Race take-away: Rip off the band-aid
It has been extremely hot in this area for quite some time. Temps and humidity are stifling, with most days getting up into the 100s. So needless to say it was a hot and muggy morning to race. We all knew that paces would suffer, but I had more concerns than that on my mind. I’ve just been cleared to run again and in no way am I “race ready”. I have no race fitness in me at this point and am happy to run at all. Top that off with Rob and I both getting some sinus head cold type thing for the last four days and I knew this race would be a brutal experience.
None the less, we were going to race. Rip the band-aid off. Get out there, feel the pain and manage through it. Drew was our cheerleader for the day and was kind enough to drop us off at the first park where the race starts. He would meet us at the finish at the baseball field, the Corn Crib.
It was nice to catch up with everyone before starting the race, it helped keep my mind off the impending pain that was to come. Mid conversation with our friend Nikki and the gun goes off, I hit start on my watch and here we go. I try to settle into a 7:30 pace and hope to manage it will feel manageable. First mile 6:56, too fast and my watch was being deceptive. The current pace is not accurate enough on my Garmin 910XT and needs a software update. The pace was showing slower on my watch that actual (got the software update completed after this race). This would be a bad idea to run too fast and I get my pace to slow down to 7:30 for mile 2. The sun beating down on us, coupled with my head cold make me utterly miserable. My pace slows way down and I know that managing 7:30 won’t happen. My head is making that rushing/pounding sound in my ears that sounds like helicopters. The kind of sound I hear when we have a hard track workout, not good for as slow as I’m going and we are only half way through the race.
Familiar faces pass me, saying hi and being encouraging. I’m reduced to grunting hello and saying how awful I feel. I manage to reciprocate well wishes and just count down the time in my head for it to be over. “20 minutes and this pain will stop”, I tell myself.
I couldn’t even push the last .5 mile, I had nothing to give today, just endured the pain. I crossed the line and resisted the urge to throw up from the dizzy/pounding feeling in my head. After a couple of bottles of water I felt normal again and my sinuses felt more cleared that when we started. Funny enough as time passed, I felt better the rest of the day and happy that I did do this race. I didn’t get to keep the pace I wanted, but I could only guess at what I would be able to manage. I have a long ways to go to ever be race ready again, but it has to start somewhere.
Rob came in at 37:40, 7:32 pace.
I got 3rd in my Age Group!
F 35-39: 3/?
2011 – Park to Park – 36:11
2010 – Park to Park – 34:34
2009 – Park to Park – 39:55
2008 – Park to Park – 44:27
Chicago Marathon training starts next week and I hope the training process brings improvement.