Run Linda Run
I have a small bucket list of stuff that I like to empty out and refill as I go, and one of those things in my tiny bucket was a marathon. Well, I should say a half marathon, because I firmly believe our bodies can, but were not meant to, do full marathons (more power to the full marathoners). I like to think of myself as only ‘half crazy’.
Back in December, my much younger sister, 13 years to be exact, mentioned the “Rock N’ Roll” marathon in San Diego in June of 2018. I jumped on the idea, especially since it was so far away. Surely I would have plenty of training time, and right before summer sounds like the ideal training before I need to be in a swimsuit. I was all in, and I was taking my husband Ever with me.
The Holidays came and went, and so did February, then March, and right about the end of April I started to freak out about the fact that I had zero miles under my runner’s belt. This was true for Ever, as well, but not for my sister. She had been on a program since the end of February and was thriving. I downloaded the “Nike Run” app, which turned out to be the easiest step on my way to this half marathon.
The first 2 runs were easy and took about 15 minutes, but the third run almost made me throw in the towel. I got home from work that day and I cooked a quick spaghetti dinner before our run. I scarfed down a large bowl. I have never had issues with eating and working out, I had done it when I crossfitted and never had so much as a burp. Ever got home and we headed out on our run. It started out fine, but I did feel very full. We finished our run, and on our way back home I started to feel an allergic reaction coming on (itchy ears and throat) and was overjoyed that we were headed home. I didn’t mention it to Ever, because we both had headphones on, and I was sure I could get home and take an antihistamine. I started breaking out in hives and Ever noticed my scratching and wheezing. I suddenly became very lightheaded, and everything started to go white. I told him I couldn’t see and I tried to jump on his shoulders, but between the heat, his sweat, and my lack of strength, I couldn’t hold on. He had to throw me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes through the neighborhood. I remember being slightly embarrassed and thinking the neighbors probably thought I was wasted, but felt too weak to care.
We got home and he flung me on the couch. I was having difficulty swallowing and felt the urge to toss my cookies, which I did, much to my dismay. I didn’t quite make it to the restroom, so I added some color to my black and white flooring. It was a scene straight out of the “Exorcist.” Why did it have to be spaghetti that night? My brother and husband cleaned it up while I stayed in the bathroom for which seemed like hours. When I emerged, I felt weak and had severe abdominal pain. I wanted to go to the hospital, but was too weak to think about the drive over there. Luckily, one of my best friend’s husband is a Doctor in the Emergency Room and was very helpful over the phone. We‘re still not exactly sure what I suffered from, but if we had to guess, it seemed like a freak combination of an allergic reactions and indigestion. Who knows, but I survived, and the real M.V.P. is my husband for not only carrying me home (after an already exhausting run), but also cleaning up my spaghetti exorcism. I love you boo!
That day I questioned if I’d run again, but the next day I knew I would, because I’m a lot of things, but NOT a quitter. We went on a few more runs, but Ever’s knee would tend to cut them short and work was getting busier, so it was definitely getting harder to find the time.
Continuing with my training, I decided to run late at night when Ever was home and I had put the kids to sleep. It was my first run without Ever, and it was about 8:00 at night. We live in a relatively safe community, and I grew up in the rougher areas, so I don’t scare easily. I was about 3 miles in when a guy on a Harley asked if I wanted a ride. I waved my hand to gesture no and went about my business. He returned about 5 minutes after and asked again, but this time got closer as I was turning the corner. I yelled no and started to panic. I did not want to become a case on C.S.I. I could feel my heart racing faster than it already was, and I dialed 911 without pressing send. I debated whether or not to call anyway, but I didn’t, and sure enough he came around one more time out of a neighborhood. It was just myself and scary dude on a motorcycle. No cars or other people were around as a safety net or witness. It was like time stood still, and I understood how quickly terrible things could happen. I suddenly wasn’t afraid, and I began yelling like a Banshee, screaming some obscene words that basically notified him I was calling the cops. It worked, thankfully, because he speed off laughing, which made me furious. I booked it home and got my best time yet.
After that incident, I decided not to be scared, but became more aware of my surroundings. However, before I could run again, I got sick, like a full on flu. I hadn’t been sick since before Elle was born, and it was happening big time. I was in denial for the first 5 days, blaming allergies (insert eye roll here), but the Sunday before the half marathon, I was in bed shivering. I took the entire week off from running and the gym, and the day before the race was the first day I felt somewhat better. There was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to complete it. I knew I wasn’t anywhere near ready and I really didn’t feel like doing it at all, but I said I would, and I did. That’s the one thing I can toot my own horn on. My word is a bond and not even an exorcism, almost getting abducted, or the flu could stop me…
Race day post to come, this got way too lengthy!