Rutgers 7.8 Race Report

7.8 what huh?  I thought it was a 13.1?

Yeah…so about that…

My training leading up to the race went pretty well.  My 10 miler was a beast but I chalked it up to a bad day.  My taper runs went off without a hitch and I saw my sports PT three days before the race and everything checked out.  Then, Friday after work my ankle and shin were bothering me.  It was a long shift so I just iced and stayed off it most of Saturday.  Sunday, I could feel it but wasn’t too concerned.  My friend Lisa and I drove up to the race together and while I debated dropping to the 8K, I thought it was all in my head so I headed to the half-marathon start line.

Miles 1-4 were okay.  I really did not expect the hills.  The race is described as flat but it was entirely full of rolling hills.  My calf muscles weren’t happy- I mean, I train in SOUTH JERSEY!- but I was getting by.  It was at about mile 5 that my race started going downhill.  My pace was still fine but my calves were cramping and my shins were on fire.  There was a certain level of “push through it” and a certain level of “don’t hurt yourself” going through my head at the same time.  I was walking a whole lot more than I like and no amount of stretching was helping.  The last thing I wanted to do was give up but I was getting increasingly frustrated.  I would stop, stretch and then less than a quarter mile I would have to stop again.  By mile 7, I had pretty much had it with the race.  The cramps in my calves were getting worse and every time I saw a hill, I wanted to cry.  At this point, I wasn’t running at all and still had over six miles to go.  I really did not think it was wise for me, mentally or physically, to keep going.   So for the first time ever in a road race, I stopped.  At mile 7.8, I pulled myself from the race, walked over to an aid station and had them radio me a ride to the start where I was able to catch a shuttle to the finish line.

I kept waiting for the tears.  To feel the failure in the pit of my stomach.  It never came.  Because I didn’t fail.  I made a decision.  And truthfully, it wasn’t even a difficult one.  I have spent much of the last 3 years injured.  It isn’t worth it.  I have no idea why my legs failed me- obviously, I need more hill work, but it has to be more than that.  Today, I will meet with my sports chiropractor and see what he thinks.  We have already talked about the next marathon (another post for another time) and today we will talk about the path for this year.  I don’t have any more races planned until July, so for now, I am just going to work on getting these legs back in working order.

After the race, I met up with my friends and we had lunch at a local brewery.  The day went on as normal.

Here is a photo from the day-

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Why I Ran Philly in 2012

I had signed up for the race in April, thinking it would be a good motivation for me to start running again.  That was a joke.  I was barely running.  Signing up for a race only meant I was barely running AND out $65.  But then summer rolled around and I had some more time on my hands, so every few days I would go for a walk.  Then a jog now and then.  And then eventually, I just started running again.  But it wasn’t far and it DEFINITELY wasn’t fast.  And it wasn’t consistent.  By August, I was supposed to run the Wildwood Half-Marathon, but had only been running about 8-10 miles a WEEK at that point.  So, I bagged that race.  While I was down the shore, lamenting on my inability to get my shit together and just friggen run, I had a major awakening.  Major.

[BACK STORY:

I have a friend Jessica who I have known since high school.  We had some classes together but we really weren’t close until our senior year when we roomed together on a trip to England.  Although we hadn’t gotten close until then, everyone knew Jessica.  Jess was the girl with Cystic Fibrosis.  She was the one too sick to come to school for days at a time.  She was the one so sick over break our junior year, she spent weeks at CHOP and the class took a bus trip to visit her.  She was the one in England who had a lot more to pack than just clothes.  I remember being legit stunned at how much medication she needed on a daily basis.  But man, Jessica lived life.  She definitely didn’t let CF hold her back.   (For those who don’t know, CF is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.)

