Sunday, September 16, 2012

A 50K PR And A Trip To Emergency

I don't even know where to begin with this one. I have been trying not to think about yesterday very much so I'm not sure what I want to say about it. I PRd so I should be happy about it but things went so wrong that the PR feels tainted. Like it would have been smarter to not PR.

I haven't even looked at the race's Facebook page to go thru the photos. I just don't want to see them yet. Nor have I taken a photo of the medal yet. Is that weird?

I think part of it is because I didn't do what I set out to do 50 miles. And now I feel nervous about Javelina Jundred all over again. Sigh.

I have so many conflicting emotions about yesterday.

But here goes...

I got up at 3:30 on Saturday, ate breakfast (2 mini bagels, a large banana, and 12oz of GuBrew Blueberry-Pomegranate), and got ready. I packed food and water for me to use after the 50K was over for the bonus 19 miles. Then I left to go pick up Dani (@nanyob) for the race.

The race was supposed to start at 6:30 but when we got there, we found out the RD was going to let us start at 6:00. I had just a few minutes to pin my bib and get my water bottle out of the car, take a quick pick of me and Dani...

(check out the Elvis behind us :) ) and then it was time to go.

The course for the 50K was 4 out and backs along the beach path. Each lap was 7.85 miles and there was an aid station at each end. There were probably 10 people running the 50K so for most of it, I was alone. But there was plenty to see and we all encouraged each other when we saw someone. Eventually, the marathoners and half-marathoners joined us in the loops and I got to see Dani as I was coming in from the first loop and then when I was going out on the second loop.

I had my 10oz Nathan bottle with me and it had just water in it. I was going to refill it as needed and eat what they had at the aid stations. At the aid station at the far end of the loop on the first lap, I didn't stop. I still had plenty of water and wasn't ready to eat yet. When I got back to the start aid station, I refilled my water bottle and grabbed some potato chips and 4 oatmeal cookies to eat on the loop. The first loop and the aid station stop took just under 90 minutes. I was feeling good and felt like I was running really easy so I was happy.

I ate 2 of the cookies as I headed out on the second loop. It was still cool but the sun was out already. When I got to the far aid station, I grabbed an Scap and took it with a cup of water. They topped off my bottle for me and I headed back and ate the other 2 cookies. When I got back to the start, Dani was waiting for me. She'd run the half and PRd! Woo! Congrats Dani! I took another Scap w/a cup of water at the start and they again topped off my bottle. I grabbed 4 sugar cookies and headed out. The 2nd loop and the aid station stop were right at 90 minutes.

I was still feeling pretty good when I headed out for the 3rd loop except my stomach was feeling a little sloshy but I forced myself to keep drinking. I'd chosen not to wear my garmin for this race because I knew it was going to be hot and I didn't want to be a slave to the pace as it got warmer. I normally use the lap beep (mine is set for a mile) to remind me to drink water but since I didn't have it, I set the timer on my watch for 10 min intervals. So when my watch beeped, I took a drink whether I wanted to or not. It was 9 by this time and starting to get warm. At the far aid station, I took another Scap with a cup of water and got a refill. I grabbed 2 more oatmeal cookies which I ate as I headed back. I walked while I ate them and I was sweating so much the sweat got in my eyes so I had to use some of the water in my bottle to rinse them out. I walked for a while until I could see again and then went back to running. I started doing a run/walk from then on. Near the end, I did feel really hot and my stomach was super unhappy so I walked more than ran. I think I still finished this lap in about 1:40ish. I took another Scap and refilled my bottle. I had emptied it on this half lap. I also grabbed a banana.

I headed out for the last lap and I was walking. I was craving Sprite or orange soda and I'd seen a snack stand that sold them along the course so I walked there and bought a can of Sprite and walked while I drank it. It was delicious. I'd meant to only have a little but the calories from it revived me a little and I could start running again. Still doing the run/walk though. It wasn't so bad going out because there was a breeze but it was still pretty hot. At the far aid station, I took another Scap w/a cup of water and then had a cup of coke. I refilled my bottle and grabbed another banana.

The run back was miserable. Since the breeze was at my back and it was almost noon, it was flipping hot. I'd looked at the forecast for Santa Monica on Friday and thought it was going to be about 82 or 85 but it ended up being about 95/96. I didn't know that at the time though. I did a lot of walking and some running. I really did think I was drinking enough water even though it was hot. I felt like I had to pee but knew I could wait until I'd at least finished the 50K. In fact, I was more worried that I was drinking too much water. I guess I was wrong though.

I wanted to finish the 50K running so I didn't walk the last interval. I just wanted it to be over so I could sit down for a minute and change my shoes. Yes, I wore my new shoes. Yes, I know I shouldn't have. But my feet actually felt good in them and I didn't get any blisters or anything. I am super happy with how they did. Love them! But I didn't want to push it past that so was going to change into my Kinvaras and different socks.

Anyway, I finished! The RD gave me my medal. Okay, fine, I'll take a pic...

