I have now come to grips that the Fourth of July Watermelon 5K is jinxed for me. Last year, I had a bad experience. This morning didn't turn out too well, either.
I got up early enough, but I don't know if I got enough sleep. I made sure that I didn't make the same mistakes as last year. Only one mug of coffee. Evacuate all waste.
I warmed up by running 2 miles. I ran a mile out and back. I was very thirsty already and hadn't stretched yet, so I made my way through the crowd back to the registration area to get some water. I did make one little mistake thus far and that was forgetting my watch. I had no idea what time it was. I went through my regular stretching routine and when I finished, I could hear people talking over the PA system at the starting line. I asked someone what time it was and he had 7:30 on the nose. I had to make my way back to the start and quickly. There were too many people to get there in time, so I ran down a side street and around the block. That put me in front of the line, but it also put me a little out of breath. I was able to rest for a couple minutes while a young lady sang the national anthem.
I can at this point with my experience tell if I am going to have a good race or not within the first quarter mile. I was not going to have a good race. I could not keep up with my usual friends and when I say keep up, I mean keep them within eyesight by the time I hit the first mile. I hit the mile marker at 7:26, which is a full minute slower than my last race.
It was around this point when I started feeling pressure in my chest and my heartbeats felt really strong. I am used to being out of breath, feeling like my head is going to explode from heat, or not have enough energy in my legs. None of these were the case and any of those things may slow me down, but they don't scare me. I slowed down a little to see if that would help. It did. I tried speeding back up to around that 7:30 pace and felt the same thing again. I could have been imagining things as well, but I swear my heart literally skipped a beat. Oddly, there was no pain. I slowed down again and even tried walking for a few seconds. I went back to normal again. I ran to the next water stop, grabbed a drink and that was just before 2 miles. I have no idea what my time was at this point. I tried getting back into a pace and my chest felt weird again. I had enough of this. I was about 50 meters from the 2 mile clock, which I didn't realize at the time, because it was just around the next corner.
I decided that was it for me. I went straight ahead. It was a point in the course when people were going in both directions on either side of the street. I stayed to the right side and alternated jogging and walking until I got back to the mile marker when I found my girlfriend. She was walking the 5k. I was so glad she came out. Her mom did, too. At this point, I just planned on walking the course with her and just wanted to have a "fun run."
By doing this, I ended up covering over 7 miles for the day.
I wish I knew the cause of my heart beating so furiously. I have been on antibiotics for the past week and a half and pain medication for a broken molar. I wonder if the antibiotics did anything, because I have run on pain medications plenty of times with no issues. Also, I took the past week off from any training other than a leisurely jog a couple days prior. Did that have something to do with it? Did my lack of speed training during the past week make my heart have to work overtime to compensate for my brain telling the body to run at a speed that was apparently too fast? I don't know.
I'm glad nothing serious happened and I had a great day the remainder of it. I went to the Morse Museum in Winter Park, which has more Tiffany glass than anywhere outside of New York. Grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and more in the afternoon and then watched the downtown Orlando fireworks from my place on Lake Ivanhoe late that night. I hope everyone had a great Independence Day.