Monday, September 26, 2011

Racing Day run report

Saturday was racing day -- my 10K run at the zoo.

It started off as a great day. The weather was beautiful -- sunny and about 14C -- the warmest it has ever been for any of my races and I was excited to have a running buddy. The only downside to the day was that when I woke up that morning, my chest felt tight and my muscles were achy -- I figured it was the onset of a cold and I popped some cold drugs (hey, there's no drug test at these races, so it's ok!)

But within a kilometre and a half, I realized that this 'cold' was going to kick my ass and this was not going to be an easy race. My breathing was off, my legs wouldn't loosen up and the whole thing just felt like a struggle. The only thing that kept me going at a decent pace was my running buddy -- we stuck together for the first six and a half kilometres -- and having him beside me definitely kept me in the mental game of wanting to 'keep up'.

But back to the 1.5K mark -- I was already feeling like I was struggling and there was a still a long way to go. But I powered on, and it felt like it got a bit easier. Finally, we rounded 4K and I needed to take a minute to catch my breath, so we walked for a minute or so before starting up again.

As we rounded 5, our cheering squad was waiting for us -- Ryan and the kids and Hugh's wife and kid were yelling and cheering us on. And, in every other race, I've smiled and waved at my cheering squad as I ran by. And I'm sure I did this time, but Ryan later told me that he saw the look on my face and saw that I was having a bad day.

Because you see, bad run days happen from time to time. And when I'm out on a training run, and it's just not going my way, I usually call it quits -- say 'to hell with it', head for home and run again another day. Except when running the race I've been working towards for the last few months -- I didn't want to call it quits.

At 6 and a half kilometres, my running buddy left me. I was seriously starting to slow down, and he wanted to push through. I don't begrudge him for leaving me at all (we had actually talked about it before we even started -- that when one wanted to leave, then they should just go). But after he left, I lost a lot of motivation to go on.

The last few kilometres are a bit of blur. I wanted to quit -- but I didn't want to. And so I pushed on, and on, and on. I felt like I was barely moving. And even when I got to 9 and had hoped to pick up the pace, I just couldn't do it.

The kids and Ryan were cheering for me just past 9 and a half and I tried to smile and wave but I was hurting. Ryan ran over the hill and met me on the other side as I rounded the corner -- maybe 200 metres from the finish line -- and encouraged me to go on, told me I could do it. 

And I did. I finished. And at first, when I got my time, I was disappointed. It wasn't as fast as I had hoped. But then I remembered, that what I really wanted to do was quit -- and I didn't. So that was all that mattered. And besides, it's still faster than the very first time I ran the zoo run in 2009.

So I finished the run in 1:15.7. I'm pretty pleased with myself, actually. In 23 months, I've run 4, 10K runs, and 3 of them have been in the last 11 months. And these two monsters and my very supportive hubby have gotten out of bed early on a weekend morning each time just to stand outside (sometimes in the cold) to cheer me on as I run by.
Oh yeah, and when I got home I could barely move -- I was hot and I was shivering. So I got out the thermometre, took my temperature and discovered I had a low-grade fever. No wonder it was such a hard run!


Carole said...

Yay Deb!!!!!! The smile on your face certainly does not look like you were sick!You could have even fooled me!

Mom of 12 said...

That's awesome! I've never been a runner...unless it's on the basketball court.

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

You're amazing to finish and you were sick! It's been years since I've done a race, but I'd like to start up again. Though I run about as fast as most people walk. :)

Helene said...

Go you!!! You have way more persistence and strength than I would have. I probably would've started crying on the side of the road somewhere.

You must be super proud of yourself!!!