My husband teaches middle school and helped to organize the first "Longfellow 5K Fun Run." At the last minute I decided to run it. I didn't really think about the fact that I donated blood the night before. I've always worked out the day after giving (though usually in the evening.)
I haven't done a 5K for 5 years and my time for that one was around 25 minutes so I was sure I would PR. After all I crossed the 5K mark around 24 minutes in recent longer races.
Um... EPIC FAIL!!!!
The race course was almost entirely on the property of my husband's middle school and the park trail behind it. The race wasn't chip timed and I was at the very back of the pack (since I was using the rest room right before the start), next to my husband who had the jogger and had to start after everyone else because of this. There were about 150 middle school kids in front of us, as well as parents and other faculty members. The trail was too narrow to pass people for at least the first 3 or 4 minutes so my pace was ridiculously slow. Then there were the massive hills on the trail. Not exactly a PR friendly course. My GPS said I was at about 8:30 after the first mile. My heart rate had been about 140-150 up until this time. The trail was clearing and I started to push the pace a little more. My heart rate climbed into the high 160s... yeah, this is what a 5K is all about!
The race was two loops and when I crossed the halfway point the clock said 13:00. PATHETIC! So much for a PR. Ugh and that huge hill was coming up. My heart rate reached 177 as I climbed it -- and then my body just quit on me. It completely ran out of gas. I was about 2 miles in and my legs just wouldn't go. What was wrong with me? Oh yeah. I gave blood 12 hours ago. Perhaps a race was not the smartest move.
I walked a little and then hit the downhill section so I tried to pick up the pace. "Oh no you don't!" said my body. By cramping. Severely. If I tried to run, the cramps worsened. They were the worst side stitches I'd ever had -- well forget this. I gave up. I was still almost a mile to the finish though so I l had to keep moving.
About this time I could hear my daughter's voice. "Daddy there is Mommy! And she isn't running! Why isn't she running?" I turned around and saw my husband jogging at a leisurely pace with the stroller. He wasn't really racing this one, just trying to set a good example of physical fitness for his students, and I know he'd had to walk the first part of the course since it was too narrow to pass anyone with the stroller. And he was about the pass me.
Which he did. And I just kept on walking. When I finally saw the finish line, the clock was not to 30 yet. I decided to push past the pain and run the last minute. It hurt. And Jamie still crossed about 20 seconds before me. My final time; 29:24.
The hilarious thing is, I won my age group. However, it was a middle school fun run. The majority of the runners were either in the under 12 age group (younger siblings), 12-14 (students), 14-18 (older siblings) or over 35 (parents.) The only people between 20 - 35 were faculty members -- and most of them were walking. I may have been the only person in my age group who ran at all. Whatever. I got an awards certificate and got to shake the principal's hand. I rock.
It ended up being a lovely day. We'd missed church so we hit Clemyjontri Park (only the very best playground in the entire world), had lunch at Elevation Burger, came home for a couple hours, then I went out on a 40+ mile bike ride and my husband met me with the kids at the Whole Foods on the bike trail. Which is just awesome. Where else can you get gourmet pizza, boutique chocolate, baby food, microbrews, and Ben & Jerry's all in one place for less than $30?