This could very well be the most scatalogical race report you have ever read. Just had to warn you.
Yesterday at 2pm men and women from all over the island of Sjælland met for the first race in the 2009-2010 "Cross-Løb" race series. These races, as I have alluded to in earlier posts, involve running across mud, leaves, branches over hills and in woods, sometimes on trails, sometimes not. Anyway, great and fun training.
Yesterday the race was held in the small town of Jyderup. SR and I dropped off the kids with his mom in Copenhagen and drove to meet Rasmus, Mette, Helena and Peter and others from HG athletic club.
I knew that since I had had gastroenteritis last weekend and a fever (which ended up producing a painful rash on my palms and my soles today... Coxsackie A virus?), that I should't race too hard. But what one thinks rationally and what one does are of course two different things.
Mette and Rasmus and I lined up together. SR was at the front, a bit ahead of us. This was a pretty big race, so no ladies at the front. As I have stated before, Mette is super fast. She is just the type of runner I would like to be. She, on the other hand, is getting interested in starting to do ultra distances and looks up to me in that way. So we have lots to discuss.
The course was two loops of 4.5 km to equal 9k.
The horn sounded and I ran the first two km quite fast with Rasmus and Mette right by me. Then we headed into the hilly, muddy, teacherous woods. The hills were killers. I thought I could run them, but got incredibly winded. Over the next two km, I started feeling dizzy, feverish, nauseated. There was so much mud, too and I almost whiped out a couple of times. It was kind of torture. I realized it had been stupid to race when I had been so sick. I decided to drop out after the first loop. But then the first loop was over (the end was downhill) and I said "just run at your own pace... don't kill yourself!!!" So I took it a little easier. I stayed in the same pack of guys, but had lost sight of Mette. Oh well. I got to the first killer hill and walked it, beating the 12 year old boy next to me who ran it.
(An aside about hills: A hill strategy is so important. I have really gotten into walking the first 3/4 and running the last 1/4. That way I can just keep running over the peak and not slow down because of being winded)
So getting back to the race. The 12 year old was so irritated that a woman had passed him that he sped up to pass me again. We sprinted back and forth and had some fun. But then it happened. I could feel that I needed to go badly (#2 that is). This was strange as I thought I had taken care of this adequately before the race. I thought for a second I should just run the last 2 km and suck it up. But then it was a real emergency. I ran off the marked route into a collection of trees that could not really qualify as woods. But it was that or my beautiful geyser spandex shorts (it was a warm day). A bunch of men passed me, as a lot of non-solid, well, you get the point. It was terrible and embarassing. But I was still #2 woman, so I had to get back in the game. As soon as I started again, I knew I had not completed the task. I felt so sick to my stomach and I had no choice but to pull of along side of the trail and pull down my shorts again. The men kindly looked away (not that they really wanted to see that). But I couldn't give up now, could I? I set out again across leaves and bramble to the last big hill. Ooooh. I was getting sick again. But I was near the end.
I crossed the finish line in just under 45 minutes, second woman, and headed for the woods after greeting SR. I found a nice, secluded spot and, was, well, amazed at how much diarrhea this was. I had to wonder if I had gotten some form of ischemic colitis. In fact, I am pretty sure that is what it was. It was caused by a combination of having been sick, not being well-hydrated, bad night's sleep and well, just pushing myself way too hard after two intense viral illnesses in the past week. All I know is my intestines were not getting nearly enough blood flow during that race.
I walked slowly back to the group to find Mette also doubling over. She amazingly had also become ill, but luckily not until after she had finished. Huh. Steep hills are just way more challenging than one expects. We had all planned on running the 3k race, which was next but Mette and I were too ill and SR's ankle was hurting. SR had taken 2nd man with a time of around 36 minutes.
SR and Mette and I walked back to the car and got really lost in the Jyderup woods. We discussed our shared running obsession, training plans, upcoming races etc. Suddenly it began to stink and SR said to me (I'll translate the Danish) "My Lady, did you just fart!?" "No! It wasn't me!" I said proudly, thinkig this was one of the first times I had been falsely accused. "It was me." piped up Mette, holding her stomach. We all laughed. Yes, I think this is the beginning of a good friendship.
Running Song of the Day: What's it in For? by Avi Buffalo