Saturday, June 19, 2010

How Not to PR - Race Report

Sooooo... If I ever uttered "the sentence "it's JUST a cold" please forgive me. I was ignorant. I have not been sick in sooooo long. My last really nasty cold was November 2008 (Thanksgiving with my in-laws). My last flu was in 1998. That was also the last time I had a fever. It all started with a sore throat on my flight back from Vegas. Then came the cough, then the very painful deep cough, then the congestion, the sneezing, more painful coughing, and finally the bouncing headache. From Sunday to Thursday it kept on getting worse. I even skipped work on Thursday afternoon and went home. And I know it's JUST a cold, and a lot of people have it so much worse. But I don't remember ever feeling this bad. It did not help that I was working 12 hours days trying to finish my dissertation.
Tussey Mountain Ski Area Pavillion

But today... Today I felt better. So I ate a huge greasy breakfast and made my way to the Clearwater Conservancy Strides for Nature 6K. I had convinced my good friend Dan to sign up, and felt bad to let him run it alone. So, I went there, with zero expectations, just excited and happy to be out and about and able to run again. This is how it went down (and down it went)...

My only attempt at a "race" outfit was my awesome BondiBand

The course was gorgeous. Loads of trees, birds, cute little creeks. A delight. The course was also very well marked, which was important since most of the time I was running alone... There weren't that many people, which was very nice.I could just go at my pace.

I started really well. My legs were raging to go (no exercise in a week, worse than a tapper). Sadly, I blew up pretty much straight away since I am still very congested and loads of gunk is coming up from my favorite lungs. It did not help that it was all uphill until the halfway mark. So after 14 minutes I told my friend Dan to go and I WALKED... Yes, I did that. Am I proud? No! But my HR was at 197... I walked for about 1 1/2 minute, until Dan was far enough that I would not try to catch him. I got passed by others but that was OK. I was just happy to be running again.

I ran until the aid station, got some water, started running straight into a monster climb. I decided that my pride was already gone, and I might as well walk that hill too... Just walking the hill made my HR shoot up to 197 again. I think I walked for about 5 minutes, until I got passed by two high school girls. They stopped to walk at the TOP of the hill, when I decided to start running again. I never saw them after that. I was on my own, on a single track trail, in the forest. Very cool.

I was running pretty comfortably. It turns out that you don't need lungs to run downhill. However, it was very steep, with loads of lose gravel, so I wasn't going very fast anyway. I almost fell a couple of times. This was really not a course to PR on.

The last section was back on the road, and was mostly flat. I could see one woman ahead, that had passed me when I was walking the hill. But I did not have it in my heart (or lungs) to even try to catch up. It was just too hot, my belly was complaining, my lungs were screaming...
I love laying on the grass...

So... I don't know my exact time. I forgot to stop my watch. Something around 42 minutes for 4.25 miles... And even though I have never run a 6K, I will not claim this as a PR. I was not prepared,and the course was really tough. So I did not race this, so I don't deserve a PR. But I did have a great time. I really enjoyed hanging out with buddy Dan and meeting new people, the post-race food was excellent and the organizers amazing. So, I'd still call it a great day :-)

I will try to catch up on blogging after Tuesday, when my dissertation draft is submitted... Happy training y'all!


  1. Good luck with the dissertation and well done for tackling this race even though you were sick, many would've just stayed in bed.

  2. Ugh...being sick just sucks! And trying to run while you're sick is soooo hard! I think you did great considering all you had to deal with!

  3. Thank you for the encouragement :-)