With one day leading to the next, you get a little closer to your death

So, for everyone who hasn’t heard, things didn’t go quite so well for me at the Boston Marathon.

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Pretty much everything that I feared could go wrong, did. I just didn’t feel right from the start, I don’t know how else to explain it.  I finished, but barely. I walked A LOT. I threw up a bunch, paid several trips to the bathrooms, had dizzy spells, was struggling to breathe, and my legs kept cramping up. I never once thought about quitting, but the whole race was such a struggle. I felt so terrible, and each mile seemed so long. I don’t know what happened. My body was just totally rebelling on me. Also, after training in this awful winter, 70 degrees felt like 100. I was so overheated. I also have wicked sunburn.

Damn, don't I look good? I had just puked. And I am sitting in a potted plant.

Damn, don’t I look good? I had just puked. And I am sitting in a potted plant.

But I somehow flung myself over that finish line, got my medal and was promptly wheeled to the medical tent. They picked me out and said I didn’t look well. I felt so dizzy and nauseated. Longest 4 hours and 25 minutes of my life. That’s 59 minutes off of my PR, for anyone keeping track.  I am so embarrassed, disappointed and frustrated. My body couldn’t work for one fucking day? A day I had been dreaming about for a year and a half?

So, that’s that.

Let’s rewind. It was such a good weekend otherwise.

Tim and I drove to Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, and met my family for dinner.  On Friday, I swam some easy laps, and then we began our road trip to Boston. While driving, my doctor’s office finally called me back about my blood work I had done forever ago. My iron is “extremely low,” as well as my immunoglobulin levels, which apparently is typically a sign of an autoimmune disease. Unfortunately, my doctor wants to meet with me himself, as opposed to me meeting with a nurse practitioner, and his next available appointment is May 29th. Not exactly the news you want to hear when en route to run a marathon, eh? Solider on.

We hit some traffic, but arrived to Katie’s apartment around 3. We unpacked, and then headed to the expo. The expo was a zoo, but really awesome. I ended up buying a t-shirt, a tech shirt, the infamous jacket and a hat. Then I made myself leave.

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After the expo, we met my friend Laura (from high school) and Tim’s quasi-cousin for dinner at Porter Bellys. It was so good to see Laura. She’s two years younger than I am, but we grew up down the street from each other, and swam together in high school. We seriously never stopped talking from the time we sat down. The food and drink at Porter Bellys was pretty good too. After dinner, we hung out at Katie’s with her and her roommates and had a few drinks before bed.

On Saturday, I realized I had forgotten my Garmin. Luckily, my parents hadn’t left yet, so I texted my mom to bring me one, but COME ON KELLY. How do you forget that?

Tim and I went for a beautiful five-mile run. FORESHADOWING: It felt pretty good. We were easily holding an 8:15 pace. LOL.

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After our run, we showered and then headed to meet my friend TC (from college) and his wife, Heather. I hadn’t seen TC in nearly six years, but it wasn’t weird at all. We had a really good time walking around and stopping at pubs.

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The afternoon went too fast, it was good to see TC and meet Heather. After we said goodbye, Tim and I stopped by the finish line, and then visited the Dear Boston exhibit at the library.
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The exhibit was extremely moving, and honestly brought me goosebumps. It made me feel so honored to be at the race. Once we got back, we grabbed dinner with Katie and her fiancée at Border Cafe, which was delicious. We also stopped at the Beat Hotel for a drink, which was such a cool place. The decor was awesome, very eccentric. We had a really good time with them, the four of us really clicked and conversation never stopped. I wished they lived closer.

On Sunday, we went for an easy three-mile run, and then went to Trader Joe’s, and then did nothing for most of the day, which I wanted. We enjoyed Easter brunch with everyone, including a delicious nutella bread, but I was extremely careful what I ate.
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I did not eat this.

We said our goodbyes, and then stopped to see my parents’ and pick up the watches. We finally got to our hotel around 5, checked in and ordered gluten-free pizza for dinner. We lounged around until Game of Thrones came in, and I of course, fell asleep within the first 30 minutes. Sigh.

I didn’t sleep that well though. I woke up to pee at 2 and just never fell back into a deep sleep. Marathon morning was pretty calm for me, I boarded a shuttle to Boston Commons, then boarded a school bus for a ride to Hopkinton, then stood around in Athlete’s Village until it was time to go.

I wish I had a better experience, but it is what it is. I am still a Boston marathoner, just not how I hoped and prayed the day would go. After the race, we met my parents and their friends for dinner and drinks at Elephant and Castle. At this point, it was after 5, and all I had eaten was two bananas, a luna bar, shot blocks and some trail mix (after the race in hotel). I mised the post-race food becase I was in the med tent. I was beyond hangry.

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I slept so well Monday night. I’m not too sore, just my quads. And my brain. Like I said, this is it for me for a while. This was a screaming wake up call that my body/health is not okay right now. I had never in a million years expected it to be as bad as it was. Of course, I plan to keep running, but the way I had been. No watch, no pace, just me and the road. I need to get better.

Thank you all so much for your well wishes and thanks for tracking me. I know it could have been worse. I could have never made it to the start, or could have DNF’ed. I am so grateful for all my wonderful friends and family who sent messages of encouragement and spoiled me with gifts. At the end of the day, I’m a Boston Marathoner. Just not proud of it.

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Calm down, relax, start breathing

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Welp, this is it. Pray for me that I make it to the start. And then the finish.

I will be writing a heavily-edited blog for PennLive about the experience if you want to follow along there.

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I’ve just gotta make a clean escape

Emails from my grandma:

“Win or lose this weekend, we are still proud of you.”

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I will not be winning the Boston Marathon. I am just hoping to finish in a respectable time.

