But of course I ran the Greek Fest 5k anyway. I mean, I already paid for it! But boy, did I feel bad. My joints and eyes hurt a lot, and I had this horrible congested cough. And I was weak.
I changed at work and David picked me up. We drove down to the Greek Fest, both of us commiserating over our sicknesses, and parked in a friend's driveway. Due to construction, the racecourse was changed this year, and I didn't know what to expect - but I did notice that it was quite breezy as I warmed up. Oh, that warm up. I was dizzy and weak just after warming up! I thought about doing strides before the race started, but I honestly thought I'd pass out. So I skipped it. The race began with both the Greek national anthem and ours, as always (side note: People, you put your hand on your heart for OUR anthem. You respect the Greek anthem, but you don't put your hand on your heart. Come on!).
Mile 1: The start was crowded and the course wove a bit, but I settled into a really terribly slow pace right away. I felt far too ill to care about my place, and I was far back. We emerged from the neighborhoods onto the lakefront, which I hadn't expected. It turns out that this course ran along the lake, out and back, rather than along the bayou like in previous years. The lakefront was beautiful under the setting sun, and the weather was surprisingly nice. But it was windy, more so on the water, and of course the lakefront has the city's only hills (ugh. Shades of RnR New Orleans marathon. Oh, memories!). 6:51. SERIOUSLY?! Yes, seriously.
Mile 2: A few people passed me in mile 2, including a girl who went by pretty fast considering my doddering pace. We came up to the water station and turn-around and I was SO glad for water; my throat was killing me. I saw that I was pretty far back. And another 6:51.
Mile 3: Something about that second 6:51 reminded me that I should speed up. I was actually gaining on the girl who passed me in mile 2, so she must have slowed a lot. I decided to pass her, and once I did, the faster pace I'd used to pass felt ok, so I kept going. There were two girls in front of me whom I knew from Varsity, and I kind of knew their paces, so I persuaded myself that I could pass them, too. I did, although trying to tell them "good job" as I passed almost triggered a coughing attack, so I held my comments and my coughing until after. I sped up very nicely for the last tenth of a mile, and I felt good about my faster finish (mile 3 was 6:39) despite being so sick and slow. Might as well practice racing technique if you're going to be slow anyway! Finish was 20:52.
Post-race we stayed for beers, and I got the obligatory race picture with Josh. I met this guy at a race after I noticed that we had several race photos together - he and I were always in the same shot! So now if we don't get one, we make sure to take one together.
Thoughts on the Greek Fest 5k:
I feel like I'm in pretty good shape right now, and that plus the nice weather could have made for a fast race for me. I'm ticked that I was sick. The chances of another fast, cool 5k this summer are slim. So far my 5ks this year include a long course, terrible weather, and a flu. I just want a good race!