Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012 Goodlife Victoria Half Marathon Race Report

Well...this was the most memorable race of my life for many, many reasons - geez, where do I start? 

Race morning started pretty much as per usual...I did my usual routine of waking up at 3am to eat something and having a banana before the run.  Hubs and I headed down to my work, as it's really close to the start line and left our gear there, including our cell phones (this becomes important later on in the story).  We headed down at around 7:15, and man was it ever packed!  We wedged our way into the crowd, and I looked at my Garmin and thought that it didn't look like it was reading right...but after checking it I thought it was OK. You know how sometimes you wish you would have just listened to your gut?  Well, this was one of those times.  As the run started, the pacing on my Garmin was completely off - in the first kilometre, it was telling me that I was running 3:50/km splits - OK, I've been working hard but that's just crazy!  Luckily I had a pace bracelet, so had to run by feel and hope I was making my splits. 

0 - 7K

1K  5:30
2K  5:09
3K  4:58
4K  4:58
5K  5:05
6K  5:16
7K 5:12

8 - 14K

I knew that I was making good time but my splits were a bit fast, so I tried to slow myself down after the 10K split.  Definitely a personal best on the 10K, and I was on target for a 1:50 half.

8K  5:02
9K  5:04
10K  5:02

10K split:  51:15  target 52:07

11K  5:11
12K  5:19
13K  5:32
14K  5:22

15 - 20K

Did you guys notice my heading for these splits?  You might have a feeling of what's coming next.  I was tiring fast, and around the 17K point I started to take some very quick walk breaks.  It was weird, because I remember everything up to this point...I was feeling a little dizzy but thought I was just a bit tired, and pushed onward.  Bad idea...very bad idea.  At some point, my brain must have shut down because I don't remember much past the 18K point.  My body must have just been in automatic mode and I vaguely remember running and weaving and then nothing...I passed out cold.

I came to, and I remember people all around me and one particular lady who was so wonderful - later on I would find out her name was Trudy, and she had called Hubs to tell him what had happened to me.  I didn't know where I was or what my name was, but I knew his cell phone number...weird how the mind works, eh?  Unfortunately, I knew his cell phone number but the cell phones were back in the office...argh!   I was too weak to walk so the ambulance was dispatched to get me where they started an IV on me because my blood pressure and blood sugar were dangerously low, and I was dehydrated.  The paramedic that worked on me was so wonderful...I kept apologizing to him and he was so kind.  Once they did what they could, I was taken to the medical tent and the nurses there who were also incredible worked on me.  It was such an odd feeling...not feeling your body, not being able to move, and not knowing what year or month it was or how old you are.  The nurses kept asking me those questions to see if I was coming out of it and I honestly couldn't answer them, and they were worried that I had hit my head because I was so disoriented.  Hearing that...and having no filters...I started to freak out that I was going to be like this forever and even tried to do accounting in my head!  Yep, even in a medical situation, I'm doing debits and credits in my head...such an accounting geek.

At this point, I was so worried about Hubs because I knew he would be worried...and luckily, he thought to come by the medical tent and he just happened to see my head through a crack in the awning.  I've never been so happy to see him.  Lesson to be learned here, folks...always, always, always run with your cell phones!

My final splits - I passed out one kilometre from the finish line...yes, one freaking kilometre.

15K  5:22
16K  5:30
17K  6:05
18K  5:54
19K  5:49
20K  6:57

Where did things go wrong?  I was feeling sickly at the beginning of the week, so should have listened more to my body and not pushed quite as hard as I did.  The Garmin problem was also an issue, as I was running too fast to start and likely hit the wall way too soon.  I drank along the race route, but not enough, given how hard I was pushing.  I've run all my races doing the early morning brekkie/banana routine, but maybe for this level of pace, I need to eat more.  All learning for the next time.

How am I feeling now?  I was exhausted and am still feeling tired today but my mind is pretty much back.  I've got some soreness - I think my calves must have immediately cramped when I collapsed as they are insanely sore.  I'm not going to lie...it hurts to know that I've done so much work over the past four months and to not complete this race when I was on track for a personal best sucks, to put it plainly.  But...all is not lost.  It was Thanksgiving weekend, right?  Even though this completely and utterly shitty thing happened, there are a lot of things to be thankful for...