After high school we stayed in touch if we saw each other but it wasn’t until Facebook that we really reconnected.  The best part about getting back in touch was that I found out she was going to be getting a double lung transplant.  And thank God too, because by the time of her transplant, Jessica was a very, very sick girl.  Simple tasks like getting out of bed were simply too much.  The surgery was successful and life completely changed for Jess.  Yeah for new lungs!  By the time our 10 year high school reunion rolled around, Jessica was two months post surgery and looking and feeling fabulous.  The transplant worked!  After the reunion, we definitely got closer.  We talked often, usually emailing back and forth since we lived in different states.  And then came the bad news.  This past Spring after only 2.5 years with her new lungs, Jessica began to experience rejection symptoms.  And the report was not good.  Rejection.  Double rejection.  You see, a lung transplant does not cure CF because the defective gene that causes the disease is in all of the cells in the body, not just in the lungs.  While a transplant does give a person with CF a new set of lungs, the rest of the cells in the body still have the CF and may already be damaged by the disease.  And for Jessica, it was not a slow moving decline.  By the end of summer, doctors determined she was too sick to undergo another transplant. There would be no new lungs.

There…would…be…no…new…lungs.  I don’t have to tell you what that means for Jessica.

END BACK STORY]

So here I am at the shore that hot day in August.  And it just hits me like a ton of bricks.  I have lungs that want to breathe and legs that can run and I better get with the damn program.  Because there are too many Jessica’s out there.  Too many people who would love to run and can’t.  It was time to woman up and run.  I ran the very next day.  And the next weekend.  And slowly, I got began to feel it again.  How it feels to feel good running!  The training was brutal…and not near what it should have been, but come hell or high water I was running that race for Jessica.  And by running for Jessica, that is exactly what I mean.  I started up a page to raise money for The Lung Transplant Foundation (Jessica’s choice) and began telling her story.  She was my reason for running.  I would run for her.

Before I knew it, it was November.  I was far under-trained, my nutrition plan was laughable and I was really unsure of how this race would unfold.  But, I was going to finish.  Fittingly, the night before the race was a Beef and Beer for Jessica, an event I was NOT going to miss.  So it meant a late night…I mean, I wasn’t trained anyway, right!  It was a great night and I got to spend time with Jessica and it was totally worth it.  Between my mom and I, we also won six baskets- BONUS 🙂  While the reason we were there permeated through the night, spirits were high and it was exactly what I needed the night before the race.

I don’t need  to go into a detailed race report.  I’ll just say this:  the first 8 miles, I was having the race of my life.  Then my joke of a nutrition plan started its backfire on me, GU decided it did not in fact get along with my intestinal tract and my stomach interfered with my amazing race.  The last 5.1 miles were a brutal mix of walking, stopping and using way too many portal-pottys.  But nothing was going to keep me from that finish line.  I cried a lot…it was physically painful and emotional.  I just knew I could not stop.  And, many minutes later than I would have liked, I crossed the finish line.  For Jessica.

The first thing I did was email her to let her know I finished!  And she emailed me back to say she was proud of me.  She was proud of me!  She fights for every breath.  I am simply in awe of her spirit, grace and inner fight.

I wish there was more I could do than run a race and raise $1,950 for her foundation of choice.  But all I can do is share her story.  Make people aware of the importance of supporting foundations that are often overlooked.  Lung transplantation is a relatively rare procedure and this area receives little research support from National Institutes of Health or any disease-specific research foundation.  Currently, the Lung Transplant Foundation is researching treatments for chronic lung rejection, but there is no cure.  There. Is. No. Cure.  Jessica is still fighting.  But there are more bad days than good.  And, I know what that means. You know what it means.  She knows what it means.

england1999- Trip to London.  Jess and I are next to each other, front right.

jessica

Jessica and I at our reunion.

jess2Sign my mom made and had through the race!

jess1Ran with this on my back the entire race!

philly1#8 done!

I won’t make this part long.  Here is the link to the page http://www.gofundme.com/1a3cig

I am trying to raise a total of $3,000 in her name to the Lung Transplant Foundation.  I can’t let myself stop just because the race is over.  The race is over, but her fight isn’t and neither is mine.

Marathon Photos- Finally!

Ok first- thank you for the awesome comments, texts and emails.  It took a lot of thought coming back…but I am glad I did. Its awesome to see how much support is still out there.  So thank you.  And welcome new readers 🙂 I am working on quite a few posts that I hope with help me get through some of the stuff I have been going through.  Writing is good therapy…has always been my therapy.  I let the things that define me slip away for a little while and I am so ready to get them back.  One blog post at a time 🙂

It dawned on me as I looked back, that I never posted any photos from my marathon!  It’s kind of funny- when I look at them, I still get the excited feelings I had when I ran the race.  Some days, I still cannot believe I ran 26.2 miles.  But I did…and here is the proof:

My favorite of them all- coming into the finish!!!  (That’s my dad with his hand out!)

