My intention for this race was to use this as a training run for my marathon and pace myself throughout it. I was hoping for a sub 2:00 time which would have been a PR. I can honestly say I learned a few lessons during the race.
It was cold the morning of the race. Since this race was a Black Girls Run race, all members who registered received a special medal along with their finisher’s medal. I was unable to run it last year due to injury so I was excited to run it this year.
The start kept getting delayed. I was getting frustrated. It was supposed to start 8. They kept saying they were checking the course. Everyone was anxious. We were ready! This is the first time I have been to a race where everyone started at the same time. The half, 5k and 10k all started together. That was odd to me.
It was time for the start! BOOM! The muskets (yes, muskets) sounded the start of the race. I started to run and immediately came to a stop. We had bottlenecked at the start. What was going on? Nothing except the start was overcrowded.
The first hill was immediate. It was a steep incline and the cold air was stinging my lungs. I felt my chest getting tight and I was having shortness of breath. I told myself to calm down, slow down and breathe. I could only take short, shallow breaths not the long ones that I needed. I was getting worried, almost in a panic. My friend looked back and knew something was wrong. She shouted out “are you ok?” I shook my head no because I could not speak.
I started to find my breath and was breathing a little easier. I kept running.
My friend said “we can run the 10k, if you cannot make it to the finish.” I said “no, I am finishing what I signed up for. I am running the half.” She said, “I cannot carry you but I will stick with you through this.” She did and I truly appreciate her.
Miles 6 – 13:
I decided to walk the hills. It was too hard to breathe when I ran them. I decided to take another 2 puffs of my inhaler. I felt some of the tightness release and I was able to run for a mile or 2, walk a quarter and that is how I finished the race. I finished in 2:17.
I was so happy that I was able to run across the finish line. It was one of the toughest races I have ever run! I have exercised induced asthma and have never had an attack like this one during a race. If I use my inhaler before an exercise or race I am usually fine. I pushed through this race by listening to my body. My legs wanted more but my lungs were not able to give it to me.
Cold air triggers a sever reaction, listen to my body and ALWAYS carry my inhaler.