I again raced for bacon last night in Sheridan Park!
I wanted this race to go better than it did, but given all of the events of the week, I am ok with my time. (She says in an effort to convince herself.)
I have been struggling with some GI stuff this week, which likely started on vacation in Chicago. Getting out of my routine usually leads to disruption in my GI system. I started drinking this Smooth Move tea on Monday to try to remedy this. Then I had a crazy lunch with lots of quinoa (which previously has never lead to good things with my body) on Tuesday which led to a failed tempo run and some vomit. Thus, I took Wednesday off. I was not looking forward to the race in the beginning of the week.
Then, we watched Moana, a movie that I love, and I had a great night of sleep. I woke up Thursday with a better attitude.
However, I made the mistake of continuing using the Smooth Move tea throughout the day AND had Indian food for lunch because I attended a talk for work. The pairing of these two things led to a lot of bathroom time for me. (Sorry - I am trying to be real about this situation without being too gross. Fine line, I get it.)
The race began at 6:30 pm and is on the south side of the city. I live northwest of the city so I wasn't going to have enough time to go home between work and the race with traffic. Thus, I changed into my race gear at my office and went straight to the park. I arrived really early, went to the bathroom, picked up my packet, and then went back to my car and read my book for a bit. I did a warm up run and felt a little weird at the beginning of the warm up -- wobbly legs --- but I was really nervous for the race so I chalked it up to that. Then had to hit the bathroom, again.
We started to line up for the race, but it was strange because no one seemed to want to line up on the starting line. I usually am hesitant to be on the line, but because no one else was, I stepped up. There were protesters that cleverly got a hold of the race microphone for a bit before anyone figured out what was going on, and then we were off.
A younger guy took off after the bikes. And then, it was me. There was a guy next to me but that appeared to be it. I was thinking that the situation was strange and thought, "Am I running too fast?" but I didn't feel like I was running fast so I just kept going. I have not been able to pace very well lately (which is something I typically am decent at) so I should have checked my watch but I didn't. I just kept running. At about 0.75 miles, another woman came up by me. We turned a corner and BAM! Full-on headwind, which sucked. My mile beeped at 6:00. AW shit. That was way too fast. I could feel myself getting tired. The woman took off and I did not go with her. I just tried maintaining but the wind wore me out. We finally turned a corner and then were on a bike path with the wind behind us. I was done for.
So. Tired. I sort of mentally gave up at this point. My legs hurt, I was winded. My second mile was 6:11. Just keep running. Just keep running. Do not stop.
I could hear no one behind me but I didn't turn around. The woman ahead of me had left me in her dust. Seriously she was CRUISING.
I turned another corner and just could not believe how far away the finish line seemed. I also saw that there was a guy catching up to me. Randomly a family friend who lives on the south side was running with a group (not part of the race) and cheered for me, saving me a bit. I mustered all I had to get to the finish. I maintained the third place overall, second place female finish with a time of 19:33.
I had to wait at the finish a bit, bent over. A guy came up to me and asked if I was ok and I was...eventually. I talked with the first place female, who I believe ran a 18:22. So fast and so nice!
I headed over to do a cool down. My family wasn't there, and I didn't know anyone at the race, so that made it easy to get a cool down in. I really struggled to move my legs during the cool down, but got 1.7 miles in.
After my cool down, I changed my shoes and went to grab my post-race food. Given that this race is around dinner time, they post-race food is substantial for this. Each participant gets a beverage of choice and then essentially a boxed lunch type meal. I sat on the lawn to watch the band and eat my meal.
At that point, I remembered how cold it gets by the lake at night. I remembered freezing at this race last year. A little too late since I hadn't remembered to pack a long sleeve shirt or jacket. Luckily the awards started soon.
It turns out that my finish time beat the previous course record, which meant that the first place woman has the new course record! That was pretty exciting. (We high fived.) It was fun to be a part of a strong women's finish, being the top two and three overall. They also improved the awards this year. The top three men and top three women all got the cooler full of bacon (and other pork products) AND a gift certificate to Performance Running Outfitters! I was pumped as last year I finished second woman and did not get the gift card (only the first place in each gender did).
I again could not resist texting my husband, "I'm bringing home the bacon". :)
So I did have a bit of downward spiraling after this race. I really thought I would be faster. I ran a 19:49 last year at this race, only two weeks after ditching a boot for a stress reaction. I have been so consistent with training, particularly over these summer months, I was expecting a big payoff in this race. I feel better about it today and am also happy that I have a break from racing for a while. My next planned race, an 8K, is not until mid-September.