Expo!  And it WAS the best time of my life!!

Race morning with all my signs 🙂

Mile 14- R2 had quite the set up for me to re-fuel

Pure joy with my biggest fan!

My friends Dee and Greg who were with me the last 4 miles!

With my BFF Kate, who also ran the marathon!

Ahhhh…MUCH needed recovery!!!

Every time I think about the race, I smile.  It was hard work and took  more out of me than I ever could have anticipated, but crossing that finish line is one of the best feelings I ever had.  If I had to do it all over again…through the injuries, exhaustion, pain and even the last few months of rough recovery and personal strife…I would do it over and over and over again.  And again.  With that said, I have no actual plans of ever doing it again!

Best Time Of My Life! Philadelphia Marathon Race Report!

Back when the marathon was only a wee dream I had, I always said that if I ever did one, it would be Philly.  Having grown up in South Jersey, just over the bridge, I have always felt as though I related with Philly.  I grew up taking my class trips there, spent my high school years walking around different parts of the city and yes, even spent a few years in the “club” scene.  When I turned 21, I spent many a nights partying it up on the streets of Philly.  It was only natural that when I started running, I would race in Philly.  First Broad Street, then the Philly 8K, followed by the half-marathon two years in a row…and then…the marathon!

I started planning to do the Philly Marathon back in 2009- but the truth is, I just wasn’t ready.  For a number of reasons, I just didn’t think it was the right time for me.  Round two, I planned for 2010.  Then I got hurt.  The injury took away my entire spring racing season and as a result I packed in racing all summer and was burnt out by fall.  I completed the Philly Half last year and consider it to date my best half- marathon.  When I finished that race, I knew 2011 was my year for the marathon.  And when it came time to register on April 1, I clicked marathon.  And,I knew the third time would be the charm!

So fast forward a few months from signing up and the training began…and it was not easy.  As always, I was fighting through injuries.  There were many moments where I questioned what the hell I was doing and if it would all be worth it.  But I kept training.  In the rain, on the treadmill, without music and always alone.  I knew from the start that it would be vital to me to be mentally prepared for hours of running.  To be mentally prepared for anything and everything.  I knew from my first long run…really long run…that none of this would be easy.  But I was determined to make it fun.

And then it was November.  And before I knew it, it was race weekend.  One of the best decisions I made in this process was getting a hotel room.  We had a room for my parents and R2 and I had a room.  This could not have worked out better.  I was .5 miles from the expo and .8 from the race site.  Perfect!  The expo was good but fast for me.  I was disappointed that the K-Tape people weren’t there as I hoped to get my calves taped, but they weren’t and I got over it quick.  We were at the expo for about an hour and then for me it was back to the hotel for rest, rest and more rest! After getting all my things laid out, some dinner and a bath it was time for sleep.  I was stunned to have slept as well as I did.  I woke up feeling calm and ready to go.

We left about 30 minutes before the race start and headed down for some photos.  The nerves were kicked in and I was feeling stressed out- but before I had too much time to think about it, the race was starting.  My mom and R2 headed down to mile 1 where I would see them first and I got in my corral.  The plan was for my mom and R2 to see me at Mile 1, Mile 6 and Mile 14.  My dad and teammates would meet up with them at the finish.  Knowing when I would see people made getting from point to point a lot easier.  I think the best way to break it down is to go a few miles at a time.

