Guess I’ve waited long enough to get this post out. Time to close this month out on the blog quota and might as well get this one over with. At the beginning of this month I participated in the annual running of Springdale Cemetery. Think this might be my fourth running of this grueling half and I knew this one was going to be tougher than usual before the starting gun ever went off. If you recall this was the first long race since the heat stroke incident. I was back up to 12 miles a couple of times in the weeks leading up to the race, but none of those did I really feel good about.
Either the splits were way off or the body would panic at the 7 or 8 mile mark and just drench my entire body with sweat almost instantly – likely overreacting to internal temps. The doctors informed me that my body would be impacted by the incident and I’d even be more susceptible to heat issues in the future. All things considered, I had the training miles in so there was some confidence I could finish buuuuuuut…..
The second to last week before the race I caught the Peoria Plague. Somewhere around 12 days before the race I lost my voice. A few days later came down with a sore throat and thing I started feeling awful. Still tried to get some of the taper runs in but skipped a few and cut the others down in hopes of preventing it from sinking too far in. No luck, 3 days before the race I was dead on sick. In a last ditch effort I stayed down all day Friday and Saturday in hopes of maximizing whatever energy I had for the race Sunday. The morning was at hand, went through all the pre-race prep activities and even made a point to grab the shirt my brother had made for me. In recognition of my incident and my distaste for Globull Warming, he got me this!
In case you can’t read it, it says “Victim of Global Warming” – the front has a two people carrying a person on a gurney – LOVE IT! By start time I was feeling okay. The race packet indicated they changed the course this year and based on my calcs there was not enough water stops and the ones they had were spaced further than I wanted. One of the changes I had made since the incident was to take a lot more water and more frequently. To compensate for that I decided to carry my own water with me.
… and the traditional start picture – even not feeling 100% doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy at least the start – obviously the lady to my left did not approve of my carefree attitude hehehe. Oh, and race skirts need to go just for the record.
Hit the jump to see how this one turns out (hint .. not good)
At the half way point I was still okay. The splits were a little slower that previous years, but well within my expected times. In an effort to conserve as much as possible I tried to hold myself back a bit up the hills. Good to see I still had a smile at the 6.5 mile mark.
Not long after that, things went downhill fast. I made it up the 4 hill of the race around the 8 mile mark and it felt like someone had switched off the energy. I’ve had jelly legs before and I’ve had heavy feet, but this is a first during a race where it felt like there wasn’t anything left to pick up the knees. A debate ensued about whether I should stop and eventually opted to walk for a minute while I took in some water. After that short break started running again still fighting energy issues but the brief rest definitely helped. Then came mile 10. Two big hills on this mile so once again opted for a minute or so break because I wasn’t going to let the hills beat me. With feet under me again I made it up the two hills – for some stupid reason I was humming the “just keep swimming” song from Nemo. The final large downhill turned out to be a little scary. Not being sure of the legs meant one dragged toe would likely put me down so pulled back on the forward lean help prevent that from happening. This unfortunately meant zero leverage of the downhill speed and more importantly mean the back was taking a beating. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming… just k.. eh better take a quick break again, the body was really hurting. That short walk got me up and out of the cemetery and eyes on the finish. I know EXACTLY how I felt at this point (the final stretch to the finish).
I also was fully aware of the time and that didn’t make me feel good one bit. There are times when you are just glad you made it through. My No DNF streak is still intact, but the never walking streak did bite the big one.
Clearly the body was drained. Not sure if it was due to the heat stroke, the plague or more likely a combination of both took their toll. I had finished and was still proud to have completed my 3rd Half this year. After a significant time trying to get cooled down and rested enough to stand we took the traditional post race shot. Needless to say, I was using that post to keep me upright.
I’d like to say that was the worst of it, but that would be a lie. On the way home I threw up twice. Thank god we took the RV. I was laying out on the back couch when the stomach became extremely disturbed. I’d like to say THAT was the worst of it, but I would be lying AGAIN. Once home I showered and made it into bed. Clearly there needed to be a huge intake of fluids to make up for what was lost during (and now after) the race but every time I tried to put fluid in I threw up again. Drink a bit, wait for it, expel it and repeat. This went on until about 7pm when I finally held down ice chips.
Time to go back to square one and retool the body. Something is wrong and to be honest not entirely sure what it is. Since then I’ve eased up to 6.5 miles to prep for a race at the end of October. That was suppose to a Half as well, but thinking about dropping that back to a single loop (same course as this one). I’ve also switched to all water (no G2) and that seems to helping a lot. Also cut back on how much food I took in prior to the run and so far that has kept the stomach happier. More work to do and probably the hardest part will be convincing Linda I’m fine!
Long story short.. I was throwing (up thanks to the toll from that second) loop.