Last Friday night, Ryan and I swam with our coach. We had some all out 200s and 100s and during one, I inhaled a bunch of water through my nose. I still had 75m to go, so I wasn't going to stop as I felt I was swimming fast (this is a rarity). When I finished, I felt probably the worst sinus headache I've ever had. It continued throughout the night, as did the sneezing and runny nose. Saturday and Sunday were the same, and come Monday I went through an entire box of tissues at school alone. Physically I felt fine (and actually ran and rode great workouts!), but it was just an annoyance of constantly blowing my nose. I finally started taking some Cold & Sinus on Tuesday in hopes of improving.
Monday was incredibly emotional with the bombings in Boston. Ryan and I both got home from work, not wanting to do anything, until we realized that we should be celebrating and working out because we are able to. We continued to follow the story while biking/running in hopes of some resolution, but would have to wait a few days for that. Thank you to all of my friends and family who texted to see if I (or anyone I knew running the marathon) was okay. Monday again reinforced for me that we cannot take things for granted, something I would plan to use in my race strategy for Saturday.
Me, Ryan, John and Ryan's dad after Boston 2010.
And then it hit me. About an hour after my run, I couldn't breathe. I blew my nose...which led to sneezing and a runny nose. My mentor had told me since Monday that it would be okay if I needed to take a sick day, but being the person I am, I felt too guilty doing that to my students. I had put together sub plans just in case my nose caused me other issues, and decided since I couldn't breathe, it was time to call the sick day.
Wednesday, I slept in and woke up feeling like a new person. I was able to breathe, and I only had to get up one time to blow my nose throughout the night, so felt very refreshed. I hadn't swam since Friday, so thought maybe I'd try today since my nose felt a million times better, but the thunderstorms ruined those plans (LifeTime Fitness closes their indoor pool if there's lightning). Just another sign that my nose needed another day to recuperate, no big deal.
Thursday I woke up and ran some mile repeats: 1mile at goal 10mile pace (6:00), 1mile just faster (5:56), 1mile at 10k pace and 1 mile at 5k pace all with 90sec between. I felt amazing and ready to race on Saturday. I swam after school and felt strong and fast in the pool, too....that day off really seemed to have helped!
Then Friday hit. We had an Institute Day, which was good since school might have been canceled anyway with all of the flooding. My sinuses started acting up again (possibly due to the temperature changing every few hours?!), but I only had cold medicine. I rarely take medicine, but was pretty sure I couldn't focus in our Institute Day if I didn't do something. About an hour after taking the medicine, I started feeling exhausted. Like can't keep my eyes open exhausted. Yep, you guessed it....the medicine I took was nighttime medicine. Awesome. I seriously didn't think I would be able to make the drive home, that's how knocked out I felt. Luckily, I made it home okay....and fell asleep for almost 3 hours. My swim workout never happened, which again was probably a good thing, but I was pretty upset that the sinuses were still an issue.
I thought about re-evaluating my race plan for Saturday, but decided to make the call on race day. I woke up Saturday feeling pretty darn good. I took a Cold & Sinus just in case, seeing that I had been in this situation before and had watched things turn ugly. I warmed up with Ryan, Nic and my old running partner Joe before heading to the start line.
As I was heading into the corral, who do I see but Tera Moody. You know, the lady who just ran a 1:12 half marathon a week ago. I had been feeling pretty darn confident on my good days leading up to this, but seeing Tera immediately erased the "maybe I could even win this thing" thought. Instead, I told myself how cool it would be to run out of my mind and say that I placed second to Tera Moody in a race--I mean, how many people can say that?! [For the record, she ended up running a 56:xx...insane]
I knew I'd be running for awhile with my teammate Columba, as we had run 4 of the almost 5miles of the Shamrock Shuffle together two weeks ago. The gun went off and so did we. The first two miles flew by and I was feeling fresh. I couldn't believe how much of a change this was from Friday.
Mile 1--6:12. This and mile 2 were all about not slipping on the ice. Yes, ice. In mid-April.
Mile 2--6:11 This is where we encountered "Cricket Hill," which wasn't nearly as bad as people had made it sound. Maybe it was the snow covering it, or my love for cross country, but whatever it was, Columba and I just flew up. Coming down, our teammate Meg was cheering like crazy for us, which brought a huge smile to my face.
Mile 3--6:11 (nothing like being consistent, right?)
Mile 5--5:59....I knew we had picked it up, and had even considered slowing down a bit myself because it felt hard for me. As soon as I saw my watch, I knew we'd have another 6:0x mile and I'd be okay...it might have just been the crowd that got us going a bit on this mile.
Mile 6--6:04. Perfect. Feeling alright again.
Mile 7--6:13. We had the turnaround at this point and just plowed into the wind. So that was fun.
Mile 8--6:17. This was a lot of weaving winding and going on/off the path that the runners heading out were on as well. I felt like we were slowing a bit, but couldn't get around to help pick up the pace as we had to stay on "our" side of the path. This probably explains the next split. Oops.
Mile 9--6:02. We could both tell that the last mile was slow (and received confirmation via our watches) so this one picked up the pace. The path FINALLY split so that we could spread out more and I got ready to step in front.
Mile 10--5:43. Just after we hit mile 9, a volunteer yells out, "only one of you can be second!" and Columba just took off. Naturally, I followed her and we were just hauling. With probably 0.75-0.8mi to go, I could hear that she wasn't with me anymore, so hoped she was okay. I found out after finishing that she hit some uneven ground and had a funny feeling in her ankle but was okay. Glad to hear that, but still felt bad for her as we had just run so much together.
(my extra part since I sucked at running tangents--:27, at 5:30 pace).
Columba and I near the start....yep, that white stuff is snow.
Heading up Cricket Hill.
early on....you can kinda see the ice on the path...stinkin' weather.
2nd place overalls!!! So proud of this guy<3 p="">3>
Top 3 women:)
It was an awesome feeling, seeing a 5:43 ending mile. I knew I had more in me, but it was hard for us to pick up the pace from mile 8 on. It was so awesome to run again with Columba as there's nothing better than having that constant encouragement throughout the race. While we obviously knew "only one of you can be 2nd," we worked together in hopes of achieving our sub-60 goal. We fell a little short, but we also had some ice patches in the beginning and lots of weaving during the second half of the race that I certainly hadn't anticipated.
All in all, I know that I can continue that 6:05 pace now for a 1/2 marathon. I'm not sure I'll have an opportunity to do that before we race our 70.3, but just having that confidence is a good feeling.
A HUGE congratulations to all of my teammates who ran this weekend....PRs happened in multiple cities and multiple states, and it is SO cool to be part of such a talented and complimentary team.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a pain session with a massage therapist.... :/