The past two weeks I been wrestling with an annoying cough that creeps up at inopportune times and sends me into a fit of hacks and wheezes. Usually, a solid day or two off gives my body a chance to catch up and get better. Unfortunately a particularly crazy work week not only made that impossible, but left me more burnt out on top of everything else. After a careful examination of the nuances of my malady, I decided this isn't something I should run through as I was already feeling exhausted (and not "long day" exhausted, but sore body, frail exhausted). So I waited. And waited. And waited... No change.
The next thing I know is it is Sunday morning and I am laying in bed knowing that there was a good chance this would happen- that I would have to run one of my qualifying races feeling like, well, shit. It could have been sleep deprivation from work, it could have been my knee flaring up, or any number of slight injuries. It happened to be this weird cough situation I haven't been able to shake.
It's not until I am bib-ed up and sitting on the train next to my Mister that I realize I forgot my watch. I have never forgotten my watch for running, not for short jogs, not for long runs, not for any race.
When I found my corral, I found myself up a closer corral than usual.
So just to summarize the weirdness:
Forgot watch for the first time ever.
Closest corral yet. Why not.
My miles broke down like this:
Mile 1: I felt like pretty stilted. Like I was lumbering back and forth. Like a polar bear.
Miles 2, and 3: Felt amazing- in my groove, stoked to be running again. So distracted, I missed the MET (one of my usual mental markers during Central Park runs). Visually, mentally, did not register it at all.
Mile 4: Hurting. So much that I saw a random volunteer and my first thought was "Where does this thing end?" Note: I knew exactly where the end was. Perhaps I meant "Make this thing end."
Mile 5: I can hear the crowds! I can count the blocks (via lampposts) on one hand! This thing is going to end and I am going to be alive when it does!
When I finish I have no idea what time it is and when I do find out my results I'm shocked:
wait, what? No PR of course, but only 20 seconds slower than my race three weeks ago? Awesome time for feeling sick and under-trained, but the obvious questions becomes "What the @*#& was I doing three weeks ago?'
In my head, the day had begun as a perfect storm of Worst Case Scenarios, but sick, healthy, PR, no PR, at least I'm certainly consistent. And I realized it could always be worse. I mean, at least it wasn't raining.