Miles 1-5:  I totally missed my mom, R2 and my friend Brian at Mile 1.  I wasn’t too concerned though as it was the beginning and I was feeling great.  I had started with the 5 hour pacer but realized quickly that (probably due to my training) I wanted to run alone.  Around Mile 2, I saw a few teammates and I was so happy.  I wasn’t even listening to my IPOD at this point because the energy from the crowds was so awesome.  I skipped the first water stop and headed into Mile 3.  I took my first walk break at the second water stop.  My plan all along, like my training, was to walk the water stops.  At least for the first half I was hoping to do no other walking than through stops.  At the same time, I also told myself that if I had the urge to slow down or walk, that was okay too.  Mile 4 was uneventful except that I had to pee.  I tried to ignore it but I knew I had to stop and go.  I saw my chance at the next porta-potty and felt thankful that there were only three other people in line.  I was glad I stopped because I felt a million times better having gone.  As I headed into Mile 5, the magnitude of what I was doing was starting to hit me.  I could feel that I was going to fast and I started to feel overwhelmed.  The 5 hour pacer passed me and I had a moment of feeling like I needed to catch up but then quickly determined that if I did that, I would not be running my own race.  So I stuck to my guns and kept moving at my solid, comfortable, slow pace.

Miles 6-10: I received a text from my mom letting me know where to look at Mile 6 and before I knew it, I was there.  I spotted her sign like four blocks away!!!  I threw them my jacket, flashed a smile, got a pic and kept on moving.  I was feeling AWESOME!  The awesome feeling stuck around until just into Mile 7 when I started to feel a blister.  It would have been too easy to focus on the pain so I stuck my IPOD in and put it out of my head.  Miles 9 & 10 were the toughest for me in the first half…I was running slow and I had to stop again to use the bathroom…but I was feeling good and running happy.  By the time I reached Mile 10, I could hardly believe I only had 16.2 to go.  I was trying to take it all in, but the time was ticking fast!

Miles 11-15: The person who designed the split at mile 13 should know that there is a special seat in hell waiting for them.  Not only do we have to head the guy on the megaphone tell us “You are almost there!” as he yells out to the half’ers but the split is on an UPHILL and I had to watch as not only the half’ers finish but as the marathon leaders come into finish as well.  This was mentally the most difficult part for me.  I was so thankful that I had decided to have my mom and R2 at Mile 14.  I went through the half point at 2:38 and was thrilled.  My goal was to get through the half by 2:45 so this was a huge boost for me.  (My half PR is 2:23.)  Just before the Mile 14 marker I saw my mom…and to my surprise my Uncle Mark was there and my best friend Jessica.  What a great surprise!!!!  The other surprise was that R2 was not there- I felt crushed…I immediately started to get upset.  He went to get food and I could not believe he was missing me.  Knowing I wouldn’t see him again until the finish made me so sad.  Luckily, my mom had texted him and he was able to get back in time.  I took this opportunity to take some advil, eat a banana and take a few photos.  I was so glad I did this- not only did I need the real food but it was such a lift to see everyone.  As they sent me into Mile 14, I felt so strong.  It was getting hot out (high of 64!!!), my feet were tired, I was tired, I was sick of GU already but still, I felt strong.  Mile 15 was a run/walk mile and it was here I met Kristy.  It was also her first marathon- and her plan was much the same as mine.  We chatted for a few minutes and then went on running.  Meeting people along the course would prove to be one of the most helpful things for me getting to the finish.  Especially as the time progressed.

Miles 16-20:  As I headed into Mile 16, I became emotional for the first time.  It dawned on me all I had left was a Broad Street Run.  It was also when the 5:30 pacer passed me.  I had held them off for 16 miles- that was the bright side.  And in this race, there was nothing other than bright sides.  Into Mile 17, I met Donna.  Donna was running Philly for the 19th time.  She was older, and had come into the race wanting to BQ as she had a few times in her past.  At Mile 12, she got a cramp and watched as her pace group passed.  She was still so happy to be running, so energetic and still loving the run.  She was, without knowing it, reassuring me that I was running the right race for me.  I ran with Donna for a little over a mile, mostly quietly but chit-chatting at times.  Eventually, we came upon her husband- she stopped and I went on.  Miles 18-20 were tough.  As I headed downhill into Manayunk, all I could think about was the uphill back out of Manayunk.  I was slowing down even more, and for the first time starting to feel down.  That changed real fast when I realized that at Mile 20 I was entering uncharted territory.  I had no idea what to expect beyond Mile 20 but I knew I needed to snap back into my strong mental game.  The timing was perfect because the energy in Manayunk was great and I was really feeling it.  I texted my mom, “I think I’ll for for a 10K today :)” and put my positive mental game into overdrive!

