This was my second time running the Joy to Life 5K. Joy to Life 5K is a run/walk to benefit the Joy to Life Foundation, a non-profit organization providing free mammograms to medically underserved women. This race draws thousands of participants, including cancer patients, survivors, and family members and loved ones who are affected in some way by cancer.
I woke up that morning with a terrible upset stomach. I took some Imodium and tried to eat a granola bar for breakfast, but I could only bring myself to eat a few bites. I felt like I was going to throw up. I debated whether to call Mom and tell her I needed to sit this one out. I got dressed and we headed towards downtown Montgomery. I would make a decision about running once I got there. If I didn't run at least I would be there to support my mom.
As soon as we arrived, I needed to find a bathroom. My stomach was still upset, the Imodium hadn't helped. On a plus side, I didn't feel like I was going to throw up any more. I felt even better when we lined up in the crowd at the start line. I decided to try to run, but I was going to take it easy.
It was congested at the start of the race, but it wasn't long before I found a gap and tried to break away from the crowd. I clocked the first mile in 9:10. It wasn't as fast as I was used to, but I felt good. This course was hilly, which is typical for downtown. I encountered my first hill at Mile 2. I walked that hill and every hill after that. I clocked my second mile in 10:06. The final half mile was downhill then flat. I passed the choir in pink robes cheering by the fountain. I knew I was getting close to the finish. I ran my third mile in 9:48. I finished in 30:12, not my best but much better than I expected.
I met my dad and Michael at the finish line and we waited to cheer for my mom. She wasn't far behind me.
We went down for the after party on the Riverwalk. As always for this race, they had a ton of great food, booths from sponsors, games and prizes. I grabbed several freebies for my prize bucket at school: water bottles, key chains, Frisbees, balls, etc. My students were going to be happy. We didn't stick around long. I was glad because I was starting to feel bad again.
I felt sick on the ride home. I was sweating and I knew it was only a matter of time before I threw up. Michael pulled into a McDonald's and I made it to the bathroom just in time. I went to bed as soon as I got home. I didn't even bother to shower. I slept the entire afternoon.
Have you ever felt sick before or after a race?