Ugh. This one was so incredibly disappointing. This race was my single 5K PR attempt for this fall and it slipped away because I was sick.
I truly thought I was going to be okay for this race. Even though I was sick for the three weeks leading up to it, I wasn't feeling as bad going into the actual race. Or so I thought. I wasn't sure I'd hit my main goal of running somewhere in the 21-22 minute range, but I thought that surely a PR was in the bag.
But as soon as I took the first few steps - really, the first few steps out of the start line - I felt so incredibly weak. The entire race I felt like I was plodding a long at snail's pace. At mile 2, I just switched my watch to the time and didn't look at it again until I turned it off at the end of the race.
This entire race was just a huge struggle, and not in the I'm racing as hard as I can pain-train kind of way. It was more along the lines of "whoa, something's really wrong and I need to visit the doctor, stat" kind of way. My legs were like lead and I felt like I was in slow motion the entire time. The good news (if there is any here) is that my slow plod, lead-like, slow motion run ended up being a 7:45 pace for a final time of 24:04. Certainly not even close to what I know I'm capable of running, but if that pace feels slow in a race, I guess I'm doing something right.
I ended up going to the doctor following day. Even though my head had stopped pounding and I wasn't feeling as physically bad as I had several days earlier, I still had a constant cough and was just exhausted. Turns out, I ended up with an upper respiratory infection that set off my asthma. More steroids for me. Fun.
But this race wasn't all bad! We continued our fun family tradition with my brother- and sister-in-law in town for the holiday and for the second year in a row, the race was a family affair. D ran with B in the stroller, and they both ran with my sister-in-law and niece in her stroller. The four of them came in 5 minutes faster than last year. My brother-in-law also hit a 5K PR this year. And my time was actually good enough for a course PR. So in spite of being sick and disappointed, this is still one of my favorite races of the year.
I so wish that asthma wasn't part of my running story. It's so frustrating, but it's reality. And for me, that means sometimes it's going to affect races - big ones and not-so-big ones. At least this time it was a not-so-big one and 5Ks are easier to find and train for. But my next 5K PR attempt probably won't happen until February just because there aren't that many 5Ks coming up that fit my schedule. Until then, I've got a half marathon PR that's begging for a take down and I've got two chances coming up for that at both Kiawah and Charleston.