Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Race Report: Akron Half Marathon

Bear with me on this one...it's going to be kinda long! I actually have A LOT to write about, but I think I'm going to split it into a couple posts for the sake of not having 1 post that goes on for as many miles as I ran this weekend.

So this past Saturday was the Akron Half Marathon. Last year I ran the full marathon with my mom and had a BLAST! It was probably one of my top 5 races I've ever run. Even though I was only doing the half this year, I was still hoping that it was going to be just as good.

My mom came out on Friday, and we were able to hang out and have a good afternoon/evening at the expo and relaxing. Saturday morning was perfect weather for a race! Last year we had found a building right near the start line that was open for runners. We found that same building this year and were able to just hangout indoors before the race started so we didn't freeze.

About 10 minutes before the start we left the warmth of the building and joined the masses at the start. The race had decided to have corrals, which was a change from last year. Based on when we thought we would finish, we were in Corral A. Akron does a fantastic time at the start with lots of great pump-up music and fun commentary. They did get rid of the fireworks at the start (probably due to not wanting explosions), but it was still a great start!

I had not run more than 8 miles in months without having major issues. The one 11 mile run I had tried a few weeks ago ended with me passing out at school...so I was a bit unsure as to how I was going to do in the later miles of the race. On top of that, my mom was having major cough fits because of a really bad allergy flare. We made a great pair!

Overall, I felt pretty good until about mile 11...then I started dry heaving. It came out of no where, and I'm still not sure what happened. I think I just hit my limit and my body said "NO MORE." Since we were only a couple miles from the finish I kept going and we finished! Always a good thing =)

I really did not want to go to the medical tent, and tried to just lie down for a bit and see how I felt. I had had a very negative experience with a doctor earlier in the week and was tired of trying to explain to doctors who were not willing to listen what was going on with my body. But after about 30 minutes of dry heaving on the ground, we went over to see if I could get an IV.

The doctor who I saw was fantastic! If every finish line was like that, I would sign up for races just to get IVs! Not really...although it is an idea...haha =P He started an IV pretty quickly since I was dry heaving a lot and said he didn't want to even try oral hydration at that point (I wish every doctor would think like that!). The bags ran REALLY fast, so I was still dry heaving after 2 bags. About halfway through the 3rd bag I finally started feeling a bit better. That definitely helped, although I didn't start feeling better until today (about 4 days later)...

Because I got 3L of fluids, I actually felt a lot worse the rest of Saturday and Sunday. I calculated it out, and that was 6lbs of saline! For someone my size, 6lbs is a large percentage of my weight...so I felt super swollen and uncomfortable for a while. I hadn't thought I was dehydrated going in to the race, but I didn't pee for 14 hours after receiving the fluids...so I guess I was! It was an eye-opener that I still have a lot to learn about what's going on in my body, although I do think I'm getting better...just don't take this race as an indication of that =P

Like I said, I felt pretty rough the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday. I had a lot of pressure in my chest and was having trouble breathing. It felt like all the fluids I had gotten had gone into my chest and were just sitting there...NOT FUN! By Monday the chest pressure had gone down a bit, and today I'm finally feeling more like myself...but with the added benefit of having received IV fluids! Wahoo!

So, lesson learned - as much as IV fluids help me feel good, 3L is WAY too much. It was a fun race up until where I started dry heaving, so we'll see if I run it again next year. I'm signed up to run the first Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon in April. I've been feeling burnt out from racing, so I'm not ready to put any more races on the calendar. Plus I want to figure things out a bit better before I keep pushing myself. It seems there's always something going on, and I have to find the balance between doing things I love and staying healthy...hopefully they meet somewhere!!

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