Okay, so I may have exaggerated just a little with the title of this post, but here’s what happened. It all started when my mom asked if I would run beside her in her first 5k. She had worked hard for several months to lose weight by eating well and running.
Running. The nasty “R” word. I’ve never been fond of running. It’s one of those past times I don’t understand because I fail to see the pleasure in it. Running is something I do if I’m chasing after a kid or if it’s a matter of life and death.
Of course, I know that there are health benefits to running but I would much rather undergo other forms of cardio. Like swimming, for example. (Scratch that – “I only dog paddle!”)
Anyway, I wanted to support my mom so we signed up for the 5k. Did I train for it? Uh, nooooo. After all, I was 25 years old and in decent-enough shape. How hard could it be?
The morning of the big race came and we woke up early to make the hour drive to the race. My mom was oozing excitement and I was doing my best to muster up enthusiasm. If nothing else, I was happy for her. It would be worth the torture.
The race began and we took off.
Mom had so much adrenaline that she quickly disappeared ahead (with my blessings). My strategy was to take a slow, steady pace to the end.
With upbeat music pumping through my headphones, I kept moving forward. Then I started feeling… weird. Why was I lightheaded and sick to my stomach?
“Must. Press. On,” I thought as I went further still.
My feet began to feel like concrete. I was cold and hot at the same time. My pride was on the line! I couldn’t, wouldn’t stop! But, then, I reached a point where I don’t think I was really even moving. I sank to the nearest curb and put my head in between my legs. I would feel better in a few minutes. Only… it was getting worse.
It wasn’t long before an angel-lady (who just so happened to be a nurse) stopped to check on me. She laid me back and held my legs up. By that point, I was attracting a crowd.
A medic on a bike rolled up and began relaying information about me to someone on the opposite end of his walkie-talkie. “Twenty-five year old female… DOWN!”
I remember looking over and watching others continue the race. By that time, it was the elderly, the very heavyset people, and mom’s with kids who were at the rear of the group walking past. The participants that I had counted on doing better than were strolling by casting me looks of pity.
A go-cart appeared and I was loaded up to be delivered to the nearest ambulance.
My mom, in the meantime, had long since completed her run and was starting to get anxious. We had left our phones in the car and had no way to contact each other. She started asking around and eventually found me in the back of an ambulance suffering from dehydration and a good dose of humiliation.
I learned some valuable lessons that day. First, a banana and a sip of water a few hours before a race is not sufficient. Second, training is valuable.
A few years later, I signed up for one of the ever-popular color runs with the intent of finishing what I had started. The day before the race, I was admitted to the hospital for a severe case of mastitis. What are the odds, right?
I just don’t think I’m meant to run in races… and that is fine by me!
Kuddos to you if you are a runner. I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know why you want to do it. But, still, good for you!
In the meantime, I’ve hung up my running shoes.