This past weekend I ran the Salem Distance Run 10K. This was my fourth time running this race. I was hopeful I'd have a good race, having run a time I was happy with in my July race, and having gotten up so early to run at the track all month. I knew I wouldn't run a PR (personal record) for this race (around 48:40 or so) but I knew it also wouldn't be a PW (personal worst - around 57:09 or so).
When I walked outside to the car I knew as soon as I inhaled the early morning air that I was in trouble. See, I have this little thing called asthma. I've had it as long as I can remember, but I tend to forget I have it because it doesn't bother me much anymore (at least, not like it did when I was little). But you know what gets my asthma flared up in no time? Deep, thick humidity. And we'd had pouring rains the night before which resulted in pea-soup-fogs and high humidity. I hoped I was wrong though. I hoped that this time it wouldn't bother me. I so wanted to do well.
Once I got to the race I used my inhaler twice, as insurance against the humid air. The race started on time, and it almost immediately gets into the hills. It's a challenging course. It wasn't long before I was sucking air as my lungs struggled against the thick air. I hit the first mile at 8:20 or so.
I backed off my pace enough that my throat no longer felt like it was closing up, and subsequently I stopped making that wheezy embarrassing asthma sound. By mile 3, it felt like I'd been running for hours instead of minutes. My legs felt good. My energy felt decent. Just the breathing issues and painful lungs. An asthmatic never takes breathing easily for granted - because you know how it feels to struggle to pull air. Each mile was even more discouraging as I continued to lose time and continued to watch people pass me by. So frustrating, but at least I was out running.
I ended up running the 10K in 53:36. Needless to say, it was not the time I was looking for. But it was good training for me, and it just goes to show I have a lot more work to do to get to where I want to be. Plus, it was not a personal worst, and I gave it a good effort. I signed up for another 10K already - it's quite a few weeks away so I hope to put in solid training until then and perhaps run a better race.