On Sunday, I ran the Fans of the Field 10K. It was one of the coolest races I have ever done.
Race day did not start out smoothly. I don’t think I ever posted a follow-up about my stomach issues since I experimented cutting out gluten and dairy. After years of doctor visits and painful days, it seems like dairy is a main cause of my issues. I’d like to point out that I have tried a dairy elimination diet in the past – but since there were so many times I ate dairy and was fine (think Pete’s Apizza people!), I couldn’t believe it was true. When I got sick after my first dairy elimination diet, I even blamed it on heavy food instead of lactose. What I’ve learned is that people can have different degrees of lactose intolerance, with some people getting reactions right away and some people taking up to 24 hours to feel anything. My problems seem to only show up when I eat dairy a few days in a row, or eat a lot of dairy at once. I’ve also started proactively taking lactaid pills if I know I’m going to eat dairy. I try to avoid it on a regular basis because I feel SO MUCH BETTER these days without it.
Anyways, rewind to Friday night, Neil and I went out on a nice date at a little Italian place. I forgot lactaid pills, but figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. We even got gelato for dessert. I was fine immediately after, but by Saturday afternoon my stomach started to hurt a lot. I took a probiotic drink and was fine for dinner at my friend’s house.
At 2:30 am on race morning, my stomach pains actually woke me up. I tossed and turned and went to the bathroom multiple times until 5:30. My alarm went off at 5:45, since I planned to run a few miles before the race. With my stomach still in a lot of pain, and a few bathroom trips still needed, I decided to wait until the last possible minute to leave the house and only run the 2 miles to the start line. Again, I took a probiotic drink which seemed to help.
Unfortunately, I didn’t want to risk eating or drinking anything that might make my stomach worse, so I skipped my pre-long run toast and coffee and simply took a Gu with water before the race. Luckily, my stomach held out for the race, but I certainly felt underfueled.
The idea behind the Fans of the Field 10K is that you run through the 3 major stadiums in Denver: Sports Authority Field (where the Broncos play), The Pepsi Center (where the Nuggests play) and Coors Field (where the Rockies play).
I met my friend Bronwen before the race, but we ran separately. We lined up according to pace groups and the race never felt crowded. There was a big hill within the first mile, but otherwise nothing too extreme.
It was awesome running through each of these stadiums and seeing it from the players’ perspectives. The Pepsi Center was actually in hockey rink mode, which was disappointing for me since I love the NBA. It was still cool to run indoors for a bit during a race, something I’ve never done. There were also cheerleaders and mascots at each stadium.
Finish line at the Broncos stadium
I kept a decent pace for the race. My goal was to come in around 9 minute miles and I did. However, this race made me realize how much I miss being faster. I hope next year to do this race again and kill my time.
Post-race they had the typical bagels and granola bars, but they also had barbecue and beer. I didn’t partake for obvious reasons, but brought some chicken barbecue home for Neil. While I had originally planned to run home and bring my total mileage to double digits for the day, I knew I was too underfueled to run anymore. I happily accepted a ride home from Bronwen.