Miles 21-26.2:  Just before Mile 21, I saw my friends Greg and Dee.  They had planned to run with me and I couldn’t have been happier to see them.  It gave me such a boost and we all started running together.  Then came Mile 22 and the unexpected- a foot cramp.  I had been prepared for hip pain, knee pain, ITB pain, PF pain and shin pain.  But this was the top of my left foot.  Hello marathon curve ball!!!  The pain was so bad, I couldn’t run.  At all.  I was relegated to walking until I could get it out.  Greg gave me some advil and we kept going one foot in front of the other.  Greg and Dee were amazing- kept telling me how awesome I was doing and kept my spirits up by asking me about the race to that point.  Eventually though, I had to stop.  My foot was screaming.  It happens that Greg is also my podiatrist (lucky me!) and he was able to assess quickly after I took off my shoe that it needed to be re-laced.  I was swelling so bad that my show was cutting off the circulation in my foot.  From this point I did almost all walking.  It was a tough pill to swallow but having come that far already there was no stopping me.  I was going to finish!  At Mile 25, I decided come hell or highwater, I was running.  And run I did…for the last 1.2 miles.

The finish line: It is hard to describe how I felt at those moments.  The experience was bigger than myself.  I could see my friends, parents and R2 all at the finish, screaming with excitement for me.  It was a long journey but I had done it.  There really is no feeling like it.

The best thing I did for myself was mentally prepare.  I relied on that many times throughout the race.  The other best thing I did, was go in without a real time goal.  I mean, of course I did have goals, but I truly did not care.  I wanted to finish happy.  That was most important to me- to cross the line with a smile.  Because of my mental preparation and my desire to have a fun race, I took all the pressure off myself and was really able to enjoy the journey.

All my goals were met.  I did have fun.  I finished running and with a smile.  It was truly the best time of my life. I have zero regrets.

Oh and also, I have no itentions of every doing another marathon!

 

PS- for some reason, WordPress is not letting me upload photos; hopefully soon!!!

Updates, Updates, Updates…I’m BACK!!!!!!

Anyone still here…anyone?? Anyone??

It has been almost a full month since I have written!  So much to get caught up on!

Unless you are on my Facebook (and if you aren’t, why not?) you might have thought I died. Or was kidnapped. Or that I hate blogging.  Don’t believe the rumors- none of the above are true.  The truth is, I was so overwhelmingly busy that I could not sit long enough to finish a post.  But now things are calmed down a little and I am ready to give you the updates.  And there are some major updates!

  1. I turned 30- That’s right folks, I am officially in the 30 club!  And honestly, I feel great!  I am so happy to be out of my 20’s I cannot even tell you!  Plus, turning 30 has been so much fun…I had a surprise party back in May and then over my birthday weekend I went to Boilermaker to celebrate with 9.3 miles with two of my closest friends.  Last weekend topped off the birthday festivities with a trip to Baltimore with R2.  We stayed Friday-Sunday and had so much fun.  Yeah…hello 30, I think I love you!
  2. I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!- I did it!  I finally left my old school and got a new job!  This is the best news and best thing to happen to me in a long time.  I feel emotionally more stable and so much less stressed out.  I have been sleeping through the night again, not freaking out over dumb stuff and can enjoy my weekends more because I am not thinking about work.  I feel like my prayers have been answered!  I start in two weeks and I cannot wait!!!!!!
  3. I am still racing- Since I last wrote I raced the Boilermaker, Splash and Dash and NJ State Triathlon.  See below for race reports- they were all good ones!
  4. R2 and I are still amazing- I am not the mushy mushy type and I certainly dont talk much about my relationship publicly, but seriously…how lucky am I to have such a great guy.  R2 has been there for me every step of the way while I searched for a new job and is ridiculously supportive of my racing.  We have so much fun, we are almost always laughing and we genuinely like each other so much.  It has been a great six months!
  5. Marathon Training is underway- That’s right…the official training has begun.  I don’t want to rush summer or wish time away,  but I will be glad when the race itself is finally here.  This training is daunting!!!  I have to be honest, I don’t see myself ever doing a second marathon!

