Sunday, April 12, 2015

Today's Race Re-Cap

Today I finished my 113th race and my 15th race at the 10K distance. It's funny now that I have finished a couple of half marathons (okay 15 to be exact - 2 post CHF diagnosis) I think of a 10K and a 5K as a "just" race. It's "just a 5K" or today it was "just a 10K." Even with all my questions about how I'm going to feel it's like I know I will finish, period. I may be dragging my sorry, tired old butt across the finish line at midnight - but the question isn't "am I going to finish?"

Something that happened during the race today caught me off guard. I was running/walking about mile 4.5 or so and a group of teenage cheerleaders were trying to cheer everyone on. They said, "you can do it!" and I was like, "Of course I can do it. Why would I be out here if I didn't think I could do it." I was sort of surprised by my matter-of-factness. Of course I didn't say that out loud because I knew they were just trying to help us along and I probably looked pretty pathetic to them even though I felt pretty good for me.

Today's race was another win over congestive heart failure. It was not an easy run, and I didn't feel the greatest at all, but I finished and that's what matters. When I woke up this morning I had gained a few pounds. I'm supposed to weigh in every morning and if it's over 2 pounds I know I am overdoing the salt. Well, yesterday I had a little too much cheese which probably put me over my sodium limit. I know - I need to write it down and keep better track - later.

Anyway, let's just say I had gained quite a bit over the 2-3 pound mark just in a day. I knew this was a signal for me to really go easy and maybe even walk this one. Sure enough for the first mile I felt like I was swimming a hundred miles deep - it was horrible. I had some mild chest pain and so because it was also nearly 80 degrees at race start I took it really easy. I know what kind of chest pains mean I should stop and what kind mean I can go but I can't go out hard. These were mild and stopped when I would walk so I was not in danger -but I wanted to make sure and keep it that way.

About a mile and a half in though I caught a little bit of energy and I rode it as much as I could. I really walked a lot still but it was mostly because it was too hot to be running!  Part of me was frustrated because I didn't have the wonderful feeling run like I did for the half marathon a couple weeks back - but part of me was just glad to be able to deal with the mild discomfort and keep moving.

This was a fun race for me even though I didn't set any new PRs. I chose to not listen to music and to listen to the race instead. There were several live bands around the course - almost like a half or a full. They made it really fun. I kidded with spectators, talked to other racers, laughed and cut-up all along the way. I listened to my own breathing and footsteps. It became more of an experience than just a run. I think I like that. And of course most importantly for me I kept thinking all along the way every step is a victory. With each step no matter how slow or how fast they came - I was winning over CHF. It's another win in the books for me today!

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