You know what I love most about new to me distances? Automatic PR. There is no comparison to prior runs because there hasn’t been any! For as slow as I am, I still get super hung up on my time. Maybe it is because I am slow and I want to justify my times. Or maybe because I get hung up on time in normal, everyday life as well. Who knows? But for me, races at new distances can be so refreshing because again, there is nothing to compare it against. It’s just you and the course. Which is probably how it should be all the time, and I have to remember that. What’s the worse that could happen? Oh wait – I was super slow at last week’s Princess Half and still had a blast.
How’d this race come to be? Okay so not how did this race come to be, but how did I get involved? Especially so soon after Princess? Let’s just say I’m a sucker for races and chocolate. Ha! Actually there was talk at work about doing this race but in the end I was the only one to sign up. So be it.
Towards the end of the week, all the traveling, etc caught up with me and I could feel a cold coming on. I fought it as best I could – lots of orange juice, vitamin C and the like. I decided to play the race by ear. If I needed to take a “DNS” (did not start), I would. I don’t like doing that. Once I’m signed up, I feel committed.
The expo was small and not chaotic (thank the Lord!). Due to some work calls I wasn’t able to get my race nails done.
Another Sunday, another early morning wake up call. Fortunately, not quite as early as last Sunday! If I really wasn’t feeling well, I was going to call it, if it was raining at all, I was going to call it. While I wasn’t feeling stellar, I felt as if the cold was still in my head (not in my lungs) and it wasn’t raining. Game on!
I drove to the race, encountering tons of traffic (no wonder they wanted us to get there early!). I passed by the port-o-potties and went into the Armory (where I had used the bathroom before the Seattle Half) and surprise, no lines! In fact, I think the lines for the port-o-potties were longer!
The one thing I hadn’t planned on was the sun!! While it was fabulous to see the sun, I wished I had brought my sunglasses!
To my dismay I was assigned to the last corral. Which meant zero cushion between me and the time limit (15 minute per mile pace). Again, what’s the worst that could happen? I get pulled off the course? Eh, the way I was feeling that wouldn’t be so bad.
We started off downhill, but as we have learned many a time, what goes down, must go up! Ha! And sure enough, as I continued downhill, I saw the racers in front of me coming back up the hill.
That would become the theme of the race – up the hill and then down the hill. Then up the ginormous hill, and down again.
I was coming down a hill, heading towards the Mile 7 sign when I heard someone call out my name! Turned out it was a reader who recognized me by my skirt!! (Hi Heidi!! So nice to meet you!)
Up to the top of another hill and they were packing up the water station. Just slightly demoralizing. And by slightly, I mean very. But I was almost done. Less than 2 miles to go at this point.
While I was going to “automatically PR” I had made myself an internal goal of under 2 hours. I rounded the corner and saw the 9 mile sign! It was going to be close but I had a few minutes for the last three tenths. Oh my gosh. Those last three tenths were horrific and lasted forever. I went up the slight incline and when I finally saw the finish line in the distance I was able to spur myself on. But it was too little, too late. I crossed the line in 2:00.37 – close but not quite. Oh well.
Now while I started off the day feeling okay, I forgot to take into account what I would feel out on the course. I may have mentioned this before but I have asthma – for the most part it is under control, except in cold weather and when I have a cold. And both of those were in play this morning. Running this race may not have been my best decision, but fortunately it doesn’t appear to be my worst decision. I actually was fairly okay during the race itself. My breathing was slightly more labored than it would be normally during a race. Until I crossed the finish line. At that point, it was extremely hard to catch my breath and I was wheezing out of control. I have an inhaler, but I really don’t like using it because I don’t like the side effects. I knew there was chocolate to be had (both cocoa and coffee can help with asthma) so I decided to see if that would help.
I got my finisher’s mug with my hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and other goodies. Yum!! And so ends the 2013 Hot Chocolate 15K.
P.S. The chocolate and subsequent stop at Starbucks did help with the wheezing.