite a few fast people here and putting up a bad time would look even worse in comparison.

I ran into e-speed almost right away and my teammate, MF. We chatted about some past races this year. E-speed had asked me if I was going to be running hard. I told her I would be giving it my best, although my mileage was minimal and I had just done a triathlon (truer words had never been spoken). I also, met her college roomie who was very pleasant and also a runner in college.

I did a short warm-up for about 15 minutes not really feeling it and ran into BS. He had done a 10k race in Columbus and run very well. He told me tonight's race strategy was simple "just run hard." I got back to my truck and grabbed some water, took a gel and hit my inhaler 2 times as I was already struggling to breathe.

I lined up a few rows back with TD and KR. I knew I had no chance of being in the top of the female finishers, little did I know finishing in the 50% was going to be a miracle.

Now the first mile is really fast as you run down a very steep hill and then a straight-a-way before making a 180 degree turn to come back. I felt I was pushing it almost immediately. I told myself to back off and slow it down. I saw AS ahead of me, but I was gaining on her. That is what usually happens so I was okay, but then TD and KR just started pulling away. Maybe they were pushing it? I couldn't chase them I was already struggling to breathe. Mile 1 - 7:05. That was a great time, but being as how there was a big downhill it should have been much easier.

Second mile it hit me. My airway closed up and I couldn't breathe. Oh, no!! I had left my inhaler thinking the pre-puffs were enough. I was not feeling good at all. I wanted to stop and walk. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I wanted to quit. CS who is AS's hubby ran by me at that point. He had a strange look on his face. I think he was a little surprised I was fading so bad. I tried to stay with him, but it was too much and I wanted to vomit. I was having a bad race and to make matters worse this guy wearing headphones was in front of me and as I tried to pass him on the left he cut me off, then I tried to pass him on the right and he cut me off again. Frustrated and pissed, I had enough energy to yell "Come on dude...Seriously!!!" I hate headphones now that I run without and notice all the issues they cause in races. Aaarrggghhhh!!! Finally, on the third try I got around him, but I was so mad I cut him off and then ran in front of him for a bit and then right next to him. I am such a b%tch when I am having a bad race. CS was still with me wearing his headphones and took the time to pull one out of his ear to yell at me that Buckcherry's "Crazy Bitch" was on. HAHA very funny! Mile 2 was 8:19. I don't know how I faded that bad. I was so embarassed and the worst was yet to come.

I took 2 cups of water at the aide station, one to drink and one to cool me off. I was really thinking about what BS said about running hard and I was upset because lately I have been so unmotivated to run and train. It's like I lost my edge. I decided to just run this last mile as best I could and stop thinking about how mad I was or how I wanted to die or how I couldn't breathe. I picked it up a little to the hill, but then the nail in the coffin came. Salty passed me!!! Now, I know she is a really great runner, but she is pregnant. I made some comment about how bad I must really be running. She laughed and said "C'mon then." All I could muster was an excuse that I was too whipped from the tri, but then I added I suppose it was still easier than running with a bun in the oven, which is just a testament to what a great runner she really is. I made it up the hill and then back down. I had nothing today for the finish. I couldn't kick or catch anybody. I did remember to run to the clock this time and not stop at the cones. Last 1.1 8:54. Total time 24:19.

Wow, now that was U-G-L-Y. I headed straight to the woods and immediately began ralphing. Eeewww!! The walrus ran over and brought me some water. I felt like crap. I was irate with my performance or should I say lack there of. I wasn't going for a PR, but to be 2 minutes off my time from 2 months ago. What the hell was going on?

The walrus walked me to my truck so I could change and get my inhaler before going out for his cool-down (one of the many reasons I love him).

I got changed and headed back up to the top of the hill for awards. My walrus got 2nd in his AG with a 47 second season PR. His times are finally dropping back down to where he wants them and many of my running friends won AG's and OA's. I was unfortunate enough to place 3rd in the women's 35-39 AG. The woman had butchered my age when writing it on my Bib so the 30 looked like a 38. I had made mention to her, but she said she fixed it and it looked fine. Apparently she had been wrong. The RD then butchered my last name when announcing winners. I did not of course claim the award. I did however, stop and talk to the RD and try to explain the situation to him. We found the correct 3rd place woman, who just happened to be standing by us and she got her plaque. He said he would make the correction, but I am thinking I will still be ranked in the wrong age group. I had a few cramps in my toes and my groin along with a very upset stomach. It was time to head home and get cleaned up, wash off the disappointment and prepare to get back on the horse.


E-Speed said...

Hey girl, we all have bad nights. Just take it easy this next week and recoup. I think you did great for toughing it out when you were obviously in a bad mood and couldn't breathe. It's no fun when you push and your body just isn't responding. I am sure you will get your speed back before you know it!

TrainingtoTri said...

you are so so so stinking hard on yourself! What good does it do? You are an awesome athlete, you can't have an amazing run everytime. I am sorry you felt so bad and had such a bad race, but do not beat yourself up! You hear me? Or I will beat you up :)

Julia said...

Dang girl, your determination can overwelm one sometimes. Don't worry about the races, it was a H-O-T weekend, I know everyone I have been talking to has been struggling with the heat. I am sure you will be back in no time (probably kicking some arse at the Jim Klett).

See you then.

solarsquirrel said...

Listen - this weather and humidity is out of control. Some people deal with it better than others - you'll get used to it, just give yourself a few more weeks to adjust. In the mean time you still have a good race, even if they did think you were 38.

CJ said...

Wow- rough race. Good for you for hanging in there.

Don't feel too bad about getting passed by Salty. She's not at her normal crazy fast speeds, but as you have seen, she's pretty fast for a pregnant person.

It's kind of funny that to top it all of they prematurely aged you 8 years. I hate when that happens!

Next race will be better!

allanjel said...

Thanks for the positive comments everybody. I appreciate it :) But, sometimes I just need a really good hard kick in the a$$!!! Hope this race was it.