The first, 2 mile run started like normal. Well, the field was pretty strong on the men today, with only two of us girls running- The Ironwoman (the store's owner and coach in chief) and me. So Fearless Leader, M, and a cohort of other men took off. I caught Ironwoman and M and held a little chat about greyhounds and whippets. M and I are discussing the dog who will hopefully join our little family this fall, and right now, sighthounds are high in the running, because they are cool, mellow, and there's great rescues for sighthounds. Besides, after all these years, it is time for a dog again. I am always going to be a dog person. (I guess my kitties are sorta sweet, sometimes, though.)
|See? They are cute when they do stuff like this. Not so cute when they wrestle on my feet at 4AM. |
And the hairball issue is definitely not cute.
I was pacing decently for the first half mile, but as we headed to the second bridge, M and Ironwoman pulled away. I was a bit sore from yesterday's fast 10K, but figured that I would loosen up as I ran. I pushed a little harder, and took a big breath to do one last push to catch up to their little pack.
And suddenly, something "popped" behind my sternum and I was hit with waves of immense pain. I will call it misery. In reality, what I called it consisted of a few words that you guys don't think I know.
It felt like someone had punched me right in the chest. I was gasping for air, and for a moment wondered when I had broken all my ribs. watched helplessly as they pulled away.
I thought about quitting that mile and just turning around there, heading back to transition, and resting up a bit.
But I decided to haul it through the first two miles. Then I considered quitting the bike part. Then I considered not doing the last mile after the bike.
But I got on the bike- I love my bike and I thought it would make me feel better. It hurt to bend over. There was more swearing involved. Once on the bike, I got some Gatorade and the awful ache eased up a bit. I took the first mile a little slowly, and then built (and held) a 17 mph average pace for the rest of the ride.
Then the last mile. I think the cute little commentors for the Tour De France call stuff like this "The Cave of Pain". I was certainly down in a dark black place with just a painful sternum, tight ribs, and firey blister spots on my feet reminding me that life was misery and pain. My chest hurt. My legs hurt. My toes hurt. My brain felt whiny. And did I mention that my chest felt like I had broken all my freakin' ribs? OWCH.
I dragged myself back to the finish line, dead last (but today wasn't a good measure, as it was all the really hardcore men. Like Fearless Leader, who feels slow running a 6:50 mile. And M, who is faster than he wants you to believe.)
I guess sometimes the endurance part of endurance sports is hitting that wall of pain and hauling yourself over it. It was not a pretty finish, nor my best finish tonight. BUT it was a finish, and I am lucky to be able to do that.
Ironwoman rewarded the whole group with these killer super-healthy brownies, and the tailgate of her car was available for semi-collapse and rehydration. (That second part was mostly me. Everyone else seemed pretty cheery.)
It worries me, in case the race is on a humid day. If DC is humid and hot, I'll be hitting a big wall, going really slow, and hauling through a great deal of misery. I suppose it's good practice to work through the "I'mma quit this right now" in practice.
I'm off to take a load of ibuprofen, and hope these sore ribs loosen up by tomorrow. My co-worker in the next office might get a little weirded out if there is moaning and groaning coming from my office all day!