What a day. If you are reading this, you probably already know what happened today. This blog will give you the nitty gritty details.
I woke up at 6:15 AM. Felt good... got dressed, ate a banana, double-checked directions to the parking garage where I would be parking, and was out the door by 6:45. No problem getting parked, and I was at the spot that some Moms Run This Town friends and I had pre-arranged to meet at by 7:20 AM. Katie and Michelle arrived by 7:35 and we chatted for a bit. Took a photo and I left them to go do my pre-race one-mile warm-up. Felt great. Used the porta-potty and went to go line up for the race. I was excited to find my friend Angela at the starting line, so we chatted for a few minutes. The race actually started about 8 minutes early, and caught us off-guard! Fortunately it didn't matter, as I had decided to run without music, and my Garmin was good to go.
My goal was to take it out easy, as usual. It is SO very hard to do that! I ended up taking it out about 15 seconds faster than I planned. Actually, after 5 miles I was almost 2 minutes below my goal pace. At that point, I was a bit nervous, as I was getting hot and tired, and still had 8 miles to go. However, my next 5 miles were a full minute faster than the first 5, so I was still right on with where I needed to be... in fact, even though I wasn't following my plan and negative-splitting (getting progressively faster) like I typically do on my long runs, I was holding a good pace and was still 40 seconds under my goal pace. I definitely started to hit the wall, though, during the 11th mile. I can remember checking my watch and being shocked at how slowly the tenths of a mile were ticking by. The course had a lot more hills than I had anticipated; even though I had studied the course map ahead of time, I wasn't prepared for so many up-and-downs, and those were draining me quickly.
I remember checking my watch at 10.6 miles and thinking, how am I ever going to run 2.5 more miles?! I was really feeling bad at that point. I kept telling myself, DO NOT WALK, if you walk you won't be able to start running again. It was so hard to keep moving. My last conscious thought was to stop my Garmin as I felt myself collapsing. Yes, I actually did stop my watch. Crazy, I know, but you have to be at least a bit crazy to run a half-marathon! That was at 9:49 AM, 1 hour and 37 minutes after I had started the race (at exactly 11.00 miles). The next thing I remember is being in the medic van, and the medics asking me if I knew where I was. I know that something had to happen between passing out and being in the van, because the medics told me they were at the finish line, which was 2 miles from where I was at. I wish I knew if another runner had stopped and stayed with me... I would want to thank them, of course. I don't know if I will ever know what transpired during that time, though.
It was pretty scary being in the medic van, and then in the squad that they sent. I was extremely hot (temp over 100) and they said I was tachycardic (heart rate very high). My calves were cramping up badly as well. The EMTs in the squad asked if I remembered vomiting, and I said no, but they said the medics at the scene said I did. Yet another thing I just don't remember at all. It took quite a while for them to stabilize me enough so that they could transport me to the hospital. All the while, I kept wondering if anyone had contacted my husband. I also was worried about my friend Danielle, who was waiting for me at the finish line as my cheerleader. I wasn't sure if she knew what was going on. I later learned that they had announced my name over the loudspeaker at the finish and asked if anyone knew me. She ran to the race director and he told her that I was with the medics, and that they were transferring me to Grant Hospital. I am so grateful that she was there, as she was able to get in touch with Joe and let him know what had happened.
I finally started to feel a bit better when we arrived at the ER, which was around 11:15-11:30 I think. They did bloodwork and an EKG, and by the time Joe arrived at around 12:30, I was feeling much better. At that point, I was actually starting to feel a bit mad, as I had been on pace for a 1:55, which was my goal. I was two measily miles from the finish when I collapsed! Anyway, we waited a bit longer for them to get the results of the tests and I was finally discharged at around 2:00 PM.
So, as I said... what a day. As I lay in the squad, I kept thinking, well this is the end of my running career. But by the time Joe got to the hospital, I was contemplating finding another half to run in the next couple of weeks. I trained so hard for this race, and to have it end this way is just not cool at all. I am obviously going to take a few days off from running and let myself recover. Right now I don't have another race scheduled until November 10. There is a half-marathon in Columbus on October 20, and I am considering going to the expo on Saturday night and seeing if they have a leftover bib (that someone didn't pick up) that I can buy. We'll see... for now, it's rest time :)