Saturday, October 04, 2008

What happend to "feeling good?"

Today was the Harvest Heart 10K - my first 10k of the season (and second one ever.) It's also my last race before Philadelphia - I tried to look at it as my long run of the week, rather than a race. (Not that it makes any difference to how fast I go, just to how I view myself and my purpose.) It's a nice little local race - the town of Salisbury is just 10 minutes from my house. It was started by a woman I know after her husband had a heart attack - they wanted to give something back to the hospital that saved his life and helped his rehabilitation, so this race raises money for the health care auxiliary to buy things like home health equipment for heart patients. There were maybe 50 runners today - perhaps a hair fewer than last year.

After my post 2 weeks ago, when I was feeling so strong and confident, my physical situation has gotten weird. I did a spin class, my first since spring, a week ago Tuesday and was appropriately thrashed. The next day I went for a short run which turned into mostly a walk, and I chalked that up to not being recovered from the spin. But I still haven't recovered - my chest feels tight and heavy, my legs weigh a ton when I run, and every run since then has been short and exhausting. I feel asleep at work a few days ago - that has NEVER happened before, even when I was pregnant or nursing and utterly worn out. I don't know if I"m sick or having allergies or just overtired, but I almost scratched from this race.

I'm glad I didn't, but I'm not happy about how it went - I never got that adrenaline rush that carries you along at the beginning - I was gasping for breath from the start, and fell to last within about a minute. (I followed, the whole way, the same elderly woman who always runs ahead of me in the Sharon Classic - she rocks!) It was a gorgeous day - chilly, sunny, with cathedrals of brilliant trees over my head, farm fields all around, wooly bears galore beneath my feet, and best of all, Jared, the kindly man-on-a-bike who was assigned to follow the last runner. We chatted most of the last few miles and he was super encouraging. (I tried not to feel condescended to by all the people saying "YOU'RE DOING GREAT" at every mile marker and water stop - because I didn't feel great at all.)

This course is extremely hilly, and last year it was quite hot so I brought my Fuel belt with 3 water bottles, 1 bottle of nuun and some clif blocks. I had more than enough water but it's become my security blanket. About halfway through it became warm enough that I removed my long-sleeved shirt (a light-weight polyester thing from Target - not bad!) and jsut ran in singlet and shorts. I noticed at some point that the skin of my legs was chilled (the air temp was only about 60) though I felt warm.

Everything hurt at one point or another - knees, achilles, big toe joint, lower back. There were some moments that I felt I was running freely with strength and power, but mostly it was just a slog.

When all was said and done I finished 2 minutes slower than last year. I am glad I did it, glad I finished, but disappointed in how I felt and very worried for Philadelphia - it's 40 days away and I can't imagine doing double this distance so soon.

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