 - I'm thankful that I wasn't injured - miraculously, I have no scrapes, bumps or bruises...I literally must have just crumpled to the ground

 - I'm thankful for the wonderful people who stayed with me (Trudy, whoever you are...thank you so much) and forfeited their race to help me, a total stranger.  I don't know your names or who you are, but I am forever grateful

 - I'm thankful for the amazing paramedics and nurses who were soooo incredibly patient, understanding and kind even was a complete spaz

 - I'm thankful that the clinics that I took showed me that I did have it in me to hit my A goal...I may not have finished, but I did hit a 10K personal best of 51:15.  I'll take what I can get!

 - I'm thankful for Hubs, always

 - I'm thankful for family and friends..we still hosted dinner on Sunday, but luckily most of it was pre-prepped so it mostly involved just putting it in the oven.  I texted my BFF to tell her what happened and was roundly chastised in the most loving manner possible because I knew she was worried and cared (love you R, mwah mwah, XOX)...having something like this happen made me realize again how important family and friends are and how things really could have been so much worse

What does this mean for my future race plans?  Well, I was already going to take a break from running to the end of the year...and I think what I'll do is run a 10K race next spring, and then volunteer for the Oak Bay Half Marathon and other local races.  What happened at this race really, really makes me want to give back and I feel it's important for me to do.  And yes, I do plan to race next year's Goodlife...and finish.


Char said...

Wow! That's some race report. Not quite what I was expecting to read. I'm glad you're okay.

Angie said...

Holy crap! I've been checking in to your blog and Facebook waiting for an update... and not wanting to ask as I was worried that you didn't hit your PB. Holy CRAP... thank you Trudy and all those other folks! So glad to hear that you are ok... can wipe the tears away now... that was tough to read, can't imagine what it was like to live it!
Rest up my friend... your body wants you to rest up and take care... and so do I!!!!

Nikki said...

Wow Cindy, what a memorable event for sure! Now that I read your story I remember seeing you there, I slowed down but there were already so many people helping you and they were happy because you were just starting to talk to them. I am so glad to hear you are okay. Despite the finish it sounds like you can be certain that all of your hard work paid off, those splits are amazing. I hope you're feeling rested and better as each day goes by. Take care.

Erin said...

What you remember is pretty close. My 2 friends and I were on our cool down and had stopped at the 1km marker to wait for another friend. 2 people up the road called for medical help and were holding you up as your legs were giving out. My friends and I ran over and took you from the 2 other people who continued on their way.

We tried to hold you up with hopes you would gain your legs back, but instead you appeared to be passing out so we sat you down on the ground and had you lay down. Unfortunately right in the middle of the course as you were pretty dead weight.

You were breathing really rapidly and you actually passed out cold after you were already sitting/lying down. For a bit you were in and out. Some other person came by and tried to raise your legs, but you did cramp badly yelling out in pain so one of my friends and I tried to massage your calves. I asked you if you knew where you were, no. If you knew what city you were in, no. Then you passed out again. I tried to wake up up, tapping your face, pinching your arm slightly, nothing. We knew you were breathing so that was good. We wanted to get your gel into you but you were out cold and we didn't know why.

A volunteer called for assistance on his phone. Trudy I guess also came over to help once you had passed out to put a jacket under your head as we didn't have anything.

Eventually you came to, but were still mighty confused. Medical arrived and took over, we sat you up and you said "oh I am racing" to which I stated that well you were racing and I proceeded to stop your watch. We basically carried you to the truck and lifted you into the front seat as you still didn't have your legs.

At that point, medical took over, so my friends and I explained what happened and then left the scene.

I am so glad you are okay and it broke our hearts to see you hit 20km and not be able to finish that final km.

Hunnybee said...

Oh I was wondering why you've been quiet on twitter.


Anonymous said...

Great Race report Cindy despite the unfortunate finish.

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