I was very vocal about wanting a 5k PR and vocal about the fact that I thought it would be easy and boy was I sure wrong. The Houston 5K was one of the weirdest races I have ever run and one that I think I would like to forget (clearly I don’t mean that since I’m writing about it for all the world to read…). But let’s back up and talk about the start of my weekend.
Friday afternoon my friend Karen and I headed south for the weekend in a pretty uneventful car trip. Karen confirmed that we in fact had not taken a road trip together but after this weekend I will gladly go on any road trip with her, we had a great time and it was nice to have company along for the weekend.
We made great time to Houston and even somehow managed to avoid all the dreaded Houston traffic. Once we checked into our hotel we made our way to the race expo. I needed to pick up my packet for the 5K and I also had a date with Ryan Hall.
I got my race bibs and shirts easily and then stood in line to meet Ryan Hall! We didn’t have to wait too long which was a good thing because I was super excited to meet him! I truly have a great friend because she stood in line with me and put up with me and my crazy hobby all weekend!
After chatting with Ryan for a bit and getting his autograph we walked around the expo so that I could get a 26.2 sticker for my car, FINALLY! Then as we were leaving the expo low and behold there’s Ryan Hall about arms distance in front of me just leaving the expo himself and talking on his cell phone like it’s no big deal. After
stalking following him down
the street Karen and I headed to dinner at Chick-fil-A and then back to our
hotel for an early evening. I think we had lights out by 9:30, we are just
crazy like that!
Before going to bed I laid out all my race gear for the 5K and I was anticipating cold and rainy weather but when I woke up it was neither. Instead it was very muggy and humid, not the kind of weather I deal well with. Karen dropped me off downtown and I made my way to the starting area where I had about an hour to kill. I did a warm-up mile that was actually a lot harder than I was hoping for (11:30) but I figured I would rather shake out my legs now since it had been 10 days since my last run. I decided not to warm-up any further since technically it was already really hot and humid and I was feeling ok other than just feeling sluggish. I still had hopes of busting out a PR but I wasn’t too sure.
I lined up pretty close to the front of the starting line and at exactly 8:00 we took off. I took off too fast, this I know for sure because at one point I looked down and I saw an 8:40 average on my Garmin. I was breathing hard partly from my pace and partly from the fact that I had the last bits of a lingering cold. I tried to slow way, way down but I think that damage was already done because within half a mile of the start I got the worst side-stitch cramp I have ever had. I slowed to a walk and put my hands over my head and tried to calm my breathing to get it to go away and it went away a little bit so I tried to run again. When I tried running again my entire stomach seized up in a side-stitch kind of cramp and I nearly double over from the pain. I have never in my life felt such a pain and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. Clearly running was not happening at this point and walking, even slowly still hurt. I was approaching mile 2 and I was frustrated beyond anything but I was so very glad that I was only at a 5K; had this been a half marathon I think I might have just sat down and cried.
I didn’t have my phone with me so I couldn’t text Karen to tell her that I was having issues and I couldn’t really pull off the course either so I just walked. It was so odd to be walking as people are passing me right and left. And I honestly have no idea what was causing my stomach cramps. I walked somewhat slowly until mile 2 and then about mile 2.2 just as quickly as the pain came it disappeared. I was so baffled. Obviously with my walking I was already a half hour in even only at mile 2, not that I cared about time at this point but I wanted to run. So I started with a slow jog because I most definitely didn’t want that pain to return. My mind just kept racing wondering what in the world was going on and what was causing this and hoping and praying this wasn’t going to happen to me during the half marathon too.
I alternating between walking and running that last mile and finally neared the finish line. I honestly don’t remember my finish time…I think it was like 44 minutes or something. Obviously a disappointment.
The only thing that I could think to do when I finished was find some electrolytes!! I don’t know if that was truly my issue or not but I figured that with being sick for over a week clearly my body was lacking something. And since the pain was more of a muscle type pain I thought electrolytes couldn’t hurt. So I went into the expo and bought me some Nuun (more on this stuff later!).
Karen and I sat at the expo for about an hour waiting for the other bloggers that I had plans to meet. While we were waiting for the other bloggers Ryan Hall strolls on in again and at this point I’m pretty sure he’s following me, but I really didn’t care!
Finally the other bloggers arrived and it was so very nice to meet everyone! This was my first blogger meet-up and I was excited to meet people in real life. Most of these women would be running the full the next day and they are all super fast and very inspirational! Be sure and stop by and tell them congrats on their finishes!
|Jojo, Amie, Tiffany, Holly, Landi, Kelli, Laura and me|
Laura got a PR and a BQ! (and thanks for organizing the meet-up!!)
Preserving Polly also got a PR!
Sweet Amie lives in Houston and her and I have been twitter buddies for a long time. She was actually running the 3M Half in Austin on Sunday but before she left town she made her way to the expo just to meet me (and everyone else I guess)!! That was so very sweet of her and it was so nice to meet.
The rest of Saturday was spent being lazy in my hotel room and drinking Nuun. I even took Nuun to the movies with me that night!
Stay tuned for my half marathon report!