It had been a very good last 6 weeks with no real medical problems. That changed on Friday. I thought that I was simply over-reaching with the training but I was much worse the next morning. My next run was not too bad so I decided to give it a try but I may not race it all out because of the heat. 75 degrees at the start and over 80 at the finish. I woke up feeling decent and predicted a pretty good race. I felt about average warming up but you never really know until the gun goes off.
This is one of the most unique events. The first mile is rolling with about as much downhill as uphill (about 80 ft each) then for the next 2 miles or so, it's almost straight and sharply uphill with very few breaks. There's a pretty good downhill around Mile 3 then we go back sharply up to the top of the mountain. All told, the elevation gain is just over 400 feet. On a good day, especially if you go out conservative, you can really fly back down. Then, instead of finishing the same out of back course, you turn onto a dirt trail with rolling terrain and many turns before finishing downhill again. The length of the course is 8.2 miles and my goal was under 60 minutes or roughly a 7:21 average pace.
I got off to a pretty good start but it wasn't long before I could tell that something wasn't right. My legs had little spring and I was struggling for breath early. The first mile ended downhill and I reminded myself to take it easy here because I knew what was coming. My split was 7:18, a little fast but not far off what I need to do to finish under 60. Turning the corner uphill, I kept the pace somewhat respectable. I gained some ground on the pack that had passed me on the previous downhill. Despite a 300 ft. elevation gain, I recorded an 8:20 split. A few people took walk breaks but I found it to be run-able. By Mile 3, I was cooked and took it easy on the downhill and by the time I was to take the climb to the top of the mountain, I wanted to quit. I did run all the way to the top but took an extended drink stop. There would be no famous downhill speed here. It was a grim battle for survival. Every time the course turned slightly uphill, I had to walk. I did manage to hit the upper 6s on the steep downhill but I passed no one. Other runners were flying by me like I was standing still. We came to the trail and I punted. With my body out of whack, I would not be taking any chances in the heat. I mostly slow jogged the trail and took a couple more walk breaks. Mercifully, the finish line came and I made no effort to kick. My final time was 64:xx. Just under 8:00 pace overall. I don't know my official time nor do I care.
Something is obviously wrong. It is either calcium or a thyroid issue from taking too much ADHS, which contains Lithium. I'll get a medical report by the end of the week or next and we'll see what's going on. Revenge on this course next year. I may or may not run Retro in 3 weeks.