Ah, the Boilermaker.
What can I say? I definitely don't want to be a Debbie Downer about this race but, honestly, that's kinda how I feel. It wasn't my day. I ran into some bad luck. But, as always, I learned a thing or two.
The day started out early. Sheila and Bridget met me at my house at 4:45 and then we took off to pick up Amanda at 5. Then we were off to Utica! The ride was fine and soon enough -- around 6:40 -- we were parking the car and getting ready to meet our friend, Karen, who had our race bibs.
|Bridget, Sheila, Amanda and me -- before the race.|
We lined up in our corral and about two minutes after the starting cannon, we crossed the start line.
It was jam-packed at the start and didn't start to thin out at all for miles. I didn't mind -- that's to be expected at a race of 12,000 people! The crowd makes for slow running in the first few miles, which is actually good for me since I tend to go too fast early on.
For some reason, I couldn't get a good rhythm going with my breathing until almost half-way through the race. I don't know if it was the humidity, my nerves, or what. But, whatever it was, I didn't like it. And it didn't matter because I had bigger problems.
In mile 4, just after the 5K mark, I started to feel burning at the bottom of my foot. Now, for the past 10 months or so I have had weird numbness/tingling/burning in my feet. It is likely nerve damage, possibly from my bout of Lyme disease, possibly from something else. I'm living with it (although, I am seeing an orthopedist today -- yay!). My point is that I thought that what I was feeling might have been just regular crummy feet stuff.
So, I took brief walk break. I started up again, slowly, and felt OK. Quickly, my foot started feeling really weird again so I thought a walk at the next water stop would be a good break. And it was. When I started running, it was with renewed vigor. I had no problem running strong up the infamous golf course hill -- in fact, I felt good running up that hill and I thanked all of hilly runs for that. Then, it was a long downhill and I just let my legs go. I rode the momentum and kept pushing, ignoring my foot as much as I could.
But I paid the price for pushing it. Once I passed the 10K mark, I knew it was a blister on the bottom of my right foot -- I could feel searing pain at the base of my big toe, between it and the next toe. The pain had started to affect my gait because I was running on the outside of my foot. I took a long walk break in that mile and then another.
I came close to walking off the course.
Instead, I told myself that I did not wake up at 4 in the morning just to quit. I told myself that "dead last is better than did-not-finish." I told myself to Just. Keep. Going.
I kept going. I walked. I ran. I pushed on. And then I finished. Net time: 1:20:25.
Here's what my miles looked like:
Mile 1: 8:26
Mile 2: 8:15
Mile 3: 7:58
Mile 4: 9:53 (two walk breaks and the big hill)
Mile 5: 7:12 (yay for downhill!)
Mile 6: 8:21 (still pushing it)
Mile 7: 9:41 (walking)
Mile 8: 8:04 (pushing again)
Mile 9: 9:24 (more walking)
last .3: 7:51 pace
I'm disappointed. Not so much in my time, although, that time is almost 7 minutes slower than I ran last year. I'm disappointed that I had a crummy experience in a race I had been really looking forward to. I was so very excited to run the Boilermaker again! And to have my performance hurt by a blister? Well, that stinks. But, I guess it just means I need to head back next time to redeem myself!
Today, my body feels rotten. My left leg feels incredibly sore, which I imagine is because I was running with such a funky gait. Poor left leg! And my blister is still there, still bothering me a little, although not as much as it did yesterday. I'm pretty sure I got the blister because my foot got wet when running through the wet water stops. Don't know for sure, but that's my theory!
Well, that was my race.
Here are my stats:
Net time: 1:20:25
Overall place: 2762 out of 11360
Gender place (F): 642 out of 5381
Age group place (F 40-44): 64 out of 635
Overall pace: 8:38
Debbie Downer signing out!