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AIDS Walk Long Beach 5K Run - Run4 Mile

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Long Beach, California
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 1h 25m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = F 30-39
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I had gotten most of my gear together last night. It is amazing how much easier that is for a single sport race, as opposed to a tri. I got up at 6 am not feeling so good. It was INSANELY hot last night and we don't have AC. It was one of those nights where I swear I was awake at some point every hour. Too freaking hot!

I got ready and ate my usual pre-race breakfast while watching bad TV. My husband and kids all got up and came up and joined me. This was a first, as I'm usually doing all of this in the 4 o'clock hour. I stretched then left.

Despite the heat it was a gorgeous morning. I drove the convertible...another thing I don't usually do since it isn't exactly bike-friendly. It's the same route I drove for my first tri in Long Beach so it was cool to remember that morning. I parked at the Pike lot and walked over to registration.

I got my goody bag, number, and shirt. Odd but cool goody bag...included a key chain, jewelry, pens, little plastic golf balls with compressed washcloths in was pretty random. I was planning to race alone but then saw several counselors and an administrator from my school! It turns out there was a "Team Millikan" and I was now officially a part of it. Very cool to have familiar faces, though it wouldn't be cool to have actual coworkers find out that I'm such a weak runner! Oh well!

I went and threw my stuff in the car and got some stretching in. Then we took a team picture, which I hope I get a copy of.
Event warmup:

I went into the Pike shopping area. I walked for 5 minutes, and then ran for ten. I could already feel the oppressive heat and humidity! Ugh! My legs felt pretty good and I hoped I was in for a good race.

I walked back out to the expo area and stretched some more. The opening ceremonies were then going on, so I found my group and hung out with them watching countless local elected officials speak. It was getting hot fast and tough to focus on what they were saying.

A band then played while the 10K runners headed across the street to the race start. The band was pretty annoying. They were super loud, but not very good. It wasn't an optimal pre-race ambience, but no biggy.

They then called the 5K runners to head over to the start. My whole group was doing the 5K. They had all signed up for the 10K but given the heat, changed to the 5K. We got lined off and waited for the horn.
  • 1h 25m
  • 4 miles
  • 21m 15s  min/mile

The horn went off and we were running. My legs felt good and I was off to a fast start. Too fast of a start. Usually at the beginning of the run leg of a tri, I take it easy, but with everyone starting together there was an energy that I got caught up in.

I should have situated myself at the back of the group, but I got passed quickly by most and was there in no time. We ran along the boardwalk at the Pike, which connects the aquarium to Shoreline Village. I've been down there a million times, and it's always fun to race in familiar places.

The pack pulled away from me quickly. What else is new? I realized that in my 5K last year there were runners and walkers, so I was never at the absolute back of the pack. For this event, the walkers went later, so we were just runners. Oops. May need to seek out the 5K run/walk events in the future, just for my self esteem! :)

Two women passed me but then weren't too far in front of me for a while. I'm glad I had them to follow because this part of the course was unmarked and there were no volunteers to point the way. We had also never seen a map of the course. They just briefly explained it to us right before the start.

I got to the Yard House and hung a right. We ran up the sidewalk toward the beach bike path, and then took a left on that. Now it was cool because I was on the same path as the run for the Long Beach Tri. This brought back fun memories.

It was nice running past the marina and all the boats, but this is when I started to feel a little off. I was maybe a half mile into the race (which I was still under the impression was a three mile race) and already feeling that I had gone out way too hard. I downshifted to a slower jog and hoped that I'd get my breath back, feel better, and pull back ahead. That never happened.

I followed the path to the left and past Alfredo's where they had a first aid station and were giving out water bottles, which I grabbed. I thought this might be mile 1, but there were no markers. Oh well. I continued to run with my water bottle sipping from it every now and then.

Now I was out on the main part of the bike path. There was no shade...just a concrete path and sand on each side. The ocean was right close I wanted to go jump in real quick. Then, I remembered that there was a sewage spill here within the week. Then the smell totally smelled like azz out there! Nasty!

