After last week’s failed attempt to run and then Thursday’s 24-hour stomach bug combined with my current hamstring pain level and strange feet burning/numbness on runs any distance over 3 mile, I went into Sunday’s Harpoon 5-Miler with zero expectations. I hydrated like a fish on Saturday, got to bed early, and woke up before my alarm on Sunday morning feeling good. My calves were tight but a walk with Chip and a few minutes with my Roll Recovery R8 nipped that in the bud. After coffee and hardboiled eggs and some lemon cake for carbs (I was too scared of peanut butter after puking up my smoothie on Thursday for my usual go-to of peanut butter on an English muffin), I headed out for my hourlong journey to Harpoon.
I saw that the next trains were 3, 7, and TWENTY-THREEE minutes away, and it’s just over a 10-minute walk to the train (well, to the branch of the train I wanted to take since my branch is under construction and thus running shuttle buses instead of trains – boo). I knew I would be late to meet my friends if I had to wait 15 minutes for a train, so I decided to run the ¾ of a mile to the train in order to ensure I’d make the one 7 minutes away. Of course, it was more like 10 minutes away so I had time to catch my breath and let the breeze dry the sweat dripping down my face – it was so freaking humid out already. Fortunately the rest of my trip was uneventful, and I beat my friends and had plenty of time to hit up the portapotties while they were still sparkling clean and fully stocked.
My friends arrived a little after 9:15. We chatted for a bit, checked our bags, went to the portapotties again, and eventually it was time to line up. We didn’t start until 10:10am so I knew it would be after 11 by the time I crossed the finish line. I started out with Jess and her friends but lost them almost immediately. All I cared about was feeling OK. I knew it would be my slowest race or possibly a DNF, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t hurt myself before my half in exactly 2 weeks. I was really slow – like an 11:00/mile pace – but I felt good. So good that I ignored my watch telling me to take a 1-minute walk break after 3 minutes. It was still too early in the race and too crowded, but I wouldn’t have been the only one walking. I saw lots of people employing a run/walk strategy!
I did finally take a walk break after the first mile. Here, the winners were coming in the opposite direction. Some girl behind me said “That means they are running 4 times faster than us!” and I wanted to kill her. Then, at Mile 1.5 was the water stop. I walked for another minute to drink water (it was hot and humid – 15 degrees warmer than last year), and then race again until Mile 2. I thought maybe I could keep up this strategy but by Mile 2.75 I knew I needed more walk breaks. My hamstring pain wasn’t searing, but it didn’t feel amazing and neither did I, so I decided to go back to 3/1. This got me through the rest of the race feeling mostly good aside from a few momentary waves of dizziness/lightheadedness – likely a result of not eating Thursday, eating very little on Friday, and trying to make up all those lost calories on Saturday but failing miserably. My run segments were noticeably faster than they were earlier on when I was trying to run longer, but they felt much easier. My chief complaint was the burning in the soles of my feet which eventually turned to numbness and made my feet feel like 500lb bricks. I have got to see someone about that – and it’s not my shoes because I wore my brand news ones, which otherwise felt great but are a totally different type of shoe than my last ones.
There was a girl I had been basically right behind for the whole race – she was running much slower than me but wasn’t talking walk breaks, so we stayed pretty close. When I realized there was only a ¼-mile left, I wanted to try and pass her but my god did she kick it up for the finish. I cruised over the finish line running an 8:00/mile (even hit 7:29 for a bit), but she must’ve been running a 7. So I let her have it. I actually felt good when I crossed the finish line, but was happy to be done. I grabbed my medal (a beer opener, of course!), a bottle of water (water stops were only at Mile 1.5 and Mile 3.5), and my pint glass for the after party.
I found my friends right away and we compared race stories for a few minutes before hopping in the INSANELY long lines for our free beer. Fortunately, it was just the initial rush – all the lines after this one were significantly shorter. I opted for the tried & true Camp Wannamango, which was my first beer in about a month! I gave up beer and ice cream toward the end of April because I consume too much of both, and they’re both pretty unhealthy. I did have an ice cream cone back on May 1 when it was 90 degrees out, but otherwise all I drank was gin & seltzer and not very many of them over the course of the month.
After trying several more beers, dancing, getting my first sunburn of the year (barely – only where I missed the sunscreen on my forehead and around my neck where my medal was hanging), going out for food with everyone afterward, I finally called it a day around 4pm. I got home in a cab nice and buzzed, which made cleaning my whole apartment like something out of Mary Poppins – I zoomed around as quickly as I could so I get into bed and go to sleep. I slept like crap and woke up ever-so-slightly hungover, but with normal pain in my hamstring rather than feeling like I overdid it. Yay!