Three Race Reports!

     Splash and Dash- Splash and Dash is a local swim/run race held in memory of a local boy who was killed in a car accident.  It is held at night and super fun.  I had a pretty good swim and used the run as a training run so it was so-so.  I was happy with it overall and can’t wait to do this race again!

     Boilermaker 15K- Hello automatic PR 🙂  This race totally lives up to its hype.  While I wanted to kill myself up the first 3.5 miles of hill that seemed endless (hi, I train in SJ!!) I love love loved all the course support.  I am not even kidding, there was support every single step of the race!  People everywhere- more music than anything 1/2 marathon I ever raced and water/aid stations everywhere!  I went into this race with some shin pain and random back pain so I wasn’t sure what to expect out of myself; in the end, I was really happy with my time.  15K- 1:48:23.  Slow, steady and recovered well from it- stuck with the plan and it worked!

     NJ State- This race was last weekend…you know, in the 92387 degree heat.  Which honestly, was still better than last years weather.  This was my first full tri this year- up to this point I had been doing only relays.  I went in thinking I would see how I felt and take it from there.  Listen- I KILLED the swim.  As in…20th out of 103 in my age group and 375th out of 1362 overall.  KILLED THE SWIM.  I felt like superwoman coming out of the water and was rearing to go!  I zoomed in and out of transition and started the bike.  Ugh…the bike.  My disdain for the bike runs deep and my goal was to do the same or better than last year, although my lack of bike training had me thinking I might not make it.  However, I did…beat my time last year by a few seconds 🙂  Hey, I’ll take it!  Once again, I zoomed in and out of transition and was ready to run.  I should clairfy…I was ready…my legs, notsomuch!  Took me a solid mile to get my legs back, but I knew I was doing so well overall that I kept pushing and smiling.  I crossed the line with a THREE MINUTE PR.  And I couldn’t have been happier!!!

What’s next?

Racing- This weekend I have Belmar tri, one of my favorites.  After that, my concentration is really on running.  Getting through this marathon training without injury and feeling good and confident.  I have a few 5k’s in August where I hope to work on my speed and then the WildWood half-marathon at the end of the month.  The WildWood half is going to be a good indicator of where I stand in my training.  They will have pacers and I plan to use one; my hope is I can keep the pace for 13.1 and reach a solid PR, which will give me confidence for the full marathon.  In September, I am running the Jersey-Liberty Half Marathon.  This is purely a training run with no PR expectations.  In Oct, I am running the LBI 18-miler (falls right into my schedule perfectly) and then November is the marathon!!!!

Life- I have a little over a week of in between jobs ending and beginning and then I start the new school year.  I am not the least bit sad to leave my current job (although I will miss most of the people, most families and the students) but I am scared/nervous/excited for the new job!  In September I will be heading downtheshore for my yearly, much anticipated, vacation.  Other than that, I am just feeling really blessed right now in my life.  Lucky, and blessed.

Pictures

You know I wouldn’t leave you without photos!!!  Here’s a hodgepodge of race photos from the S&D and NJ State…

PS-It goes without saying that my Reader was out of control, so I deleted everything and I am starting over today.  Please update me on anything awesome I may have missed!

A Hospital Visit & Parvin Tri Report

(FYI- I am all about TMI’s and hold little back.  If you aren’t interested in my hospital stay, move on and down to the race report.  That is your warning!)

