Sunday, February 14, 2010

The blind squirrel finds its nut

--Update 2/15/10 Went to Doc, I have bronchitis. I ran this race with bronchitis--

I just came off of a really crazy week--been fighting and denying a cold for the past week, had the busiest and most challenging work week of my career, North Texas got 12.5 inches of snow in 24 hours (the most ever in recorded history). And I had to run a half marathon on Valentine's Day in Austin.

I was really looking forward to this race for several reasons: 1) It's Austin 2) I was running as part of Team Athletes Honey Milk 3) OMG a weekend with my husband sans child 4) Bojana was running with me.

I have been training really hard. I have never felt more prepared for a race. But then my cold got worse. Despite Airborne, Odwalla C Monsters 4 times a day and lots of meds, I was getting worse. Then Thursday's snow storm knocked out our power. I woke up Friday without a voice and my house was 40 degrees. Friday, my husband says, "You think you can run Austin?" Come hell or high water, I was going to Austin. I told my husband, I'll finish even if I have to walk the last half, I'm going to finish and I'm going to have fun. I needed this race, not for a PR, but for some sanity for all the crazy stuff going on in my life.

On Saturday, my husband drops me off at the Expo and I had the chance to meet up with the Team Athletes Honey Milk folks! We all know each other from Twitter and, of course, have a passion for running and Athletes Milk--@jaker @andersp @runningcouple @acokertx @krysteilen @celluloidcinema.

Sunday 4:30 a.m. I wake up before my alarm. I had coughed the entire night. My nose is stuffy and I'm feeling pretty crappy. Not going to let it ruin my day. I'm not giving up that easy. I've worked too damn long and hard. Sudafed, Advil, Airborne, C Monster, bagel and a coffee. Ok, I'm ready to run.

Headed to the start line and met Anders, Jake and Bojana. Here goes nothing. I'm feeling a little better, but I know it's masked by the meds and adrenaline. I get to around mile 1 and I hear Taiko drummers. And I smiled. It's Chinese New Year!

Before I knew it, I was at mile 5. Really? Already? Rolling hills, eh, not bad. I hit 10K - 55 minutes. Wow. I could PR this thing. Doing ok, but then I get to mile 8. Legs feel good. Chest tightens. It's hard to breathe. I start coughing. I can't stop. I had cough drops, but I threw my coat off at the start line and they were in my coat. Crap. Ok, let's have some Gu.

Mile 8, pace is slower. But I can still PR. Mile 10, WHO THE HELL PUT THAT BEAST OF A HILL THERE? Really not funny. I heard a guy to my left coaching his friend, "What goes up must come down." This hill is short. I can do this.

Mile 11, Hi Anders! Oh ok, video. I think I said something like, "I feel like crap." Glad he caught that on film.

Mile 12, long steady. I can do this. Mile 12-something. OUCH. THIS HILL IS EVEN WORSE. This is a hill I've only seen in San Francisco. I realize I'm running it slower than I can just walk it. So I walk it. At the top, deep breath, let's go. We're at the Capitol. I can hear the crowd. Time to push it, less than a 1/2 mile to go. Hey, it's Heath from my running club there to cheer on Danyah! I think I said, "Hey babe." Ooops. I was looking for my husband and thinking about when I would see him. Hell it's Valentine's Day.

The finish line, I'm about to cry. I WILL PR!!! I sprinted faster than I ever have in my life. 2:05:40 -- a 4 minute, 1 second PR. And with a cold. I found Christian and he asked me how I felt, "Like crap. My chest is so tight. It's hard to breathe." But who cares I PRed!

I didn't drive the race ahead of time because I didn't want to stress and worry. I didn't look at my Garmin too much for fear that my times were slow. I went into this blind, which just proves that every now and then, the blind squirrel finds it's nut.

Watch Anders cool video here


  1. Congratulations on your PR, Suann!! You go you squirrel you:) Seriously, what a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day and the CNY. Hope you feel better soon. I suspect you already have after the race!

  2. I edited out the "I feel like crap part" ;-) You can see the whole thing here:

  3. And CONGRATS on your PR!! Thanks for everything!

  4. Congratulations, a PR, and while sick too! Really great job!