This weekend I participated in a 10-mile race. I've done marathons and half marathons, so ten miles should have been no big deal. Ahh, how naive. In theory, it should be no big deal. However, a summer full of travel and a few extra pounds (because of said travel), in addition to a complete lack of training, made for a much more challenging race. I was active this summer, with hiking, and mountain biking and various points of long distance walking, so I didn't come in last or anything, but I was two minutes slower than last year. Then I realized that actually, I was right on target and maybe would have beat my time from last year, if not for the choking incident.
What's that again? That's right, I had a choking incident during the race. There were numerous official water/gatorade stations along the course to help the over 4,000 runners beat the hot and humid morning. Then, as we ran through neighborhoods, some kind folks would spray us with hoses and offer oranges. I love those people. One family had their own table with cups of water. I had just handled a rather warm, unshaded hill, and decided to grab some water from their table. I took a gulp and choked on an ice cube. An ice cube! You can't put ice cubes in runners' drinks when they are continuing to move and trying to drink fast.
The ice cube lodged in my throat and I dropped my cup on the ground. I started to cough painfully and the ice cube dislodged and flew out of my mouth. Extra water felt like it had gone down the wrong pipe so I had to veer off to the side and hack for a while. A passerby asked if I was okay. "Fine," I said, with raspy voice and red, sweaty face. I put my hands on my hips. Okay, minor setback. I'd like to think I wouldn't have actually choked to death because the ice would have melted in time, but it was scary nonetheless. And ridiculous. Who chokes on ice while running a race? This girl does. Awesome. Am I nearing the end of my illustrious, albeit slow, racing career? I guess if I can just avoid choking.