Because of my work schedule and crazy travel schedule for the early part of 2013, I wasn’t able to run any of the races that I had signed up for. May finally rolls around and my coach asks me to sign up for a 5k as kind of a fitness test so that she could give more accurate pacing guidance on future runs. My instructions were to go all out and if I didn’t feel like death when the race was over, I did it wrong. I’m not a fast runner by any means but I’m in much better shape now than I was when I set my previous 5k PR at 28:56.
I searched the Internet for last-minute 5ks in my area and decided to sign up for the Kirkland Half Marathon 5k, well-known in this area for its hills. Hills, shmills. I wasn’t going to let some hills keep me from setting a shiny PR. The race started and the first half mile was flat and I was flying and I felt great. I looked down at my Garmin and saw my average pace was 7:15 and I was like (*&(@*#)(%)*&%#. I didn’t realize I was going that fast and I knew that I couldn’t keep it up for very long. During training runs, I’ve sustained an 8:15 ish pace over a 3 mile distance but not any faster than that. By the time I realized how much I effed up, it was time to tackle the first big hill. I don’t know what the total elevation for the course was (need to go look it up again) but I do know the hills felt giant and never-ending, especially when I went out of the gate at a pace that I knew I couldn’t sustain. Despite the fact that I felt like dying only 1 mile into the race, I kept running, albeit much more slowly than my start pace.
Towards mile 2, I started feeling much better and picked up the pace again and was still on my way to setting an awesome PR. At mile 2.5 my stomach started to ache and it was incredibly painful. I was so happy that this was a 5k race and not a 10k or a half marathon because the pain started to grow. And then I became nauseous. At mile 3, with exactly .1 miles to go, disaster strikes. I lost the entire contents of my stomach, which thankfully was only some coffee and a cranberry Kind bar. I didn’t stop my watch so I don’t know exactly how long I was on the side of the road but I’m guessing for a good 2 minutes. Some poor volunteers gathered around me and stared at me while I was throwing up. This was the worst feeling in the world since I get really embarrassed if I have to throw up in public and not only were the volunteers staring at me, but all the runners around me saw it happen. I got myself together and jogged (not sprinted) into the finish line where the race photographers captured the worst race photo in the entire universe (ok, maybe it’s not the worst but it’s pretty bad).
So without further ado, here’s the big reveal (at least my outfit is cute):
Since the race was such a disaster, I never went back to look at my time. Turns out I set a PR time of 28:36 and I was #2/44 for women 30-34. I wish I could’ve waited until After the finish line to puke my guts out. That would’ve been an amazing PR.