Monday, August 22, 2011

PUMA 5 Miler Training: Race Report

Race Day Vitals

Weather: 85-90° degrees depending on shade factor
Course: Gentle rolling hills, mostly shaded - one of the better courses
Time: 47:22

The General Post-Race Feeling:
The Gist: Hot, but tolerable, migraine with aura manifested at mile 2.5, pushed through and finished the race, success given the circumstances

The Training:
Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2

Pre Race:
I arrived at the PUMA headquarters earlier enough to snag an excellent parking spot, one that would allow me to not be trapped by the festivities post-race. I wandered over to pick up my race packet sans my ID and almost had a scare when the guy asked for my ID.  I was like "Oops, forgot that,"  but he said it was only for the beer garden admittance afterwards.  I told him that I wasn't going to the beer garden anyhow so I took my packet and left for the Portapotties. Of which it turned out, there were only six! Six portapotties for just over 500 people is seriously not enough. Afterwards I wandered back to the car to pin the number:
I wandered around looking for the couple of people I knew but shortly decided that the best place to be was near the start in some shade. Did I mention it was hot?

The Race:
I didn't get any pictures of it because I don't carry my phone with me when I run, but there was this giant inflatable PUMA tunnel that they funneled everyone through at the race start. Seriously? I know it was chip timing and everything, but funneling people through a tiny opening is not a fantastic way to start a race.

Mile 1 - 8:40
I felt good for the first mile, my body didn't even provide me with the slightest of inkling of what was to come at this point. I was really enjoying the shade of the course and felt pretty darn good.

Mile 2 - 9:10
The heat and slight hills were starting to get to me at this point, but I still felt fine. I was in the zone.

Mile 3 - 9:30
At about the 2.5 mile mark, I started noticing weird spots in my vision. You know, the kind of spots that you get if a light is shined directly into your eye. At first I thought that perhaps I'd looked at my watch in the sun and given myself sunspots.  It wasn't until about the 3 mile marker that I realized I had aura and was well on my way to developing a full-fledged migraine.

Mile 4 - 10:54
I haven't had a migraine in 3 years  but my aura manifests itself in almost the same pattern every single time. First I get distorted vision (fmoving, flashing neon spots, loss of focal and peripheral vision), which then progresses into an aural disturbance where it's like I'm listening to myself over a microphone, and finally it transitions into moving numbness (starts at my fingers, moves to my face) on one half of my body. It freaks me out every time it happens. I got to the point where I could barely see out of my right eye due to the distortions so I said screw it and I walked a quarter of a mile. I have never walked any part of any race, that I have ever run since starting in 2006. But you know what? I'm okay with it. How could I not be? I could barely see! At the 3.75 mile mark, I was able to see again so I picked it up and went.

In all of this happening, I forgot to mention that the water table was extremely poorly staffed and stocked. There was a huge cluster of people around it so I ended up bypassing it. Tsk. Bad planning!

Mile 5 - 9:02
The endorphins (or possibly the adrenaline) hit me at this point I didn't feel any head pain despite knowing that I was going to pay at the finish line. It took everything I had to marshal what was left of my mental strength to push myself to the finish. All I kept focusing on was the fact that I had two full bottles of lemon-lime Gatorade in the car waiting for me. I felt like a blown horse at the end, but I did it. I finished the race, migraine and all.

Post Race Feelings:
I'll admit, I'm pretty proud of myself for pushing through in this race and finishing. Right now, it might actually be the race that I choose for my charm bracelet this year. I went home feeling like I had a train in my head, but happy with myself. And more importantly, I'm excited to train for my next key race -- a turkey trot 5K.

The Swag Bag:

I still have no idea what FAAS is despite that badge telling everyone that you can ask me. I'm not exactly sure what that strangely shaped device in the background is for...possibly some sort of stride correction.
I really loved the design on the back of this shirt! Except that the front really doesn't apply to me....
Yeah...right...will run for beer...at least Eric had a good laugh when he saw me wearing it.

What race are you most proud of completing? Have you ever had to run through some sort of absurd extenuating circumstance? Let me know in a comment down below! I want to hear your craziest running story!