At this point, I started feeling frustrated. I was so hot. I couldn't see the turn around anywhere near and just couldn't stand the heat. I kept going as I didn't want to DNF this race. I passed another first aid tent and got another bottle of water. At this point, I saw the first 5K runners coming back. After a little while I saw Jessica, one of our counselors. A little while layer, Susana and Keeley, two more counselors went by. They were all really sweet as they went by. Susana and Keeley were walking. A LOT of people were walking. At this point I was thinking that I was hot, but there was no way I was walking any part of this race. Ha! Little did I know. This was also around the time that I started feeling nauseous. I began looking for a place to puke and figured I'd chuck in the sand if I had to. I didn't think too much about this, as I've had other races where I felt like I was going to puke on the run. Never did, luckily.

Then I reached a fork in the road and some runners went left, some went right, some were coming back left and some were coming back right. What the hell? I then saw Kaisha, who is one of our administrators. She said I was to go right. Okey dokey! I could now see the turn around! Yeah!

I made the turn around and started heading back. It was unclear as to where to go so I asked and they told me. I looked at my watch and it showed that it took me 35 minutes. There was no way that this was a 5K course. Judging by my pace, that had been about 2 miles, not 1.5.

Within about 2 minutes of the turnaround I started feeling crazy dizzy. I had to not only stop but hold on to a parking meter to hold myself up. I started feeling really faint. Oh crap. Now what do I do? I stood there a minute hugging that parking meter and struggling with the realization of how much of the race was still ahead of me. What do I do? Should I stop and go back to the first aid tent?

After a few minutes I felt less faint and started walking. At this point, there was no way I was running again...I knew that. In fact, walking became incredibly difficult and I doubted I could do that all the way back. But, I just kept moving forward. I was sweating a lot, but less than I had been which was strange. Then I got the chills. WTF??? I'm burning hot, but look down and I have goose bumps and feel shaky. This did not seem normal. I couldn't get my head around what this could be.

Then I realized that my hands were starting to swell...A LOT! I had to loosen my watch several notches and tore the wristband off before that began choking my wrist. Now I really wasn't sure what to do. My body was doing weird stuff that it's never done before. Maybe I was dehydrated. Maybe this was because I was sick earlier this week. Most likely it was from the heat. I was trying to remember back to my First Aid classes and EMT training what the symptoms of heat exhaustion were, but couldn't remember. I did remember that it can progress into heat stroke, which involves not being able to sweat. I kept an eye out for that knowing that if I stopped sweating that was REALLY bad.

I was approaching a first aid tent and wasn't sure what to do. Do I tell them? Do I keep going? I was doubting my ability to make it back to the finish line, but felt like an idiot. This was a short race, not a marathon. I shouldn't be needing a ride back. I really felt that I just had to take it easy, keep getting water in me, and just keep walking toward the finish. I got water at the tent and kept walking.

This was a discouraging part of the race. There weren't many other runners out there except for the occasional 10K runner coming back in. The heat was getting worse and there was no shade. The path looked LONG!!! But, I kept going.

I finally reached the next tent at Alfredo's (where the LB tri transition area was). I got more water as I had dumped half of the last bottle on my head. I again contemplated telling them about the chills and swelling, but knew I was about a mile away and kept walking.

As I was heading toward the Shoreline parking lot, the walkers were now coming toward me and there were a LOT of them. The tough part is that (A) they aren't running so they're less grumpy, and (B) They are in the first half mile of their walk, so they're all happy and smiling and cheerful. I'm like ready to bite the head off of anyone at this point. Bad combo. One woman wanted a high five. I carefully obliged but my sad giant swollen hand didn't want much of that.

I headed past Shoreline Village and there were so many walkers coming at me that I felt like a salmon going upstream...a slow, hot, swollen, bitter salmon. :) I rounded the corner at the Yard House and now the dog walkers were coming. It was so cute to see the doggies, but it was even more obstacles for my fuzzy mind and breaking down body to handle. I even saw one guy pushing his cat in a little cart thing. Cute.

