Eau Claire, WI a wonderful city that sits on the Chippewa River. Is it a coincidence or not that I have Native in my blood and I am running this race?
WI is the second state part of my #RunAcrossAmerica goal and it is my first race post surgery from the health complications of August 2015. Nervous?? Nah, I was born ready. I was born to race. I was born to run. When I approached this goal I first decided that I would first run in races in the states that surrounded Minnesota, if the Lord said the same. The chosen states for the first year are: MN. North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. The exciting part is that I have not been to the Dakotas at all so I would have the opportunity to cross those states off the list.
My first race post surgery had me PUMPED UP!!! but I could not bust out and run anything more than a 5k because I was still feeling a little tug on the incision areas of my abdomen. I trained for this race also. My only goals were to run at a faster pace than the first race and to finish the race. Actually, each race the goal is to finish the race without someone carrying me over the finish line.
Everything was going great even training until BAM!!!!! I got the flu! The flu people, who gets the flu? I was hot and cold. sweating, runny nose, nauseated. I couldn't keep food down. This was all 5 days before the race. I was freaking out, like "what the what. Are you serious!!" I took three days off from work. I was so sick I did not even have the energy to go into work. PLUS I was so contagious I just knew was gonna start a pandemic up in there. I laid back and rested to get myself better and remain in race mode.
This race was calming. My daughter and I traveled together. I registered her for a kids fun race so that she could win a medal. This race allowed time for us to be together and enjoy each other's company. The day before the race we drove the 2 hours to Eau Claire, we went to the race expo. I watched her eyes get big about all the excitement. We drafted signs to hold up at the race. Later we had dinner together, went bowling and watched a TV show. I am not gonna lie I fell asleep as usual when the TV show began to play. We were adventurous together. she wanted to see parts of the city. I let her guide and suggest what we should do. She suggested that we do not use GPS and find our way back to the hotel based on what we knew. That was challenging, fun and it made us look at each other and laugh. Half-way through the fun we stopped and sat on some rocks on the Chippewa River. There were groups of people fishing for Walleye. We chatted about past school field trips because this experience reminded her of those moments. If it wasn't for this race I would have not been able to connect with my daughter in the way that I had. She was very involved and asked people questions. I was very proud of her.
Running this race while sick is something that I will never do again, but I was at the point of no refund. It wasn't the determination it was all about not getting my money back if I cancelled my registration. I also did not look at the race trail, I figured I got this. The trail was on a very scenic route that took us along the Chippewa River and then through some residential neighborhoods. The weather was perfect, cool and inviting.
So I am running and feeling good about my progress and as I am approaching the last half mile of the race I notice a sign that reads, "It's all uphill from here" I was like, what does that mean? The last half mile was literally ALL UP HILL. I did not plan for that, I was not ready. I wanted some one to straighten that hill out and make it flat! Not on my watch, not on my race, not while I am running while sick. When I got to the top of that hill, oh my goodness I cold have crawled through the finish line I was so through and that was nothing but a 5k.
Guess what though? Even though the flu tried to get me, the hill tried to wear me down I still ran FASTER than my first race. REJOICE in that and spray my face with Gatorade!!! We did it God. We finished the race. and I got to share the entire experience with my daughter.
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