Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to Almost Die While Running a Half Marathon

This past weekend (again, update-2 weekends ago-the 90 degrees and sunny day) I ran a Half Marathon, and I almost died. Yes, died! Running can be fatal. Here is the play-by-play:

First, I had a coffee. Now I have never had coffee before a run. I see other people do it and I think it looks cool, but I normally stick with water and get my caffeine through other mediums. So why, on the morning of a half marathon, would I decide to completely change my schedule? Great question!! I don’t know! It probably has something to do, in part, with my inability to think before 10:30am (see previous post on burning myself with hot water while attempting to complete the complicated task of making tea).

Second, I ate part of a muffin. This one wasn’t entirely my fault. I wanted a banana, but there was only one old green/weird looking banana. I think it had E.Coli or something. So I really am blaming the banana on this one.

Third, I was not mentally prepared for the run. I wasn’t feeling great that morning and drove there and signed up for the race approximately 2 minutes before the start time. As I was filling out the form, the woman was nice enough to say: “Wow, you’re really cutting it close.” Yeah, thanks lady…I am aware of that-now fill out my card! I then watched a 134 year old man write my information down on my bib…and I know he was that old because someone dead could have written it down faster. The great part about it is that no one took my bib at the end of the race, so there was absolutely no need to write down my name and age unless, of course, they were anticipating me dying on the course and wanting to identify me. Which, ironically, did almost happen.

So after I finally got my race bib, I safety-pinned it to my shirt while walking to the start. I managed to do this off-center and crooked, so I looked pretty darn impressive I’m sure.

Fourth, I was also smart enough to not check the weather for embarking on my run. I thought “well, it’s only 13 miles, I’ll be done so quick it won’t matter what I’m wearing.” Um, yeah…it really does. And 13 miles is a lot when you’re wearing a t-shirt that feels like it is suffocating you from the inside.

Right about at the halfway point, and I think 58 minutes, I took a shot block (energy bite thingy), which was supposed to give me all this energy for the second half. For the entire rest of the race, my stomach kept teasing me that my tropical punch shot block might be coming back up for a visit. I was anticipating picking up the pace the second half and coasting in…yet it felt like a struggle.

When I saw the 10-mile marker, I was happy with only 3 miles left. I now imagine those 3 miles like the yellow brick road in the Wizard of Oz…it’s some sort of optical illusion where you think you’re getting closer to the finish line, but you’re really just on a treadmill and not going anywhere.

Honestly my motivation for picking it up came when a chick wearing all neon pink tried to pass me. “Oh no you didn’t!” I am not getting passed by a girl in pink shoes, pink shorts, and a pink shirt. And yes, it was a nice tank-top that probably allowed her to breathe, but regardless, you aren’t passing me!

So I made it to the finish line for my “sprint” finish…which felt like a sprint, but I imagine looked to spectators like a rhino storming the mud pool. People were cheering at the finish line, but I was focusing all my energy onto not passing out or puking in front of them so I couldn’t look around.

Immediately after I crossed the finish line, I got really dizzy. I tried to drink some lukewarm water and Gatorade, but it was hard to force it down. I walked to my car to get my bag and phone and then walked back to eat some oranges, etc. I took one bite of a pretzel and almost threw up in front of everyone. I went and “hung out” in the grass for awhile pretending to contemplate the Lake, but I was really just contemplating whether I was going to give the people a nice show and story for them to tell their friends by puking all over the wildflowers.

This is how I imagine that conversation went:

Participant: I saw this girl puking so hard at the end of the race!
Friend: Oh awesome! I bet that was hilarious!
Participant: It was really funny, she got some puke on the grass, flowers, and on this thick t-shirt she was wearing.
Friend: Why was she wearing a t-shirt, it was 90 degrees out?
Participant: I don’t know, but it was probably related to why she had a burn on her hand. I don’t think she’s that bright.
Friend: Well she must have been really fast to get sick. What place did she get?  Was she wearing a freakin' huge medal around her neck with a big #1?!?
Participant: I don’t know…I had been done for like 30 minutes, so I wasn’t really keeping track.
Friend: Oh….that’s pretty sad.
Participant: Yeah, but funny too. I can’t wait to tell everyone else! Also I took this picture and video on my phone-lets put this on Youtube and send it to everyone we know!!

Now is when you leave this post to go on Youtube and search for "weird woman who puked on wildflowers in Wisconsin wearing inappropriate clothes"....

I don't think anyone did film so I hope you got some good results from that search!

Then I ran into my “running buddy”, who is this awesome women who finished in 1:51 and got second place in her division. She rocks. I said I wasn’t feeling that well and thought I might be dehydrated. That’s when they said “Oh my….you aren’t sweating.”

Now I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure after running 13.1 miles in 90 degree heat with no freakin’ breeze, you should be sweating. You know that feeling where you’re not feeling so great but you are kind of in denial and then someone goes “Oh, you don’t look so good”, and then you feel waaay worse because your brain is like: “I told you. You are sick!”. Well, that’s kind of how I felt. Picture sad face here….

So, in conclusion,…I pretty much almost died. But I didn’t! (Hence this post exists). And I live to run another day!!

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