Monday, January 28, 2013

Not all races end well.

Don't let this post race photo fool you. Behind that smile I am fighting the urge to pass out...
~my friend Lisa and I at the finish~
Normally running races don't make me nervous. I'm guessing it's because there is no pressure. Running is definitely my weakest sport in triathlon. The sport I can improve the most. So when I went to bed the night before the race feeling week, dizzy and sporting a massive headache I should have known something was about to happen.
My race was an easy 10km basically out my back door. The run started and ended at my daughters elementary school. I knew the route well so why was I shaking when I picked up my race package? My good friend Renee knew I wasn't feeling a 100% and questioned whether I should be racing. She knows me well enough to know the answer was absolutely! After picking up my race number I had a chat with my triathlon coach Wade. I mentioned feeling a little under the weather he chocked it up to nerves (I think he still needs to get to know me better). So we head over to the finish line, coach has me do some warm up drills, Renee curses that he's making us do this, I feel like I can certainly do this.
Renee and I stay at the back. I prefer to pass people then have people pass me. We start out slow.
Renee is in this picture she is behind the lady in red, you can see a side swoosh of ponytail to the right of the lady's head.
I start to get into my grove and even crack a smile (this rarely happens when I'm running)
I managed to maintain a 5:30/km pace which isn't too bad for me. I was aiming a little faster of a pace but to be honest I'm actually lucky I was able to maintain that. All was going well except that I had to stop at the 2 water stations to sip gatorade. I was one of THOSE runners, gingerly jogging while holding 2 cups trying to settle my stomach without completely stopping. I was trying hard to hold it together. 6k in I got a little surge in me and caught back up to Renee. The route was pretty flat (thank god) I thought I might be able to kick it up a notch. I was getting into the zone. I decided with 1km to go I was going to sprint those last 5 minutes. Then the stitch hit. A stitch like no other. I've had a stitch or two before but this one had me doubled over struggling to breath. I tried to dig my fingers under my ribcage to try to alleviate the discomfort while I slowed my pace down. I told Renee to keep going push hard to the finish. I had tears in my eyes as people were passing me wondering who this person was making these crazy animal sounds. I did not want to walk. I had to make my goal of under 55:00. 
I came around the corner and heard the announcer. I was so close. I just had to push one more time. I could see the clock was 55:20 but I was at the back so I had no idea how close I was close to my goal. I ran as fast as I could and crossed the finish line at what ended up being 55:11. I doubled over into my friends arms with tears dripping down my cheek. I finished and it was uncomfortable. I got home that afternoon and I was ill. It turned out I had a bad case of the flu. Dizziness, headache, body ache, fever, and all of the other fun things that go along with the flu. Should I have run? Should I have pushed when I was breaking down? Was it worth it?
Well, this is what I learned...
Even when I'm not feeling well I can push through the pain.
When you wake up not feeling your normal self you are probably coming down with something.
Trust your instincts.
Do what is right for you.
Recovery is the most important thing.
Be proud even at your worst, you did it!

I have done races before when I've been under the weather but compared to yesterdays race I don't think I have ever been that uncomfortable during a race. I am proud of myself for pushing through that uncomfortable feeling because I have a feeling Ironman will test my will to its maximum. 

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