We awoke this morning at 6:10 a.m. It had rained all night, and even though I went to bed late and took awhile to get to sleep, I slept soundly after I fell asleep, which is the 2nd night in a row this has happened in awhile. I actually felt psyched about the race. Jason went out to the balcony to check the weather. He reported back: wet but not raining, chilly but sunny and still a nice 50 degrees. Okay. I could do that. So I lurched out of bed, threw on long pants, a long running shirt, and grabbed my gloves and earmuffs to protect the extremeties from the wind. We headed down to Mission Bay Park. We sighted several vivid rainbows, arching over us under the clouds. I actually thought there might be a little, dancing, laughing leprachaun at the end with a pot of gold; it was that tangible. This must be a good sign.
As we arrived, my stomach calmed down. My stomach is always quite grouchy in the a.m., and the 1/2 honey nut granola bar I had scarfed down had not made it happy. Finally, the pre-emptive Zantac quieted it down. Cars and people were scrambling about. The first thing we encountered was total chaos and disorganization. The finish and the start were in separate places. Neither one was clearly marked. The registration was at the start but the shirt and goody bag were at the finish. We drove to the finish first. Then the start. After registering, we drove back to the finish, intelligently realizing we wouldn't want to walk a mile in the rain after we were done. The thing that really sucked about the shirts and goody bags being at the end was that they ran out of goody bags by the time Jason and I went to retrieve ours. (We did get our shirts though. Most important). This ticked me off since a lot of people didn't even show up to race b/c of the weather. What was with the shortage? Anyway, by the time we parked, we only had, according to my watch, which is a few minutes slow, 15 minutes to make it back to the start, about 1/2 mile or so down the road. The wind begin to blow in gusts. Just about this time, it started pouring.
We took off jogging--a nice warm up given the weather. However, being that I'm not in that great of shape right now, I would have rather walked and conserved energy. We finally got to the start, very warmed up and also very wet. It was about 10 minutes to the start. No one was lined up. I couldn't even see the start. It wasn't posted. I asked a race director. She calmly said everything was on time. Okay. About 10 minutes after 7:30, the 2 and 4 milers lined up and then, a volunteer hoisted up the start banner. Okay. The 10K racers had to wait an additional 10 minutes after the 2 and 4 milers started (this group had grown substantially in size as original 10K people jumped ship). By this time, I had cooled off again and was totally pissed and glaring at anyone who glanced in my direction to let them know how I felt. Oh, and as we were waiting, it started to hail.
Finally, after jumping up and down (more wasting energy) for 20 minutes, we lined up and started. I have never been so happy to start in my life. I started out way too fast, realizing I was going 8:10 by mile 1. Maybe okay a year ago, but not today. At this time, my body began telling me I had taken off too quickly. I got a stitch on my right side and a major muscle spasm under my left shoulder blade. Dammit. I slowed down and began deep breathing exercises. I must have caught it right in time because by mile 3, I felt much better.
The whole time, I felt sluggish and had a hard time reaching my pace. When I did, it was difficult and lacked spring. Part of the problem may have been my new "racing" shoes, which are lighter than my normal Brooks shoes. They were much stiffer and less springy so I had much less bounce. I also just didn't have a lot of energy. Trying to keep warm in the cold had sapped it out of me. By mile 5, I had just started to get comfortable again and realized I would be able to finish at a stable pace. I almost slipped over the line of flour the volunteers had decided to pour on the ground to mark mile 5. Hmmm. Wet flour. Cement. Wet running shoes. What a brilliant idea. Dummies. Then, we hit the sidewalk and began pounding on the cement. I had to grit my teeth and tune out the agonizing pounding pain in my hips, knees, arches, and calves as I pounded away. I hate cement. I actually much prefer asphalt.
Finally, we turned onto grass and I passed over the finish. 55:50. Definitely not my best time. But I did it. I could have gone back to bed this morning. I could have gotten back in the car when it started hailing. I could have walked. But no. I toughed it out. So there. When I got home, I promptly took a scalding hot shower, turned up the heat, and retired to the bed for a 4 hour nap. I've felt groggy the rest of the day. Oh, well.