The week was going along ok until I noticed I was feeling a little bla. Not full-blown sick, but my stomach, shall we say, was off and I had a head ache. My son was complaining of similar symptoms. I wrote it off as one of those bugs that would pass, but on Thursday the school nurse called me and asked me to pick up my son who was now sporting a 101 fever. Later that night I woke up with a very familiar feeling in my throat and I knew right then and there we needed to get in for throat swabs. Sure enough on Friday morning his throat culture came back positive for strep. I knew I had it too, but my pediatrician wouldn’t swab me. I had to go to the urgent care later in the day (time to look for a family doctor?)
I scrounged up a sitter and made it out to get my positive test and prescription for antibiotics. By then I felt like crud. The best part, I had a race on tap for the next morning! And it was a race I was already not feeling particularly ready for. But with the possibility that I would not be able to go looming, I suddenly felt the itch to get out on a race course. I left the decision up to the morning and with some ibuprofen and antibiotics in me, I felt like I could handle it. I also had an off day on my schedule following the race and a down week to boot. I figured I could recover well after.
So I took my sick ass to the race and met my former actual teammate, but current spirit teammate (we just have no team) at the race and I am so glad I did. We had fun on our warm-up and laughing at ourselves. I figured best case not sick I’d run under 6:40 pace. That was my A-goal. B-goal was < 6:50 and C-goal was < 7:00. It’s crazy that this is now a race effort when just 2.5 months ago I was running 8 mile tempos faster than the A goal! But what can you do?
With being sick, I wasn’t worried one bit about pace. I was just going to race it the best I could. I knew the course would be fast for 2 miles, fair for 1 and then slow for the last 2 with hills and wind and … well, let’s be honest … death from being out of shape! And that’s pretty much how it went. I don’t know exactly because I relied on the race clocks and mile markers which seemed off at times, but I think I ran something like 6:25, 6:35, 6:35, 6:55, 6:50 or something along those lines. I started to feel pukey around mile 3 and think I slowed down a little out of self-preservation as well as the hills, wind and out-of-shape thing. I was really happy with it. I think if I was healthy I would have easily met my A-goal and run right in the low-6:30s.
Despite easing up just a touch, I realized I was gaining on another woman around 3 miles in, so I focused on catching her and I did! With about 1k to go I caught her and we worked together pushing each other to the finish. When I crossed the line she came over to me to say good job and we realized we were old running acquaintances! Love when that happens!
Anyway, as far as the performance goes, part of me is thrilled, the part that feels defeated by my late-December injury, wayward since leaving my team, and worried about what my running future holds. I enjoyed racing! I actually had a ton of fun going after it and I didn’t care one iota about my splits! I just wanted to do my best on that day and had the fire inside to go for it. After years of burn out and arriving at races exhausted, this was a revelation!
Of course, there is a small part of me that compares this result, 33:20 for 5 miles, to my past self. I ran faster than this for 5 miles in 2006, for god’s sake! And of course, I ran faster than that for 8 mile tempos a couple of months ago! What the hell? Shut up.
After the race friends from near and far congratulated me. I didn’t make a self-deprecating joke. I didn’t make excuses. I, sometimes begrudgingly, smiled and said thank you. This was a good exercise for me. I am not my race times. 6:40 pace is good enough.
Mon: 22 minute elliptical (was supposed to be 30 min but I was late to the Y. I could have made up the time and then some later but I resisted the anal retentive temptation. Not the time for overachieving) and crazy strength class with tons of pliyometrics. My hip flexors were sore ALL WEEK. #nothyperbole
Tue: 6 miles easy, about 8:30 pace.
Wed: 15:00 warm-up and 6 x 90s @ 5 mile race effort with 90s jog in between and 15 min cool down. Got up and did this in the morning and it felt great!
Thu: 6 miles with the single stroller. So fun! SUNNY, but cold but my 2 year-old daughter and I didn’t mind. We had a blast!
Fri: Was supposed to be 30 minutes but I was so sick and schlepping kids and myself to doctors all day. Rest day it is!
Sat: 5 mile race in 33:20 with about 5 miles of warm-up and cool down. About 7th or 8th place, first in age group. I’ll take it. My teammie won! Such a bad ass 🙂
Sun: Slept. Ate ice cream. Took another kid to get her throat swabbed (+) and slept some more.
Total: 28 miles, 3 miles of elliptical, 1 strength class and a positive strep test.