There was no clock so I asked the RD what my time was and he said 6:38 and change. I was happy to hear that because it meant a 19 min PR! Woo! I tweeted that and then headed to my car.

Some of this is kind of blurry so I might have some of it a little out of order but you'll get the gist of it...

When I got to my car and was going thru my stuff to get ready to head out for the 19 miler, I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out. I sat down right there at the back of my car in the parking lot and leaned against the bumper and closed my eyes. But then I started to feel nauseous so I put my head on my knees and tried to calm my stomach. It just wasn't getting better though so I thought if I went horizontal, it would help. So I laid down. Right there in the parking lot. And then people started coming over to see if I was okay. Someone brought me ice and put it on the back of my neck and then they made me get up off the ground and I got in the back of the car. And then someone tried to get me to drink Gatorade and/or eat a banana. I tried eating some of the banana but only got a few bites. And then they had drink as much of the gatorade as I could and that was horrible. I really thought I was going to throw up right there so I laid back down again and closed my eyes. (The nurse later told me that that was a bad thing. I should have just sipped it a little at a time).

Somebody must have gone to get a lifeguard because then he was talking to me. I just wanted everyone to go away! There were so many people talking to me and all I wanted to do was let my stomach settle. I felt overwhelmed and so flipping sick to my stomach. I didn't want to lose it in my car and in front of all those people so I refused to sit up or open my eyes. The lifeguard told me he'd called the paramedics and they were on their way. And then my calves started cramping and I didn't know what was worse, the cramping or the nausea. I felt like crying. What I really wanted was someone I knew with me. I'd tried calling my mom to see if she could come down. I'd sent Josh (@bayou) a text and then I think I called him. Or he called me. It's kind of fuzzy now. But the paramedics were there and it was more people and I started hyperventilating and couldn't talk. So I did try talking to Josh but I couldn't really get enough breath to talk. And then I think one of the paramedics tried talking to him and then they took my phone away so I couldn't talk to or text anyone. Then they put the oxygen mask on me and I didn't like it at all! I couldn't calm down and I was really starting to panic. I felt like I was going downhill. I think that's when I resigned myself to going to the hospital and actually was glad. I wanted how I was feeling to stop!

The ride to the hospital was horrible. I think we hit every bump and hill on the way there. The whole time I kept my eyes closed and prayed I wouldn't lose it. I still couldn't breathe right and they kept telling me to take deep breaths but I couldn't. Then finally we were at the hospital and the world stopped spinning and I started to calm down a little. The paramedics had put an IV in at the beach but it was having issues so when we got to the hospital, the nurse redid that. They hooked me up to the machines and I had to answer all the questions all over again. I kept asking them to call my mom and the nurse tried but for some reason it wouldn't go thru. I thought maybe I was telling her the wrong number so I had her look at my GoSport ID and it was right so I'm not sure what was going on.

Then they took my running gear off. You know, compression stuff just does not come off that easily when you're lying in a hospital bed. They made me sit up to take my bra off and when I laid back down, the gatorade and all I'd eaten before came back up. It was not pretty. So then they had to change the bedding and I had to sit up again and then I lost it again but thankfully this time I had a bag so it wasn't a disaster like the first time.

So finally, I could lay down peacefully but wouldn't you know...the second IV was having issues too so they had to try it for the 3rd time and this time in my right arm. Thankfully, they gave me some nausea medicine and that really helped. Someone found my phone and was able to send a text to my mom and let her know where I was and could she come get me, only didn't tell her why I was in the hospital and she thought I'd been hit by a car so she was a mess (I found this out later). :(

Then I sent Josh a text so he would know where I was too and that I was okay. I was so drained and feeling so vulnerable and helpless there. What I really wanted to do was cry but I didn't. I had some awesome nurses though and they made me feel a lot better. But seriously, nothing makes you feel more helpless than lying in a hospital bed with machines beeping at you while all you're wearing is a flimsy hospital gown. I hated it. I felt so alone. So stupid!

The doctor finally came in to see me and she was happy with my vital signs but worried because my legs were still cramping and because I'd thrown up twice so she ordered another IV with magnesium, super-sized. Then it was funny because when she had me sit up to breathe for her, she asked me if I'd lost a lot of weight. I thought she meant because of the race and I said I'd probably lost some and then she said no, had I lost a LOT of weight. Then I got what she meant and told her about losing 150 lbs. So then she asked me questions to see if I had anorexia or an eating disorder! When I told her I didn't but that I had recently lost weight after plateauing at my weight for a year, she told me I shouldn't lose anymore. But mostly she was asking questions about my running. Was it my first race at that distance? How many miles did I run per week? Etc. I guess my answers satisfied her because she said after that IV I had in I could go home.

I was kind of drifting after that. I think I tweeted about where I was and had texts back and forth from Josh to update him so he could update the RIF group. I did get to read all the tweets and Facebook messages and they meant so much to me. They made me feel less alone. THANK YOU for those!

