91/94 would be a pretty good test grade, right? It’s less awesome however when it is your race standing. But let’s backup.
I worked the packet pickup- late registration table for the race on Saturday. It went really smooth, mostly pickups for the 10k. It seemed like most of the 5k runners were going to pick up on race day. It also looked like there were more runners this year. It’s kind of cool watching things go up from the other side. And seriously how cute is this?
Race day dawned gray and early. Gray–clouds and fog–bringing humidity. Ugh. I honestly can’t think of the last time this race didn’t happen in perfect sunshine. I used my inhaler and told myself not to think about it. I was the only one of my group running the 10k so it was just me and my nerves at the starting line. Knowing so many people at this race always stresses me out, and that was before I saw the Aggie’s show up.
The Aggies are a run club based in northern California and they have some serious talent. They show up en masse, all in black and just run. They usually do multiple loops of the course outside of the races. They have zero body fat and hardly ever look winded. This course is flat and fast and used to be a USATF certified race. There used to be 2 10k’s and 5k’s, one for the Open/Masters runners and one for the rest of us. Even without the certification and extra races, the HOB fun run stills does one rare thing for small races- cash. Prize money is rewarded to the top finishers. Spoiler alert- Aggie’s won both races. Seriously fast and intimidating.
Then it was go time and we were off! My only goal for the 10K was to run a solid race. I wanted to maintain a 10:00 pace. I set my Garmin for intervals- 6:30 run and :30 walk. I felt pretty good in mile 1 so I was hopeful for the next 5. Mile 2 I was hit with the worst side stitch ever. I don’t get side stitches, I think I have had maybe 3 in 5 years of running. Those 3 were all up under my right ribcage, this one was low on my right side. It hurt so damn bad I briefly wondered if that was what an appendix bursting felt like. I am used to stomach pain but this hurt. What gives?
The pain finally eased as I hit mile 3. Before I could breathe a sigh of relief, I noticed that breathing was getting harder. Oh come on! Out came the inhaler again and the rest of the race was walking interspersed with bits of running. I was lapped by the lead runners (Aggies!!) on my first lap. Ouch. I kind of wanted to hitch on a ride on the police motorcycle leading them. As I kept trucking I decided that my new realistic goal was to just not be last, I thought I might be able to pull that off. 91 out of 94- not last! Time- 1:08:03.
I crossed the finish line as a pale, shaky mess. My inhaler helps loosen my chest but my heart was racing and I could not stop shaking. I drank some gatorade and grabbed my bib for the 5k. This pissed off my mother. She wanted me to quit but I know that standing still and sitting make the shakiness worse. The more I think about it, the more anxious I get and that just makes it worse. Walking helps so I figured I would walk it out in the 5k. R hadn’t been feeling well so I figured we could walk it together. I had trouble getting the new bib on but managed just before the whistle.
I’m not completely crazy, a little over a mile in I felt a little better. We just kept walking. From mile 2.5 on, other racers are coming back on the other side of the road. R and I got to wave to C and her husband as they ran by, they broke 30! Right behind them was T and her husband. She roped him into running it at the last-minute and it was their first race. They rocked it, finishing under 30 too! I was able to take action shots of them running. :) It was R’s first race as well and I felt bad for slowing her down but it was fun walking it together. Then we crossed the finish line and we were done! Time- 42:37.
Other than the requisite lingering tightness in my chest, I felt better. The walking did help. We hung and chatted a bit and took a bunch of pictures. T and R really had fun so hopefully I can get them to run more races with me in the future. Insert evil genius laugh. :) I was also looking for my mother; turns out she was so mad at me that she walked home. Oops.
The kids half mile race was up after the 5K. As time was getting closer to start, more kids were coming to the start/ finish area. The DJ changed to Gangham Style and 90% of the kids started busting a move. It both hilarious and adorable at the same time. Some of those kids had moves! I actually headed out before the race began, I felt better but I knew I needed rest. No pancake breakfast for me!
Neither race went how I had hoped but I had a fun morning. Friends really can turn around a rough morning. Especially when we are all wearing the same shirt. :) I was also able to catch up with another SLO ambassador who ran the race as well. This is still one of my favorite races. Next year I will conquer the Fun Run… and have fun. :) But T? No tutus.