The Good -
Gabe and Dante had a fabulous time doing their "dash." Dante was first place in his group, and Gabe was second place in his. I always stress to them that it's just about having fun, but I can't help but be proud to see my boys out in front like that : )
Until the final 200 yards, I had a great race. Ran mile 1 in 6:56, and it actually didn't feel like quite as much of an effort as that pace usually feels in a 5K.
Ran mile 2 in 6:54, and was still feeling ok, but definitely glad that there was only a mile to go.
Fell off pace a bit for mile 3, and ended up finishing it in 7:01. I still managed to move up a bit, though, passing two women who had been ahead of me for the first two miles, and putting myself in position as 6th female (yes, I was counting - this race has two turnaround points, so it's easy to keep track of how many women are ahead of you).
And that leads us to The Bad and The Itchy -
As I approached the last turn, leading into the final stretch, the palms of my hands started to feel itchy. I recognized the feeling immediately, and almost said "oh crap, not again!" out loud. I might not have actually said it out loud, but I was definitely thinking it.
I knew running for another 200 yards wasn't going to make one bit of difference, though, so I finished my race the way I would have finished it even if I hadn't had that sense of impending doom.
I even mustered a smile for Scott, who was on the side of the road with the boys and his camera. I'm glad I was able to smile, because he got some really nice shots : )
There was a woman who was just ahead of me for the final 1/2 mile, and I thought I'd try to catch her as we headed into the home stretch, but I couldn't quite do it. I tried, though - running the last .1 at a 6:28 pace.
I crossed the finish line in 21:40 - just 2 minutes shy of my 5K PR. I had kind of hoped I could take a few seconds off that PR, so I was a tiny bit disappointed, but I was also too preoccupied with the itchiness to really be overly concerned about my time.
I met back up with Scott and the boys and tried to assess how I was feeling. Thankfully, I wasn't having any of the lightheadedness or shortness of breath that I experienced when this happened a few weeks ago. And my lips weren't swollen, either, which I thought was a good sign.
But the tingly, itchy feeling was spreading. I had wanted to hang around for the awards, since I was pretty sure I had come in 1st or 2nd in my age group, but with the way I was feeling, that didn't seem like a good idea, so we headed home.
By the time we got home, I was covered in hives and itching like crazy. But still no other symptoms. Since it was just the itching, I decided to take a Benadryl (epi-pen didn't seem necessary under those circumstances), and within 15 minutes, it was subsiding, and half an hour later, I felt fine.
Way to put a damper on a great race, though.
And this morning, I had planned on a bike ride, but woke up really wanting to run. So I got out bright and early for 10 miles by the beach.
I took it nice and easy, since I had just raced yesterday, and was having such a lovely run. It was feeling effortless and fun and so peaceful.
Then, right around mile 8, it started AGAIN - that nagging tingly, itchy feeling in the palms of my hands. I almost couldn't believe it, and tried to convince myself that I was just imagining things.
But it didn't go away.
I knew I still had 2 more miles before I got back to my car, but I also had my phone and my epi-pen, so I didn't get too freaked out. I slowed my pace a little more and hoped I could make it back to the car without having some kind of emergency situation on the side of the road.
As it turned out, I ran the final 2 miles fine, and the only thing that bothered me that whole time were my hands.
Then I stopped running, and got in my car and drove home, and the itching got worse and worse, and by the time I got home, I was once again covered in hives.
After going two full weeks without anything like this happening, and feeling like maybe it was just a freak occurrence, it's now happened two times in a row - and both times under very different circumstances - yesterday a very humid morning, and a race effort; today a comfortable, dry morning, and a much slower-paced long run.
I don't know what the heck is going on, but I do know that I'm not happy about it. I don't like when my body doesn't cooperate. And this is something that, at least for now, is totally out of my control, and that doesn't sit well with me.
Allergist appointment Thursday. Hopefully they will be able to shed some light on the situation. Mysterious, unpredictable ailments are not my cup of tea.
So as to end on a good note, though, I'll add that when I checked the online results from the race, I learned that I had in fact won first place in my age group - yay! This is the third time I've won an age-group award at this race, and my second time winning 1st place.
And the woman I was trying so hard to catch in that final few hundred yards - she was in the 14 - 19-year-old age group, and finished the race just one second ahead of me.
I may not have been able to catch up to and pass her, but I think if I (an almost-41-year-old mom of three) can keep up with a teenager, I'm doing just fine : )