While Two Cities was relatively successful, it was not 100% what I had hoped for. As race day for Bakersfield grew closer, my body was making it painfully clear that I was not going to be able to finish a half marathon without a lot of physical and mental pain. I doubted for the first time if my body could finish. I had only gotten sick once before and it was not an enjoyable experience.
There has been a chronic cough going through my wing of the building at school. All of my 4 teammates had been suffering from a sore throat in some way for weeks. By end of day Friday, my body was slowly shutting down. My throat was scratchy, and I was beginning to cough. I started taking extra vitamins and drinking fluids to try and kill the evil that was inside, but by Saturday night I knew I was done.
Since I had already picked up my race day gear and was in Bakersfield, I made the difficult decision to drop down in my distance. I knew I could finish a 5k (would have done a 10k had it been an option).
I had been seeing some of my more insane running friends (those who can kill a 100 miler) talk about working on their speed work and improving their one mile times. I was like, "Hey I can do that." I knew what my new goal for my new 5k distance would be. When I stepped up to the start line my intention was clear. I would make my miles get progressively faster. I wanted to see how much I could push at the finish which is always difficult, even when my body is healthy. I have had a 10 minute mile in mile one of a half only to end up with a 20 minute mile by mile 13. I wanted to see if my body could be pushed just a little bit more with each passing mile.
I wanted to have as close to a 15 minute mile for my first mile as possible. I went out a little harder than I wanted to and in the end pulled back more than I should have. My first mile was a 16:26. I took a breath from my inhaler, a big gulp of Nuun Performance, said a prayer to not start coughing then started my push through mile 2. I ended the mile with a 15:24, I had made my goal and cut 1:02 off my time.
As I rounded the corner and headed towards what I knew would soon be the finish line, I took another breath from my inhaler, and a packet of Island Boost. Then I put my game face on. I had been taking with a father and his 2 daughters. We had been laughing and enjoying the course and the beautiful day. I looked at my watch, wished them a happy Sunday, then got on my toes (like I kept telling my CC runners at school to do), and I took off on my first speed interval during the final mile of my 5k.
My final mile was a 13:10!! I had done it! And I had done it by 2 minutes and 14 seconds! While none of my minutes will break any records, I was overjoyed by my finish. I had done what I had set out to do. I had not coughed once and while there was a tightness in my chest, I knew I had finished strong and finished smart. I have watched many a running friend start a race and then have to make the painful decision to quit because it was more than they could bear in that moment. I didn't want that for this race. I knew my body was not ready for 13.1 miles, but I knew it would perform for 3.1 miles and it did. Thank you for reading my story. Thank you to all of the amazing people who inspire me daily to keep trying.
|Wore my Liberty Zensah compression sleeves since it was Veterans Weekend. Always get so many compliments on them. Feel so blessed to be an ambassador for them for my second year in a row.|
|I posted a picture of their retired flavor, Kona Cola. One of my Zensah friends was excited. I offered to trade him some Kona Cola for this since I knew he was an ambassador and could hook me up. Ended up a win win since we both had fuel we loved and could enjoy.|
|I was fortunate to be asked to be an ambassador for the 2018 running season. I was also an ambassador for them during the 2015 running season. I am proud to say this is once again my go to before the start of my race. Have also taken on during a busy day in my classroom when I am feeling a little sluggish and need a quick pick me up.|
|I was blessed to meet the IB creator a few years ago when I friend introduced me to the product during the Surf City Marathon weekend. I used it for the first time during my 50k ultra and have used it ever since every time I know I have a difficult road ahead of me. Have used it from time to time for a quick pick me up during a regular day in the classroom too, any time I know I need an extra kick.|