Let me first say thank you to all of you who wished me well and I am happy to report that sometime late last night, the migraine did go away and I am feeling much better now. I’d also like to say the while I did make it through the race unscathed, I do not suggest ever running with a migraine headache, it just plain sucked!
So, as I mentioned in my last post, I awoke at 4am and I still had a migraine from the night before. I tried everything I could think of but it wasn’t going away so I decided just to bite the bullet and go for it. I left for the race around 5:30am and arrived around 6am. There was plenty of parking available and I was actually able to park at the packet pick up location which was located at the start line, bonus!
Anyway, from the start I knew this was not going to be a goal race. With a migraine and PMS raging, there was no way it was going to happen. Knowing all of that made it easier for me to relax and just run.
We started just about a minute after 7:30 and the first 3-4 miles were ridiculously windy. Fortunately the wind started to die down around mile 4 just after we ran over the first bridge. I walked for the first time going over the bridge. I’m so glad I did because I tend to take shorter, heaver steps on inclines and I knew my head would not be able to handle that pounding.
The next 3 miles were through residential areas and went by pretty fast. There were ample water stops and all of them offered Gatorade as well, which is what I took because the last thing you want with a migraine is to get dehydrated. The sun came out some time during these miles and I’m not sure if it was just me, but it felt really humid. My head really started to pound just after the 6 mile mark and just after I ate an orange slice, the nausea got really bad.
Just before mile 7 we headed through Seminole Park and right by the restroom which I immediately ran into and proceeded to throw up for about 5 minutes. I looked at my watch and realized that I was almost at mile 7 and only 1 hour and 2 minutes in and there was a moment of delusion when I though I could finish in under 2 if I ran the next 6 miles at a 9 minute pace. Yeah, I know. It only took me about a minute to realize that I just threw up, it was 70 degrees and humid, and I could very easily dehydrate myself and die!
I decided to do the smart thing and slow down. I walked and ran the last 7 miles and it seemed like it took me forever. We ran along the Pinellas Trail until around mile 12 when we entered Taylor Park. Taylor Park couldn’t have come soon enough because I knew this was the last mile and I was anxious for it to be over. The path around the lake was paved but turned into a gravel trail for half of the mile and then back to a paved surface near the finish. My body felt stiff and I knew my hips were going to be killing me after the finish but I was more concerned with the nausea which had returned with a vengeance.
I finished and didn’t even look at the time but I assumed it was around 2:20. Just after removing my timing chip and grabbing my medal I ran down toward the lake and lost my cookies, so to speak.
As a side note, I’d like to say, I’m sorry to anyone who finished just after me if you happened to see that because I’m pretty sure I ruined your after race meal. I just couldn’t hold it any longer and I hope you understand.
After about 15 minutes I made it to the bag retrieval and grabbed my jacket and promptly made my way to the rest area to clean up. I thought about putting some food in my stomach but I knew if I did that I would have to throw up on the shuttle and I didn’t want to risk it. But I should say, they had tables full of food and coolers full of all kinds of things to drink. I wish I could say it was awesome and I enjoyed all of it because I really wanted to but honestly, because of the migraine, the smell just killed me and I had to walk away.
I made my way over to the shuttle and just missed it by about 10 seconds but fortunately a second one showed up less than 20 minutes later which I heard was a major improvement from last year.
I feel sorry for the poor gentleman who sat beside me because he seemed really nice but I was so nauseas at that point I didn’t want to open my mouth for fear of throwing up so we rode in silence all the way back to the start and it was the most awkward 25 minutes ever.
Once we reached the start and headed toward our cars, I found a little secluded area and threw up yet again. I then managed to make it all the way home without throwing anymore but when I got home, I took a Dramamine and went to sleep for several hours.
My actual chip time was 2:19:57, (obviously I’m a boss at prediction runs, ha!)
It may sound crazy but I liked this course a lot and I loved the fact that it’s a point to point and it’s the only race of the day. The organizers are awesome and they couldn’t have done a better job in my book. Everyone is exceptionally friendly and helpful and you could feel the holiday spirit right from the start. If everyone hadn’t been so nice and full of cheer, I don’t think I could’ve run this race. I know I couldn’t have so I am thankful for that.
I will definitely run this race again next year and if you are anywhere near the area, you should too! I’ll meet you there and maybe next year I wont have a migraine!
Have you ever run a race when you were sick? Did you finish it?