Grandma's Marathon was hot this year; it was 74 degrees, sunny and humid at the start, and those temps only rose throughout the race. There was no breeze off the lake to help. I took off around my goal pace and my legs felt heavy, my body tired. I thought it would get better so I kept pushing and the first three miles flew by and I tried to stay positive that things were getting better. I managed to take a few sips of water at the water stops trying to stay hydrated knowing how hot it was, but not slowing. At mile 5 things started to get really tough. The crowds were thick in the shade so I was forced out in the sun. I took a gel at mile 7 and my stomach reeled; I think I took maybe a quarter of it. A mile later I started to feel faint and I had to walk off and on. I was so incredibly lightheaded. At the next water stop I swallowed a salt tablet to see if that would help, but things just kept getting worse. I didn't want to give in, but I was at the point where I couldn't run or walk in a straight line. I started to get really scared. A pacer ran by me just as I almost fainted on the side of the road, ran up to a lady with a cheer station set outside of her house and asked her to help me. She ran down to me as I almost fainted again, helped me over to a chair so I could sit down. I couldn't catch my breath. My head pounded. I thought I was going to be sick. They wrapped a blanket around me, got me some water and I had to sit there with my head between my legs in order to not pass out. I couldn't breathe properly.
When the bus came by, I climbed on and still needed help walking. I had no strength left in my body. I started to get cold and couldn't stop shivering. My clothes were drenched in sweat, but my skin was dry. I had to get another blanket wrapped around me and I felt like I couldn't lift my head because if I did I was going to faint. I had to be checked out by the medic and was told to keep trying to drink water until I got to the medic at the finish. It was the longest bus ride of my life. All I wanted to do was see my parents and friends who were waiting at the medic tent; I'm sure worried out of their mind.
When I finally made it the medic tent, they said it was the beginning of a heat stroke; I say heat exhaustion, but either way, it was a good thing I stopped and didn't try to keep going. I held it together on the bus. Mostly because I was just trying not to get sick! But once I saw my parents, I saw the worry in their faces, I broke down in tears knowing that I failed. I had to go into the finisher chute to get my bag and I was so embarrassed. I saw everyone wearing those medals and I hated myself for not being one of them. I just wanted to get out of their and go home.
|At the start line so excited.|
I'm grateful for my support system. My loving and worried parents for being at the finish line, my amazing friends for coming out to the race and texting me kind words while I was freaking out on the bus, the kind stranger for coming to my rescue on the side of the road, my wonderful neighbors for taking me out to dinner to distract me on Saturday night, and all the kind words of encouragement from my friends on Facebook and Twitter. I feel like I disappointed you all.
Until next time~