This race almost didn’t happen for me. If I’m being totally honest, I probably shouldn’t have run. On Tuesday (when it was 80 degrees), I started feeling terrible on my way to work. I thought it was allergies, but it quickly moved from being what felt like allergies/head cold to a chest cold. Every deep breath burned a little. I began coughing up phlegm. I had a fever and chills. My nose wasn’t really stuffy or drippy, but I had an insane headache and the area around my nose hurt to the touch – like it was rock solid or swollen. I went to work all week anyway. I had my little mini happy hour fundraiser at the office on Thursday evening which raked in an extra $105 toward my goal. On Friday, I had always planned to leave at noon to head over to Runner Check-In before the crowds got insane, but I almost didn’t go to work at all. I did though, and powered through like a champ.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. I got up around 5:45am feeling just as awful as I had the previous 3 mornings. I slept for 12 hours, but got up a lot for water and cough drops and Zicam. I was hot and then cold and then hot again. I slept with my windows shut tight (I never do that unless the AC is on) and my humidifier on high. But as the morning went on (and with the help of Zyrtec, Zicam, Sudafed, ibuprofen AND acetaminophen, plus coffee and echinacea tea), I felt less terrible. I got dressed and ready, and my brother and I called an Uber to take us to Boston Common.
We got there just before 9am, got our t-shirts then promptly lost each other (maybe this was intentional on his part? I was coughing like a disgusting fool). I got in line for the porta-potties just after 9am and was in that line until 9:29 when it was finally my turn. I took off my extra layer and quickly checked my bag, and lined myself up at the very back of the 9:00-9:59/mile pace group. I should’ve been further back, but I was sick of walking and anxious to get started.
As with every B.A.A. 5K, I hadn’t even started yet when the elite men and women finished. Finally, around 9:45am, I crossed the starting line and began a light jog. I realized pretty immediately that breathing was painful, but I felt otherwise OK. My right arch (the problem area) felt strange at first. It wasn’t painful but it didn’t feel right. I wondered if the tape had peeled off the arch of my foot. Come to think of it, I stopped noticing it almost right away, and I was wearing brand new Feetures socks (the ones I’ve been looking for since February – the Runners’ Expo had them!), so it might’ve just been a new sock feeling.
Again, aside from the pain in my chest/throat, I felt pretty decent. I got hot and sweaty by the 1-mile mark despite wearing only a tank top and shorts. I looked around and no one else seemed too hot, and most we were capris and/or long sleeves. This must’ve been my low-grade fever kicking in (I did NOT have a fever when I left my apartment). I noticed my heart rate stayed very high (170s) during the entire run. I think Sudafed does this, as does exerting extra effort to run while feeling – at best – around 65%.
At Miles 1 and 2, I made sure to take a cup of water and walk while I drank it all. By Mile 2, I was pretty dang hot but was less aware of the painful breathing. I honestly did not feel like I was accelerating but apparently I was – my splits were as follows:
- Mile 1 – 10:57
- Mile 2 – 10:16
- Mile 3 – 9:37
Yay for negative splits for – I think – my first race ever! My unofficial time was 31:56 which is not my slowest 5K ever, but it is my slowest in a while. That was my plan. I wanted to be slow and pain-free (in my foot) so that I didn’t screw up anything for Monday.
As you may recall if you read this blog a year ago, I was signed up for the 2016 B.A.A. Distance Medley, which starts with the 5K in April, the 10K in June, and the Half in October. I did the latter 2 but I missed the 5K because I was 3 days out from major sinus surgery. I had planned to walk it, but instead I was bleeding profusely from my nose, and eventually had to wake up my brother from his post-5K nap to take me to the ER, where I promptly passed out and required a nightmarish, invasive procedure to stop the bleeding. It was a bad day.
So when I got sick this week, everyone was like, “Don’t bother with the 5K. You need the rest for Monday!” I 100% agree, but that would mean another failed attempt at the B.A.A. Distance Medley. And this year, the Medley will feel extra special having also done the Marathon (although it’s not formally recognized if you run all 4 B.A.A. races, and I guess technically you would run the Marathon AFTER the Half if you’re doing the distances from shortest to longest).
I ran anyway, and then pretty much stayed in bed for the rest of the weekend except for a quick manicure down the street (had to get those white marathon nails to match my socks, shoes, Garmin and Fitbit!). On my walk back, I stopped at Whole Foods to load up on echinacea tea, vitamin C drinks, some $17 bottle of “Clear Chest” herbal remedy (legit seems to help) and a salad from the salad bar. I felt best sitting upright in the fresh air, but the wind blowing in my face really burned my lungs and throat, so I’m praying for a tailwind tomorrow for no reason other than to help me breathe. This afternoon is the DFMC Pasta Party with my dad, which will keep me out of the house from about 2pm till 6pm. I was planning to spend the night at my best friend Julia’s house in Holliston, near Hopkinton, but I may opt to sleep in my own bed tonight and also not infect her family of 5.