So, I almost got blown off the bridges in yesterday's "race." I put that word in quotations, because it turned from a race to OMG-how-much-farther?-survival-mode.
First off, my mojo was really squashed, as I've been battling a cold for the past 3 days. It started with the dreaded sore throat, followed by the coughing, then the loss of voice. (Yeah, try teaching with only little manly squeaks!) On top of that, my symptoms had kept me from getting good sleep. I did take Wednesday totally off from running. I woke up that morning with a raging headache and knives in the my throat. I went back to sleep, planning to run that afternoon. By that night, after a long day with school, tutoring, and PTO, I actually had a low fever, and it was pouring down rain. I did run Thursday, but kept it short. Friday, it was just the coughing and loss of voice, so I was determined to get some miles in. I did 12 the day before a race. (I am a genius like that.)
So, Saturday was a normal humid and balmy Saturday in the Panhandle. I took off behind a guy from our running group that had his sights set on breaking an hour. He is known to pass his goal every single time he races. So, I fully anticipated him dusting me about halfway. Anyway, I tucked in with him, and we set to work. The first couple of miles were fine, but he did commented on how the flags were blowing violently on the bay, and how we were about to get a butt-kicking headwind once we hit the first bridge. Then we did. It was actually so bad that I immediately knew neither of us would meet our goal. People started cussing; one guy's hat blew off, and my shirt was actually blowing UP! It was by far the windiest weather I have EVER run in, training included. (Ps. And I even ran the day hurricane Katrina came into town.)
I think everyone in the race immediately turned to survival mode. People were stopping their watches and Garmins, just trying to finish. TP later told me that the marine forecast said 20 knots, whatever that means. In my elementary terms- stinkin' windy!
I was able to stick behind my teammate until the middle of the first bridge. He then took off, and I was kind of in No Man's Land. It still amazes me that in a race with a few thousands, I can manage to run alone. We headed into Gulf Breeze (flat town between the 2 bridges), and a group of guys caught me. I was actually glad b/c it gave me someone to run with. One of them commented on my coughing, "My gosh, are you okay?" The crowd was ELECTRIC here, as the 5K was starting there soon.
We started on the 2nd bridge, and I could see my teammate's white hat, and I used that as my carrot. There was another Brooks ID gal that I was going back and forth with the whole race, who also happened to be like 5 time champion of the race. People were going CRAZY for her, and we had on the same outfit... I think that threw some for a loop. Hahaha. Mentally, I was totally done. I had given up on any goal pace or time goals, and my chest was KILLING me from coughing. I just tried to run slow enough to control my breathing, as to NOT start a coughing fit. We finally made it to the bottom of the bridge and had about 1/2 mile to go. Brooks ID gal and I were running stride for stride, and I had made up my mind to TRY to outkick her, if I needed to, painful as it might be. Um, then we entered the final turn (0.1) and she totally DUSTED me. Hahahah, I just had nothing left.
*Side note, I ended up beating her in the results, though. Thanks to chip timing, I had started behind her at the start, and ended up 1 second faster than her.
So, my final pace was almost as slow as my MP pace, and it WAS slower than my HMP. But... that's life, eh? I ran to the best of my ability on the given day. End of story.
I ended up 7th female (8th by gun time)/ 2nd in AG
Time: 1:02:47, 6:45 pace :(
Afterward, I felt like complete CRAP, and blew off a warm up. I got dried off, and TP I went to the post-race party. I got to meet Molly Pritz! She was so humble, friendly, and a ton of fun! One thing I think is SOOOO cool about her is that she just beats to her own drum. The girl bought her own diamond ring- ROCK ON!
The good thing about not meeting goal pace, and cashing in before the finish line is that my LR didn't suffer today. It was like I hadn't even race, except my chest is hurting from all my coughing. I'm hoping that I just have the common cold, and it will pass in a few days. Run Happy, friends!