Boy did I have a scare last week! I ran in the local leg of the Corporate Challenge (3.5 miles) for my company and collapsed at the end of the race…I had a terrifying ride in the ambulance to the hospital, followed by a treatment, discharge, and re-entry to the hospital via the emergency room all within a 24 hour period of time. After 6 long days in a hospital bed, the doctors let me come home to recuperate in my own home – which means I might be better, or at least, getting better!
I'm going to talk about my hospital stay on another day, today I'm going to talk about the race and all…
The race itself was awesome, for the most part. They announced that there were over 6000 competitors (although some of them were jogger/walkers and therefore didn't really count) in the race that day, and it was quite a sight…the rain had fallen and was still coming down, which I didn't mind, as it was a darn sight better than running in the 90 degree, sunny and humid-as-the-rainforest weather we had been having for the previous few days. [In fact, it was probably this rain-instead-of-sun that misled me into how much I was overexerting myself.]
Anyway, we all went over by the starting line and suddenly the mob of people was moving forward…I started my watch as I was swept by the crowd underneath the starting line banner, and decided I didn't like it running on the heels of others and having my own clipped by the person behind me every time I took a stride. I started moving my way up through the throng of runners a little bit at a time, ducking between swinging arms and churning legs, hopping from one empty patch of road to the next as the crowd shifted and writhed its way down the course. I tried hard not to push myself too hard during the first mile, and succeeded in only turning in a 7:15 minute first mile split…which was about 2-3 minutes faster than I had planned on doing that day, being sort of out of shape and all!
But I was feeling good. Confident and strong, I continued my pace through the second mile, still passing people who went out too fast and were slowing down all around me. I had a little more space to maneuver in by the second mile, coming through at an astonishing (for the shape I was in, remember) 15:16 split. I couldn't believe how fast I was going, and still felt like I had something left in me to spend!
By the time I had a mile left of the three and a half mile race, I could tell I was starting to hurt a bit. I was digging inside to keep myself going, and I think I came through the third mile marker around a time of 23:45, which would make my third mile in the race a nice little 8:29…not too bad, I thought! Or, I would have been thinking if I had been in my right mind!
For by that time, I was starting to go into my running-trance-zone…people around me became shapes to dodge…my eyes were unfocused, I was concentrating solely on moving forward, keeping going, pushing myself to not slow down, and possibly even sped up for a while. I entered an area of the road where the edges were lined with metal fences to keep back the crowds, and knew I was near the finish…
And that's all I remember. Sorry, the king of anticlimaxes, I know. But either I finished the race and collapsed, or I collapsed within 200 yards of the end. I'll never know, and neither will you. :-)
Anyway, Monday I'll write about my harrowing ambulance ride and my stay in the hospital…and I promise it'll have a better ending!
Notified readers know when to stop running before they collapse.