My last blathering was about Chicago and all the planning the Kisa and I were doing in preparation. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans?
Let me just talk about the 5k and get that out of the way. I have this runner friend who is constantly dissing his race times with disasters: I didn’t sleep the night before; I got lost on the course; I didn’t train AT ALL; my ankle has been giving me trouble…And yet, he would PR this particularly “terrible” race. Each and every time. I, my friends, am going to sound like that friend…minus the PR.
The night before we were to fly to Chicago; the night before the Terrapin 5k remember, I came down with a stomach bug. My first ever. I’ve had food poisoning and I’ve had the flu but I’ve never, ever, ever had this kind of gut-twisting, can’t-decide-if-I-should-kneel-or-sit (cuz I gotta do both at the same time) kind of stomach vileness. And. And! And, at the the same time as my period. I’ll be blunt. It was not pretty. I spent the entire night either in the bathroom or thinking about being in the bathroom; all the while praying this thing would clear up by morning…or at least in time to board the plane. No such luck. I’m a nervous flier but the flight down was a white-knuckler in more ways than one. Then the hour long taxi ride to the hotel was a study in bowel control. Lots of deep breathing and humming to myself. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry over the ridiculousness of it all.
Then it was time to run the Terrapin 5k. So there I was – I hadn’t slept. I hadn’t eaten in 36 hours. I wasn’t hydrated. I couldn’t keep anything in. My period was raging. To top it off, earlier in the week I had received an email from race officials stating there would be no race-day bib pickup. You would think it would be a no-brainer to give up this run, especially since it didn’t look I’d have a bib number to run with anyway. I think, all things considered, I could have logged a DNS just this once.
But. But! But, I have never DNF let alone DNS. Now was certainly not the time. Never mind that I was literally sick and tired and not just saying that. When I found out I could pick up my bib I didn’t want to pass up this run. I just couldn’t. Illness be damned.
So I ran. In truth I forgot about being sick. I forgot about being tired. I forgot about being in a corral (I was actually pleased to be in the way back in case I had an incident). But, the more I ran the better I felt. Soon I was cruising along the waterfront and watching the boats bob. I was enjoying the sun sparkling on the water. With runners behind me and ahead I was in my element. I love being in a pack. Soon I felt strong enough to pick out runners to quietly slide by. Each passing mile felt better and better. I finished in just under 30 minutes (without incident) with a smile on my face.
And the rest of Chicago? I’ll say this. It took me another two days to find an appetite but that didn’t slow me down. That’s a story for another time.