Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Marathon Experience...

Today was the Ogden Marathon. It has been a goal of mine to run this for a long time. I began training in November just to give myself lots of time to prepare. I was amazed each time I reached a new mileage record- from 7 miles to 20. These last six months have been spent running and running.... and running. It has really been like a second job. After running three 20 mile runs, I was feeling ready to take it all on. I had a time in mind that I wanted to reach and was pretty confident I could do it. I was nervous/excited all week knowing that I would finish this goal that I had worked so hard for. As I write this post I realize this is not the report I was wanting to give. I would love to brag about my time and say how awesome it felt to finish, but today did not go the way I expected AT ALL, but I guess that's life. So here is my experience....

Here I am so excited to get my number and tag with my name on it:)
Of course, I had to take a picture of one of the training schedules I followed.
These lovely ladies have become my dearest friends especially since we spent every Saturday morning together trekking along to get our miles in.
So nervous this morning as I got ready, but so excited to wear my cute running skirt.
All ready to go load the bus at 4:30 a.m. and ready to get this day started. If I had known how it would all turn out today I'm not sure my smile would have been so big. So probably good that I didn't.
Here I was at the mile 13- halfway! I was feeling pretty good here and was making great time. My time at the halfway point was about 1:55, which I was pretty proud of.

I knew at this point I just needed make it over the next big hill that overlooks Pineview Dam and then I would hit the canyon and finally have a downhill break. But that's when my day changed a bit. As I was going up the hill, I started to not feel so good. I remembered when I ran this hill last year it was hard but nothing I couldn't push through. But this time I couldn't push through the pain I was experiencing. I decided to try walking a bit and told my friend to go ahead of me.
That's when the dizziness hit. I dumped water on myself and did anything I could think of to feel better. I wasn't sure if I was hitting that "wall" that you hear so much about. I couldn't imagine that I was since I was only at mile 17. I soon realized I was going back and forth on the path and running into people because I was so dizzy. My friend behind me caught up with me and tried to encourage me to keep going. My running had drastically slowed down to pretty much walking.
I told her I didn't feel good and I was just trying to make it to the next aid station when my body just couldn't take anymore and that's when I collapsed. It is all kind of a blur to me because I was in and out of consciousness while throwing up with lots of medics around me. I felt like I had given up and tried to convince them to let me just finish, but I couldn't even sit up so I was obviously not going anywhere. I even remember saying "But I have to finish because I have such a cute running outfit!" I was so devastated that I couldn't finish and my dear friend stayed with me the whole time and gave up her own goal as well. I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. So I did make it down the canyon, just in a bit more flamboyant way:)
They found that my blood sugar was at a 38 and my body was going into shock because of it. They said 60 is the lowest it should go so mine was dangerously low and it was surprising I had made it to mile 17. I also was very very dehydrated. I also learned that I unknowingly had been dealing with a little stomach bug this week that I had chalked up to just being nervous with anticipation. So the stomach problems caused even more dehydration and mix that with low blood sugar... and voila you have me lying on the side of the road.
I have been pretty disappointed that I wasn't able to finish today. This was definitely a curve ball I didn't see coming. So maybe one day I can post my finishing time and say how good it felt to cross that finish line. Unfortunately it just wasn't going to be today. But I am still very proud of all my hard work anyways! I am also grateful to be feeling much better since leaving the hospital earlier today.