I Ran. I Walked. I Conquered?

Last month, I took on the Main Street bridge and the Green Monster, AKA The Gate River Run. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had been training for this run for the past 10 weeks. I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to this run. The anticipation the week leading up to the run was killing me. I took the week of the run casual, not doing any long runs but did some walking to make sure my legs were ready.  

The morning of the run came. I was so excited I could barely sleep the night before. It was a beautiful day, although I could tell it was going to be a hot. It was already 70 degrees at 7 am! This had me worried. Leading up to the race, we’d only had a few warm days and all my runs had been during the cold and cooler temperatures. I put the thought out of my head and got ready.  

When I had originally registered for the run, back in January, I hadn’t been running too much, a little here and there, but only for fun. When the registration asked me for my pace, I had no clue what to write down, so I registered myself for the slowest pace (according to the website) and the walkers. I was assigned to the Pink wave.  


I marched right up to the pink wave area and stood in front. I was one of the first people there, so I stood for about an hour until we were called to the starting lineup. The gun went off, the song Chariots of Fire was playing and we dashed through the starting line.  As I had previously posted, I used the Hal Higdon training plan to get ready of the race along with the Galloway interval training.  I knew the pace I should set for myself and where I should be during certain parts of the run.  

I started off pretty decent. Kept my pace and intervals and it was steady. Then I hit a block. My calf cramped up a bit, so I had to stop to stretch. Did I mention it was HOT? I stopped by almost every water station just to take a few sips of water throughout the run.  I never drank an entire cup, but I did gargle a few times to quench my mouth. I will admit, I walked more than I ran. That was not my intention at all, but I had to listen to my body. My pace was still going strong, so I kept going. I felt strong all through the middle portion of the race and had fun too. 


Around mile 7, my feet started killing me. I had bought new running shoes (same brand, same shoe) and had broken them in two weeks prior for different runs. The shoes kept pinching my feet on the outsides. So much so that I had to stop running. I walked, at a brisk pace, from miles 7-9.  Each time I attempted to run again, because I was so mad this was happening, sharp pains radiated through my feet. I gave up on the running and walked. It’s all I could do. Once I got to the 9 mile marker, I pushed myself to run. I ran on my toes so that my feet would not hurt as much. My husband, who is an experienced runner, always told me, you can never walk the last bit. Always push yourself to run through the finish line.  image

I did it! I finished the race! Way over the time I had expected, but I finished. And it was exhilarating. Maybe because I was excited to be able to sit down after over 2 hours of straight jalking (jogging and walking)? Nonetheless, I was happy! 

image{I sent this pic as a joke to my family after I had finished, saying I was dead tired}

I went to the side after receiving my medal and started stretching my legs, calves, arms. I felt great. Until I didn’t. I couldn’t get up. Each time I tried, I didn’t have the energy and my feet were in pain. The  last time I attempted to get up, I fell. Luckily, I wasn’t far from the ground. A wonderful older gentleman came running over to me when he saw me fall and asked if I needed help. His voice was so southern and sweet and he kept telling me, “Don’t be embarrassed young lady, you’ll be just fine.” He put a rag around my neck and called for a medic. They were there instantly and wheeled me away to the medical tent. Can I just tell y’all, these doctors and nurses that volunteer at this event are phenomenal! They asked me a bunch of questions, to which I mostly nodded my head because I was suffering from shortness of breathe at this point and my vision was very blurry (just like you see on TV).

Next thing I knew, I had a pulse monitor on my finger, blood pressure cuff on my arm and  oxygen tube up my nose. After a few minutes, they saw I wasn’t getting any better and my color was still off. They asked me if I was allergic to any meds, to which I replied no. I was then given an IV for a bag of fluids and a shot of zofran through the IV. I stayed in the tent for approximately an hour or so. I had to let all the fluids into my system and needed to be able to stand on my own. They came and checked on me every few minutes.  The doctors and nurses were just amazing.

Once I started feeling better I asked them if there were busy today. One of the nurses, who has been volunteering for 10 years for this race, said this year was the worst she’s seen it as far as the dehydration and amount of IV’s they’ve had to administer. I guess the heat was a big factor this year! 


As much as I loved preparing for this race, the day had twists and turns I would never have expected. I definitely learned a few things… and will keep them in mind for next year’s race. Next year? Oh yes! You can plan on me being there.  

Determined, I am.  Improve, I will.  Fail, I will not.  

So here’s to my next chapter in my fitness journey. I’ve already started an 8 week fitness and clean eating challenge with my fellow Jax Stroller Strength Moms. Wish me luck! 

Patricia Kozack
Patricia Kozack is a professional makeup artist, wife and mom to two kids. Her days are spent wrangling the kids, being a mom taxi, and getting a workout in on the tennis courts. Her weekends are spent beautifying clients for their weddings and events.  She is obsessed with all things beauty related and cannot wait to share her niche of the world with Jacksonville Mom.


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