Then thank god, my mom got there with Tony (her boyfriend). Okay, I know I'm 44 but I just wanted my mom! :) She was really happy to see I was all in one piece. I told her they had gotten there at the right time because the doc said I could go after that IV bag but then the doctor came back in and said she wanted me to do one more bag just to be safe. So at least I had company for that. By the time that last bag was done and we did the paperwork, I didn't get out of there until 7 pm. I'd been in there 5 1/2 hours. Seriously not the way I'd intended to spend my day.

I got a lecture from the nurse about being more careful before I left and instructions from the doctor to stay out of the heat and not do anything for at least 48 hours. And then we left to go back to my car. I'd had to put my yucky, wet running clothes back on which was not fun but better than the hospital gown, right? I didn't even have any shoes because they were back at the car! We got back to the car and I changed and then we stopped to get something to eat. I got a half sandwich. Mostly because I wasn't that hungry but also to see how my stomach would handle it. Then we drove home. By the time we got home it was almost 10:30 and by then I was starving so I got a strawberry shake and fries at Del Taco and they tasted delicious!

I was so happy to be home! I was so tired I just wanted to fall into bed and sleep. But weirdly, I couldn't sleep last night. I think I was still a little scared and feeling depressed. My mom had told me when she got to the hospital that she'd also gotten a call from our cousin that my great aunt, Tia Lucy, had a stroke and they'd brought her home so she could spend her last days there. :( She's been bad for a while and I guess the stroke was too much for her body to handle. It's not totally unexpected but I don't think any of us are ready to let her go.

Yeah, yesterday was not a good day. I want a do over! Anybody have a magic wand for that?

Today, I felt much better. No real soreness in my legs from the running, just from the cramping. I felt okay energy-wise for most of the day. I spent the day with my mom and grandpa. We went to lunch (pancakes!) and then we went to visit my Tia Lucy to say our goodbyes, which was not easy but I am thankful I could say goodbye. It was a good family day since there were other aunts, uncles, and cousins there, including my cousin Lynette who is due in 9 days with her first child, a boy! :) Isn't it funny how things like that happen. New life coming in just as we are losing someone? It feels bittersweet.

After that, I lost all my energy so I am not as recovered as I thought I was earlier. I definitely need a few days off.

Well, that's my recap. It was long, I know. I guess I needed to get this out. I still feel conflicted about what happened though. Especially, after talking to my dad and my sister and seeing how worried my mom still was today. That's the part I hate, that I scared so many people I care about.

I do want to say that even though I felt overwhelmed by everyone at the beach, I am VERY thankful they helped me. They took care of me, made sure all my stuff was in my car and it was locked up. There was even a family who was leaving the beach when we got back to my car that came over to check on me because they had been there when it happened. It's not often that you get to see the kindness of strangers nowadays and I was blessed by that.

I am also thankful and blessed to have such good friends (especially Josh who made me feel less alone til my mom got there) and an awesome family that care about me.

I really am lucky. I just wish it hadn't taken something like that to remind me of all that I am blessed with.

Thank you for reading. :)


  1. Glad to hear you are on the mend now Lisa. I remembered when I finished my first marathon and I drank 500ml of Gatorade in one go and feeling crap for ages. Not near as bad as you though.
    Try sipping flat Coke next time, it works.

  2. OMG, Lisa, what a day! I'm glad you're okay now, but I'm very sorry about Tia Lucy. I'm glad you got to say your good-byes. That's one thing I was thankful for about my grandfather a number of years back. I never had the chance to say bye to my other three grandparents and wished I had.

    Now, for the race! Congrats on the PR! Be proud of it and learn from it. I'm sure you already know and had many lectures, but here's another one :) The sloshing was lack of water absorption. You were probably getting enough at one point, but it wasn't going being absorbed properly. It may have made you feel full and may not have gotten enough calories. More s-caps next time! If you're sweating a lot, you need them more often! You can tell when you've had too much scaps when you can taste the salt. I plan on being back in the blog world a bit more, so it'll be nice to read yours more often again (I think I'm finally past my injury/ illness plagued year...).

  3. Oh my gosh! Take it easy, so you have lots of running left. I've struggled with the heat before and it's no fun.

    And congrats on the PR :)

  4. Sorry we are just now reading this and we are SO GLAD you are ok!! Saw your tweets! The main thing that goes through my mind reading this is....we are all different runners. What works for one doesn't work for another and we know you've been testing out your fuel on runs for example (works for one not for another). New and unexpected environments are hard to prepare for - consider how people were doing at the last Boston Marathon. There were people there running over a four hour marathon when they are use to running it at least an hour faster. That is a hot day for sure that you had for your race. All of this is trial and error for sure, just always gotta be on the more positive side of error where it doesn't truly become a critical you might not make it situation. We continue to be impressed with your training and your determination! Don't let this race do anything but allow you to become a better runner for it! CONGRATS on your PR!

    1. Thanks guys! I really appreciate what you said!

  5. WOW Lisa, glad your feeling better...felt like I was right there with you!