On the day before the last day of school, I found myself in a serious amount of pain that presented like a kidney stone.  I hadn’t felt myself all day and had some cramps, but just figured maybe my period was coming early.  I am not the most regular when it comes to my period (try as I might to regulate, it never seems to work for me) so I brushed it off.  Additionally, I hadn’t really slept much and I have been under enormous stress at work.  I just figured it would go away.  Until about 2:30 when the pain intensified.  Big time.  And within the hour, I was in the nurse’s bathroom hardly able to move.  I called my mom and we decided I would go to the hospital.  My co-worker drove me home and my mom met us there.  The hospital we went to is brand new.  Advice- NEVER go to a brand new hospital.  Best analogy I heard in reference to being at a new facility: its like a new car.  You have to learn where everything is and how it works.  It all added up to a lot of waiting.  Pretty much right away they were talking about bladder infections, UTI’s and had pretty much ruled out a kidney stone.  Here’s the thing, I got the impression they didn’t believe how much pain I was in because when I am in pain I am quiet.  I internalize and I am not one of those screaming annoying patients.  This worked to my disadvantage because they quickly assumed it was nothing.  I waited on a bed in a hallway- peed in a cup…and later a hat looking thing.  I’ll tell you what it wasn’t…a bladder infection or a UTI.  At least I could go back to just peeing in the damn toilet!  So then there was an Ultrasound.  Good news- not pregnant!  Although, my mom did mention that if I was, we were totally calling that “I didn’t know I was pregnant show” and getting me some 15 minutes of fame.  Anyway…ultrasound turned up nothing.  So it was more waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  And finally…THREE HOURS into my wait, they gave me pain meds.  Heavy dose of Motrin.  Basically, it did not take the pain away but it subsided a great deal.  I was having so much pressure within my belly and as the night progressed my stomach was becoming more and more distended.  To the point where my mom was really concerned.  Her and R2 both confirmed to the nurses that I have a normal flat stomach and abs and this is not normal.  Still, they pretty much just kept me waiting.  I had an X-ray and FINALLY the doctor came in.  His name was Nick Nolte.  This Nick Nolte was much better looking!  He determined we would do a CAT scan.  Talked about a blockage…tubes in my nose…possible surgery.  Now the meds were wearing off, I was in pain and had all kinds of crazy anxiety!  And the CAT scan was a slow process- I had to drink some stuff that would require a TWO HOUR wait before the test.  More friggen waiting.  And then I had a meltdown. Well, for me it was…and I got me some reallllly good pain meds.   My mom was right, I should have had that meltdown a lot earlier.  Note this folks- freaking out is a one way ticket to medication land. And medication land is a nice, nice place!!  And according to my mom and R2, I was also hysterically funny.  I barely remember, unfortunately, what was the only nice part of the night.  Being drugged that is!  After what seemed like a million more hours they finally came and got me for my CAT scan.  It wasn’t long after that, that the doctor came back in with the results.  I had a viral infection in my intestines.  Awesome.  And the best part of all…it’s viral, so it just had to run its course.  There was basically nothing that could be done about it.  But in the end, that was WAY better than having to have surgery for what they thought might have been a blockage.  It was a long  night and the next day wasn’t all that pleasant for me either.  In fact, it took about 3 full days before I felt remotely back to normal and a good week before I felt like myself again.

So given all that above, what does a girl do?  She tri’s of course!

Only four days after my hospital stay, still feeling on the mend, I did the Parvin Sprint Tri.  I had no desire to bike, so I did it as a two-person relay with my teammate Kurt.  I swam and ran and he biked.  The swim was not fun- one of my worst; even though my time was still a respectable 9 minutes and I still placed 101 out of 253, I wasn’t happy with the performance.  I should have been in the low 8-minutes.  But I reminded myself that only a few nights before I could barely walk with all my stomach pain, so I sucked it up and got over myself.  Kurt had a great bike- really good, placing 76 out of the 253.  He tagged me and off I went on the run.  My legs felt great and I loved the trail.  My Garmin punked out on me as soon as I hit the woods so I had no idea how I was doing the entire run, but that is a good thing because I need to work on my pacing.  My goal was to run it just a bit faster than my training runs have been but not run at race pace.  Not running at race pace is very hard for me; I want to push myself but at the same time this was meant as a training run.  And I wanted to focus on running smooth and ending feeling good.  The end result was perfect- I ran a very solid 31:20 for the 5K and finished feeling great!   Kurt was right at the finish line waiting and cheering, as were many of my teammates and R2.  I quickly got some water and joined my friends to cheer on the rest of our teammates.  Overall, we placed 139 out of 253 and we were 4th relay.  I felt really good all things considered. 

And of course…what would a race report be without photos:

Getting ready to swim

Happy that’s over!!!

Coming in from the run feeling great!

With Kurt, post-race!

TT kids ♥