The cheerleaders did bring a smile to my face. They were drag queens in full cheerleader regalia. I love Long Beach! Very cool! I was on the boardwalk and then saw all the other Millikan people cheering for me. They walked in with me. I felt really embarrassed. I'm not usually this slow. I was having weird health issues. I was really embarrassed, but they were very cool to have waited for me and walked me in.

We got to the finish line...oh wait...there wasn't one. They were tearing it down. They were also out of finisher's medals, but the volunteer vowed to get me one. They told me that they found out it was MUCH more than 3 miles after all. I was pretty sure it was, and that confirmed it. I was glad to be done, felt like crap, the ego a tad bruised, and all I could think about was getting home and getting in cold water.
What would you do differently?:

I should have figured out a way to wet myself down before the run. I realized that in my tris, I'm wet during the run from the swim, which helps a lot more with cooling than I ever realized. Because of my size, I'm going to heat up a lot more than most people. I need to figure out a way to do races like this without overheating.

In retrospect, I should have swallowed my pride and stopped at a first aid station. I really did put myself at risk for much more serious problems.
Post race
Warm down:

My warm down was pretty much the walk back to the expo. When we got back the volunteer ran up to me with a finisher's medal, as promised. Everyone else from our group was going to the expo, but said I wanted to get home.

I called my husband and told him what happened. He got pretty upset with the fact that I kept racing. He had just read an article in the LA Times about heat related illness and he said that I had the exact symptoms they were warning about for heat exhaustion. He was worried about me and wished that I had made better decisions during the race.

I grabbed some drive through and went home. At home I just felt so wiped. It was hard to even move. The swelling had gone down, but was not totally gone. I went and got in the pool. It felt really cold and made me shiver, but I made myself stay in for 20 minutes. I came home and got a nap. I called to see if I could get a massage, but couldn't get one until tomorrow, which is fine.

I was supposed to spend the rest of the day getting ready for our camping trip. We're supposed to leave tomorrow for Morro Bay. But, with the heat being so bad, we decided to postpone our trip for a day, so I was able to rest all day. I have a weird post-race fatigue unlike my usual muscle fatigue. Very strange.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat was a factor, as was my weight. Also, being dry on a hot day was a bad idea. I was also sick this week. I had a ton working against me and little working for me today.

Event comments:

I really like what this race is about. It raises a lot of money for AIDS research. The course is a good course, though it needs mile markers and needs to more be more accurately measured at 3.1 miles. There were volunteers, but they could have used a few more in places where the course was not obvious.

Last updated: 2008-06-10 12:00 AM
01:25:00 | 04 miles | 21m 15s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Bad
1st half - 17:30 min mile average 2nd half - 25:00 min mile average
Course: Out and back course following boardwalk at the pike, through the Shorline parking lot, then on the beach bike path, turning around at the art museum lot
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? No
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2008-06-21 9:37 PM

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Long Beach, CA
Subject: AIDS Walk Long Beach 5K Run

2008-06-23 2:23 AM
in reply to: #1480540

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: AIDS Walk Long Beach 5K Run

Thank you for doing this race! AIDS causes are very close to my heart.

Great job toughing it out. Yes, maybe you should have played it differently, but you did AWESOME considering the heat, dizziness, and swelling. You also got a fair bit of running done, so congratulations!!!

2008-06-23 5:07 AM
in reply to: #1480540

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Perth, Australia
Subject: RE: AIDS Walk Long Beach 5K Run
Well done on completing the race in *very* tough conditions!!!
2008-06-23 7:27 AM
in reply to: #1480540

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Gold member
Subject: RE: AIDS Walk Long Beach 5K Run
Nice job, girl  Next time maybe you will go into this a bit healthier?? Hope the sick is all gone.
2008-06-24 4:48 PM
in reply to: #1480540

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: AIDS Walk Long Beach 5K Run
Way to gut it out...
2008-06-25 6:26 PM
in reply to: #1480540

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Subject: RE: AIDS Walk Long Beach 5K Run

Wow J, you really toughed that one out. I'm glad that your ok and hopefully nothing like that happens again!

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