well, my day started out with a 4k warm up downtown to catch the shuttle bus to the start of the 20k race, and i thought things were going to go well. my PB 20K is 85 minutes, but given the difficulty of the course and my limitations from the medications i had been on, i was aiming for a 100 minute run.
well, i got off to a good start keeping the pace that i had set out for the 1st k. the 2nd k was up a nasty hill that slowed me down more than most, but i made up for it by flying down a downhill stretch for the 3rd & 4th k. 5 and 6 were fairly steady and straight.. then the 7th k was another nice steep downhill but around the 8k mark, during another nasty uphill, massive leg cramps started to hit me in both legs. and that was pretty much it for me. i slowed down to a gentle jog.
i crossed the 10k mark at 55 minutes. and at this point, i considered dropping out in order to avoid further risks of cramping, but i decided to carry on at an even slower pace.. i figured that if this really is going to be my last road race for 2-3 years, i might as well finish it, even if i had the worst time of them all.
i kept a slow pace and occasionally tested the legs, but every time i tried to speed up, i could feel more cramps coming on. so i went back down to an even slower pace, and continued to slow down as i got deeper into the race. i did my best to try to keep a positive attitude, but everytime someone yelled out "nice job" or "you're looking good" , i'd just give then a nasty stare.. even yelling out a "no i'm not" back at them on occasion!
as i hit the 18k mark, it was time to finish the race with the climb up signal hill, essentially an uphill climb at a 45 degree angle for 2k! i could see about 50 runners ahead of me who had slowed to a walk and even at my slow jogging pace, i started to pass many of them.. about 3/4 of the way up the hill, cramps hit both of my calves again.. i almost lost my balance but managed to stay standing.. i ended up walking the remaining 200 m to the finish line.
ended up with a time of 1.56.08, placing me a distance 202nd out of 400 runners. first time all year that i didn't even place in the top half of a race, and the worst performance by me in any race since my IT Bands forced me to walk in the last 10k of the 2007 Toronto marathon. i appeared to be fairly well hydrated all weekend, so i can only assume the cramping was due to muscle fatigue and/or the fact that the higher dosage of spironolactone i have been taking was making me more dehydrated than i appeared. it's going to be a trip back to the doctors shortly to discuss plan B for all these meds i am on.
i guess overall, i shouldn't be surprised. there were times this week at work that i could barely muster enough energy to make it up and down the stairs..... it's also been a very difficult couple of weeks for me from an emotional standpoint.. so perhaps that played havoc on my energy levels.
well, i'm thinking this will be the last race i ever run in the male catagory. i am likely to have an orchidectomy surgery later this fall or early in the winter, so i will no longer have my biological maleness.. (yet i won't become a legal female until part 2 of the surgery, which i might not be able to afford for several years).
i've decided to write the Newfoundland & Labrador Athletic Association and the Boston Athletic Association and express my interest in participating in their 2009 running events, but only if they are willing to create a 3rd gender catagory.. it's going to be very interesting to see what these folks have to say about this..
anyway, what won't change will be my continued love of training runs.. i'll definitely be out there every day, even in thick snow during our lovely Newfoundland winters.. it's also going to be a winter where i pick my swimming up to the next level..
well, i'm going over to the pond to feed the duckies some bread crumbs.. maybe they can cheer me up after what generally felt like the worst morning of my life.