Well, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, this race may have been the ugliest one I have ever run. It was definitely the most miserable! The race itself was perfectly organized and would have been really fun on any other day, but I have been fighting some sort of illness (nicknamed “the wedding plague” because it surfaced after an out-of-town wedding weekend) for a little over a week now. It even caused me time off last week, and I am debating a trip to the doctor (which means it is serious for me!). I’ve also been living off NyQuil and cold meds, which is super unusual because I just don’t like taking medicine for anything unless it’s absolutely necessary. I’ll always complain to Brian, “This really hurts, it’s been hurting all day!” and he’ll say, “Well, did you take anything for it?” and the answer is always “no.” Taking meds just never crosses my mind as an option! This week, though, it’s felt like someone is sitting on my chest, and I am constantly coughing, blowing my nose, etc. My head feels like lead and I just feel exhausted every day – that definitely translated on Sunday.
I signed up for this race before MCM thinking that it would be a fun experience. 12k is an unusual distance, and not really an intimidating one for me anymore. Plus, it was the Road Racing Championships! Who could turn down the opportunity to race with the elites, especially when the opportunity took place in your own backyard? Shalane Flanagan and Deena Kastor were there (though Deena wasn’t running), and Molly Huddle set the 12K WR that morning – sort of cool to be running on the same course when that happened!
Anyway, even though I was sick, I thought I could just take it easy and it would be okay to run. I didn’t want to miss it, especially because it was a no-pressure race. Uggggh. After about 2 miles, I felt differently. At that point, I said outloud, “this was the stupidest decision I have ever made!” and I was pretty close to tears because 5.5 more miles felt so long. There were even points where I thought this 12K rivaled the final 5K of MCM…so that means either my marathon memories are already starting to fade, or that this race was really THAT bad. I kept thinking, “At least I could breathe at MCM!” and kept wondering why I didn’t just drop down to the 5K. Stupid pride. I took my sweet old time at water stops, and got about 5K in before I needed to start alternating walking breaks. I think I took 2-3 somewhat lengthy breaks, especially up the long bridge at the end. It is just impossible to perform when you can’t take more than short, shallow breaths! I guess I should be happy that despite the obstacles, I finished in under 1:15 and under 10 minute/mile pace, but my normal pace for this race would have been 8:30 or less, so it was pretty demoralizing!
I haven’t run very much at all since MCM – umm, maybe 15 miles total? After our out-of-town wedding, I wanted to get back to the grind and back to a routine, but of course, that’s when this illness from hell surfaced. Hopefully I will be back at it soon but I have been finding it all too easy to find excuses to not get up at 5am!