First, I've been fighting a head cold all week or something more sinister, and secondly they made a significant change to the course. It's a shame really that they can't just have the same 5k course at Zilker Park and run numerous races over it throughout the year. Nope, this was the 4th different course I've run there.
I was pretty comfortable with the fact it was just a head cold, any triathlete/runner with half a brain knows that running and racing with any kind of chest infection is just dumb. My legs felt good and so I lined up about 10-rows back, just in front of the first guy with a stroller!
When the gun went off I quickly navigated quite a few people wearing iPods/MP3 players and way too slow to be at the front, "on your left" being pointless. As we crossed Barton Springs Rd about 1/2 mile in, I felt that sinking feeling, felt slightly giddy and was breathing hard, I felt slightly sick.
I did briefly think about stopping but pushed on, went through the first mile in 7:33, a little ahead of my 7:45 schedule; crossing back across Barton Springs Rd I was starting to settle down, we ran in front of the pool building, my split pace had slowed to 8-MPH, we then had to content with the best part of a mile on a gradual climb, this was were my run fell apart, my second mile pace was 8:36 and the third mile 8:12, as I rounded back down in front of the pool I glanced at my watch and my heart rate wasn't recording for some reason, but the time was 22:20, I had 1:40 to finish and I pushed to the end as hard as I could, but it wasn't to be.
I crossed the finish line in a disappointing, for me, 24:55, to finish 7/11 in my age group, and 74/248. As I wandered over to the back of the parking lot, I felt it coming on, barf. For the first time ever, I threw up at a race. I'd seen various people over the years do it, but had never even felt close. Gross. I got some water, rinsed my mouth, went home, showered, and went back to bed.
I just got through looking at my garmin data. I was sick. I would say stupid boy for racing, but I'm hardly a boy. My race number is my age next birthday. A coincidence ? More like just a reminder, that I don't get wiser, just older. The garmin data shows for the first half mile my HR was 172, not bad for someone with a 168 max, as I did the quarter mile across Barton Springs it dropped below 168. I guess my heart rate was up maybe 10-beats because of the cold/flu. Behind the cut you can see the point I crossed Barton Springs in bright red for pace and HR.
memo to self. Take heart rate when waking up on race day, if more than 5-beats up, stay at home.