The night before the race my sleep quality was terrible: I woke up a lot, saw weird dreams and didn’t feel well rested in the morning at all. Was it the heat or nerves (that didn’t bother me the night before at all, I was calm), I don’t know. Most likely it was the heat because my dorm room is like a sauna when the weather warms up (but especially in the mornings because of the sun).
Anyway, my morning started around 7.30. I measured my heart rate, sitting down and doing nothing. 80. 80!!! This was so not good. Usually it’s around 50–60. This was not a good sign at all. Well, what can you do. I just started to get ready and made breakfast: oatmeal porridge (no oat bran!) with banana and 2 small slices of rye bread with a little cheese. Nothing that has too much fat or fiber to stay clear of any stomach issues during the race (or that’s what I thought…). I also created a new playlist with even more motivating music. The original goal was to get a time under 55 minutes but considering the heatwave we had, that goal was unreal.
Around 10.45 AM I left the house and was at TYSK by 11. I got my starting number (58) from the first box there and felt a little VIP. 😀 Then I immediately met some training friends and soon we started to warm up indoors. We ran for 10 minutes and then did some stretches and sprints. I was already sweaty. A quick visit to the toilet, last sips of water and we were ready to get to our elite starting corridor (to feel VIP again). There were literally 1300 people behind us as we started. No getting pass anyone, just start and run. Nice!
Or was it? Starting in elite totally made me go with the flow and that was the worst decision. The first kilometre pace was 4:46 min per km. I HAVE NEVER RUN THAT FAST. Let alone in seriously hot weather (around 30 degrees Celsius and sunny). And not in a 3K race but while racing 10K. Starting too fast had its revenge on me. Keep reading.
From the 2nd kilometre I started to feel side ache in my the left side of my lower belly. What the…? I had a normal race day breakfast and had 4 hours to digest it. The side ache didn’t go away the whole race. Instead, the other side started to hurt as well. For some time I just ran holding both sides of my stomach. It helped a little but I was still in pain.
And it was HOT. I was waiting for the drinking point all the time. The first one was on 3,5K. Drank water and sports drink, poured some water on me. Kept going.
But my heart rate was through the roof! I felt like I was going to collapse. So instead of pushing forward, I started to… WALK. I have never (!) walked during a race ever. Well, there’s a first time for everything. I walked for some time and then a stranger greeted me with a pat on the shoulder and a smile. If you were a blog reader, thank you! You helped me. 🙂 I started to run slowly again.
I met around 20+ friends on the track. Most of them passed me but that’s OK. I was still encouraged and motivated from seeing them. Liis, Elari, Marin, my running group friends… How come a large proportion of my friends are runners? 😉
Came the second drinking point on 5,5K. Drank even more water and sports drink and poured water on the back and front of my shirt. I was so overheated. And since my heart rate was really high (unfortunately I don’t have a heart rate monitor watch…), I couldn’t drink right away, I needed to wait some time before I could swallow anything.
I had the toughest time from 5,5–7K. I walked a lot and felt very disappointed and sad. I was already picturing myself at the finish line, with a miserable time and bad mood.
7K was the last drinking point. Drink. Then pour at least 5 glasses of water all over myself: I was literally dripping all over. Start running again. My stomach still hurt on both sides. 😦
… and then an angel was sent on my way! 🙂
Kaisa caught me. She must have seen how miserable I was and suggested we finish that race together. No matter with what time, slow or fast but we will do it together. I took off my headphones and held my phone in my hand. Not perfect but water made my phone holding thingy come loose. Anyway, I was so happy that someone was there with me, inspiring, motivating and keeping me going. I can’t really remember too much what we talked about 😀 but it was mostly her trying to keep me running.
And it worked! I didn’t walk a step during the last 3K.
We saw people in the ambulance cars. That was scary. Luckily for me Kaisa is also a med student, so I was pretty safe there. 😀
Kaisa kept telling me that we can do it under 1:05. And we did! She motivated me to the last meter. When I crossed the finish line, my name was announced out loud through the microphone. That made me so happy, a VIP moment yet again. 😀 I high-fived Kaisa. We did it!
My time was 1:03:32. The bad mood and sadness I had thought about before was nowhere to be found. I was actually really really happy. It didn’t matter that I had lost to my personal best by roughly 5 minutes. It didn’t matter. When walking around in the finish area, I realised how many amazing people I have in my life. That was a win in itself! 🙂
Now enjoy the photos after finish:
Official time: 1:03:32
Average pace: 6:21 min per km
My position: 788 (out of 1316)
In my age-group: 19 (out of 34)
Among women: 243 (out of 679)
This race was a great experience. Extreme conditions, wrong decisions to learn from and so many amazing people. Maybe it’s even good that I have done a crazy run like that.
Next race: Tartu Rattaralli 70K (cycling) on Sunday. I’m scared! 😀
Next running race: my very first half-marathon in just 3 weeks. I just cannot express my excitement. Let’s do this!