Woke up Thursday with a bad stiff neck, cause unknown. (Stress/tension?) Spent all day at work trying to baby the neck. Avoiding lifting. Trying to to drive safely, without being able to turn my head. After work, tried all the usual self-treatments: ice, heat, self massage, stretches. Woke up Friday with a stiffer neck. Friday at work – pretty much a repeat of Thursday. After work, I gave up on the self massage and stretches, and went for the hard stuff: NSAIDs and Tylenol. This morning, woke up with a stomach ache, nausea, and – yes – a stiff neck!
Off to the races. Realized that to beat my time from last year, I needed to do better than 1:40 per lap. Hal had decided on a 1:38 goal. He would let me know if I was on pace for the overall race as I rounded each lap. I tried a warm up. Not too bad – but definitely didn’t feel like I was at my best. Far from it.
Heat three started. I could tell right away that this was not my day to set a PR.
Settled into a steady gait. Jill, Desa, Rob, off in the distance. Oops-there goes Gae. She, too, now off into the distance. Bye, Gae! And there goes Wanda. Bye, Wanda! By the time I had covered a mile, I really was noticing my nausea. Hal was keeping me up on my laps ” You’re 8 seconds ahead. You’re 4 seconds ahead. You’re right on. You’re 2 seconds behind. You’re 4 seconds behind.” Yipes! I just settled into a stoic gait, and hung in there as best I could.
“You’re 6 seconds behind. You’re 10 seconds behind – last half lap!” I tried to speed up – but I simply couldn’t. At the end I was just trying, trying to match my time for last year – 12:28.
And, miraculously, I did. 12:28.
After the race, I was chatting with Denis “DJ”, Jake Clinton, and Margaret Lafon. Denis, a stalwart of the SB running community for eons, asked me if I was new to running. I replied that I had had to take a bunch of years off – because of health issues. Jake mentioned that he had just run a marathon. He was happy to finish, regardless of time. Margaret said she felt so lucky to be able to run at all. I agreed. I feel lucky to be able to walk – and very, very exceptionally lucky to be able to run. We watched the Special Olympics crew jog around the track. And then the children.
The “agony” of that race – a privilege to experience. I am a very lucky woman.