Monday, August 30, 2010

Annapolis 10 Mile Race

On Sunday morning, I ran my first 10 mile race. Before I say anymore, I'd like to share a quote that was typed on a piece of paper taped to one of the orange cones marking the course:

There are no failures, only experiences and our reactions to them

I don't know who said it or when, but that is my mantra for this race.

But I regress. So my first 10-mile race. I signed up in early June, and have been training semi-seriously since mid-July. Almost 2 months of 7am Sunday runs with Annapolis Striders... and most... errr some of the runs on our suggested daily schedule.

I spent all day Saturday busy with a family crab feast (so much fun). But kept well hydrated with water. Went to bed but couldn't fall asleep for awhile (as my training leader warned us would probably happen). Woke up with butterflies in my stomach. Arrived to the race in plenty of time.

The start line was small, and it took awhile for 4,600 people to pass over it, but I was probably about 3 minutes back and toward the front of the group. Which is roughly where I stayed for the first few miles. This is me around 1.5 miles, happily trotting along:

I look like I'm enjoying myself, don't I? And I was. I continue down Main Street, then up King George to the Naval Academy bridge, which is around where I suddenly feel weird, dizzy, queasy, sick. I stop. I drink water. I walk. I jog. And at the top of the bridge, I throw up, just a little, for the first time. This is the start of mile 4, which just happens to be the moment when the number one runner is sprinting back over the bridge on mile 8.5. Just fabulous. How do these people run so fast?!

I continue slowly, and weave through beautiful, leafy neighborhoods where sprinklers arch over the road to keep runners cool and families blast motivating music from their lovely homes, waving and cheering as we pass. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE!!

And I continue. And I drink a bit more at another water stop. And I feel sick again and throw up for the 2nd time, just a little. But I've come so far, I can't stop now!

So I go onward (and upward) along Route 2. I overhear another runner say this is her favorite part, when the people protest our race because they can't pull into their church parking lot. It is Sunday morning after all. But no one is protesting, or at least I didn't hear them.

The route brings us back down to the bridge, and on my way across I throw up for the 3rd time - it's becoming a cycle, it seems. This time is more than before and a kind athletic trainer (she tells me that's what she is as I hunch over) comes and rubs my back.

But now I'm really almost done, so I keep going, so close. And finally, the finish line at the Navy Stadium is in sight. It's up a hill, though and I need to sprint to the end but I j u s  t  c  a   n  '   t   d  o    i     t

I practically stagger across the finish and am handed a soaking cold towel - just like bikram yoga - and this is how I lay for about 20 minutes in my own savasana:

And then I throw up again. Sorry to keep bringing it up, but it's what happened. At this point, it seems my body is not allowing me to keep any liquids down, which can lead to big problems. So I hook up to an IV. 2 liters later, I feel almost normal again. I truly hate needles, or anything being stuck into my skin period. But I am so thankful to the medics there. And to my family of supporters

who cheered me on and worried when they didn't see me at my goal time and then worried more when I was waaaaaay past my goal time.

I don't exactly know what happened, but I've now learned what not to do when running a 10-mile race.

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