|Thanks to Jen for the (no drama, just smiles) finish line photo.|
The night before, we went to some friends' house for a belated holiday party and filled up on margaritas, wine, caramel corn, bread and cheese, prosciutto, smoked salmon and very rare prime rib. I volunteered to be the DD and managed to limit my celebration to one serving of most of the food and one margarita and a couple of glasses of wine interspersed with at least 5 glasses of sparkling water over 5+ hours. Perfect pre-long-run (note: yes, 10 miles is a long run for me right now) loading, right?
At 4 AM, E woke me up, puking. At 5:30 AM, I woke with lower abdominal cramps, similar to the discomfort I felt in Cambodia when my traveling companions were suffering severe gastrointestinal distress and an inability to go anywhere due to a constant need to be near the bathroom -- Awesome. I just hoped for the best and went back to sleep. At 6:55, when I woke for the race, I seriously considered dropping out. I had no idea what was going on with my stomach, but suspected it could actually be a true gastrointestinal infection.
But... Jen was going and I was looking forward to catching up with her. After coffee and getting dressed I decided I would drive to the race and at *least* attempt the 5K -- I figured if it was something serious, my body would let me know.
I arrived, picked up my bib, met up with Jen and tried to ignore the freezing cold and cramping in my lower belly. My Garmin was completely without a charge, which was just as well...I knew I wasn't going to be pushing the pace even before I had the stomach issues. See, due to the fact that I'm *very* protective of my body and will stop running hard at the teensiest hint of an injury, and the fact that the last couple months of the year were a ridiculous whirlwind of travel, I haven't run 10 miles in one go since last September.
In fact, the longest run I've done since September was December's virtual Jingle Bell Hell -- which was more of a run/walk and not exactly an inspirational effort.
I headed out with the runners at the start and made it to mile 1 before I decided I need audio distraction. I put in my headphones and decided I'd re-evaluate my belly situation at the 5K turn-around. Thankfully, after 1.5 miles of running, my stomach felt better, so I decided to just try my luck. My very simple goal was to just keep a nice easy run/jogging pace and to avoid walking as much as possible. I succeeded. I was slow -- as in, the folks around me were Gallo-walking. They'd pass me on their run segments and then I'd pass them on their walk segments. But, I didn't stop to walk except when it was time to take in Gatorade at the aid stations.
My body was very nice to me and didn't decide it needed a bathroom 'til mile 8. Of course, this is right around the point where the bathroom availability disappeared on the course. Thankfully, I was able to push through to the end and just keep going over the finish line straight to the restrooms.
Final results: 10 miles in 1:52:30 @ 11:15/mile pace (I took the 13 seconds or so it took me to get across the start line very seriously and deducted them from my official results, 11:15/mile is just so much more respectable than 11:16, don't you think?).
I'm very happy with how this worked out. I just ran, enjoyed my audiobook, and had a great time -- my running with joy goal was met. Plus, Jen and I got to go stuff our faces with mediterranean food afterwards while we caught up, which was fun *and* delicious.
Total miles for the week: 23.97, including the 10 mile "race", some speedy short work at track day (200s? 100s? yeah, my butt, legs, and core were a bit confused about how fast and short those segments were), about 3-4 miles of walking, and the remainder at easier mid 9s and 10s.
So, now that I've passed the 10 mile (run with joy) mark, my new goal is 12 miles (ran with joy). Not sure when I'm going to fit this one in, but the goal is to get it done sometime before Kaiser Permanente, so that I know I can run/jog a half marathon before I show up. Thank goodness for races -- without them, I wouldn't have any distance goals at all...