“Sign up now (year early) and get 50% off your entry fee!” I always fall for these deals. So I registered for 2 10k’s on super bowl weekend… super run 10k which I did 39:54 last year, and Cardiff Kook 10k (new to me, stacked field).
You never know what can happen a few days before a race. With El Nino this year, weather is all over the place, and yay… I catch bronchitis. So PR thoughts go out the window. I think to myself lets fun run these races, is there a costume I can find somewhere to explain an embarrassing time (over 40 min)?
I just work with a glimmer of hope as each day my training run are decent that I will improve… but I get worse as it turns night and cold, that race night Im coughing up yellow thick phlegm. Well lets just go and show up… see how the first mile goes. Saturday 2 mile warm up, in the freezing cold. Ok, lets do a sub 6 min mile on the start and see how it goes. (my strategy is usually go hard on first half, cruise in 2nd). Everything is going well and I take things mile by mile, following the plan. Surprisingly I sneak in under 39 min , where my current PR is low 38. This gave me 9th overall on a rolling hill course…. and 1 min faster than last year when I was not sick. I will take it! After 2-3 mile cool down.
So what can I do now if healthy? Perhaps it is the mental clarity of not going for a PR that helped. After I bike to breakfast, bike to the pool for a recovery swim. 20+ miles of biking and a 1k swim. With this weather I have a lucky card here, as the middle of the day feels like summer and my condition improves… but downward at night. So with this I say, go by feel. As an asthmatic, I catch bronchitis / flu once a year. It makes it very hard to breath with your lung capacity cut down.
Part of the semi success could also be my caffeine fueling in the morning that helps, hot coffee + chocolate, then when I get to race start Zipp Fizz + Jelly Belly Sports Beans. After my day, my wife Bessy shows me some love.. makes me some Oopsie rolls (low carb bread) and then gives me a massage, as with this morning’s race you think I got away unscathed, but I did suffer some rhabdo (red urine from muscle break down in kidneys). This also has happened when I was healthy and went hard at some races, so my diet and recovery tactics work quick .
Thus onto the next race, same routine…. and this time I shave off 10 seconds from yesterdays result! How!? What!? As for placing, forget it, this was an elite stacked race with prize money, but I do love knowing where I stand. All in all, when it comes to running when sick, go by feel. If you do feel dizzy, immediately stop. Understanding you wont be 100% will get you through it. Thankfully being super bowl weekend… time for some recovery food!