On that note, anyone have any music recommendations? I need to finalize my playlist today. And you should see the pile of clothes I am packing. I believe there are more articles of clothing coming with me than are in my closet.

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Then my mind went dark

I started yesterday in such a good mood, the effects of this weekend still lingering. It slowly deteriorated as the day went on. Sometimes I struggle with biting my tongue. I just want to interject BUT you told me that! BUT I asked you that! BUT BUT BUT. Not saying I don’t ever make mistakes, because that is far from the truth. BUT sometimes it’s hard to swallow scolding when you know you’re in the right. It doesn’t help that I take everything personally and have a tough time letting go. I am such a dweller.

Anyway, a quick estimate shows me that by the time I reach the starting line on Monday, I will have logged nearly 650 miles since January 1, the beginning of this training cycle. That’s crazy. I am still so scared- SO scared. But little things are making me smile. My one boss hung up a Boston Strong shirt near my desk with “GO KELLY!” written in post-it’s on it. She also bought me a new pair of nice running socks, a splurge I rarely make.

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When I got home, I had the nicest good luck card from my friend Sloane’s mom. It was so kind and really made me smile.

As did some wise words from my coach.  ” Believe in yourself and have fun. You have done a lot of really good quality work. Go to Boston, have fun, have a great run and hit your goals.”

I keep alternating between being really excited and really nervous, and I am sorry, but this is all I can think or talk or write about for the next week. I hope I can get my nutrition figured out. I don’t know what I ate on Sunday, but something really destroyed my stomach, and it still hurt all day Monday. I am planning to limit gluten and dairy Saturday and Sunday, and totally cutting out vegetables and nuts over the weekend. Alcohol will be nonexistent on Sunday, and limited Friday and Saturday. These are risks that aren’t worth taking. I wish I had someone to hold my hand through all of this, I am incredibly nervous about catching buses and being in the right place at the right time. But as Tim said, “Just follow the herd. You’ll get to where you’re going.”

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Sheep. You are all sheep.

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I know I’ve felt like this before

Seriously, this weather makes me feel like a new person. I am so much happier with sunshine and flip flops and running in shorts and the grocery store has WATERMELON. I just want to soak it all in. It was such a great weekend too.

On Friday, Sloane, Cass, Nadya and I met at Home 231 for some fancy cocktails.

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Sadly, it was pouring, so we couldn’t sit outside, but we still had a great time hanging out at the bar. I stuck with strawberry mojitos. They were so good, I could have drank 105 probably. Just a rough estimate.

The rest of Friday was uneventful, Tim refused to watch Dirty Dancing, so we put on Bridesmaids. Lame, Tim. Nobody puts baby in a corner.

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On Saturday, I ran some miles, and I didn’t cry and my legs worked, so I was one happy camper. I guess now is the time to worry that I bombed all my tempos, didn’t run enough hills and didn’t run any 20-milers. Just kidding, I have been worried about that for the past four months.

After my run, I met Nadya and Liz for yoga detox and retox. I really enjoyed it, but my one complaint is that it went on for nearly two hours. That’s a little too much yoga for me.  Regardless, I feel much more stretched out now! After we finished, we enjoyed some drinks and food outside with Sloane. There are not many things I love more than outside day drinking with friends.

Tim and I made a sweet potato crust pizza for dinner, and went for a walk to have a drink outside and I couldn’t stop gushing about how happy this weather makes me.

Sunday consisted of another great run, I couldn’t stop smiling and finally allowed myself to get a little more excited about Boston. Please let my legs feel like that next week!

Then, Tim and I ran a million errands. I finally got a new phone, but it took TWO HOURS, so that killed our Sunday.  I was disappointed because I wanted to go to the baseball game with everyone, but such is life. We also bought three plants for the house and I love them.

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I hope we don’t kill them. I clearly picked out the base. We slept with the windows open and the house just feels so much better with fresh air.

It was just a good weekend, I spent so much time running, hanging out with friends and being outside. I feel so happy right now.

ONE WEEK! AH.

 

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Supplies are endless in the evening

Some kind of miracle happened yesterday. I went for a run over lunch and nothing hurt. I didn’t cry, I didn’t stop and stretch a million times. My legs just felt good and I enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air and I swear there was a smile the size of a small city on my face the whole time.

I miss that. I am so grateful when it happens. I couldn’t stop grinning all day. Tim and I finished it off with two very windy miles post-work. I was still smiling. It was like I had a totally different set of legs from Tuesday. I just felt good all day. I even stayed up until 8:30 (I KNOW) reading while Tim watched the Flyers.

Anyway, today is finally Friday! Tonight, Tim and I may go to the movies or a baseball game (probably not because of the weather) or happy hour or just sit on the porch. The opportunities and possibilities are endless. Tomorrow, I get to log some miles, before heading to Yoga Detox and Retox with the girls in the afternoon. I had a lot of fun last time, and I am hoping to get nice and stretched out. I need it, my hips are so tight.

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On Sunday, I have so many errands to run. Oh hey, going to Boston next week. First, I am planning to get a new phone. I have an iPhone 4, which doesn’t really bother me, but it’s on its last legs with the battery and I am nervous to take it out of town for a long weekend. Especially a town I am unfamiliar with. I also just need to get better prepared mentally. I should make a list, I like lists. I will definitely have two suitcases. There is something wrong with me.

I really can’t believe this time next week, I’ll be on my way to Boston.

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she was free to waste away. alone.

Now that I have quasi-accepted that I will actually be in Boston next UMMM weekend, I am starting to think about WHAT TO DO THERE??!
Neither Tim nor I have ever been to Boston before, so what to do? where to eat (that my stomach can handle!)? where to visit?
I stumbled upon my Harrisburg Marathon recap yesterday, and it gave me goose bumps. How excited I was, how shocked I was. So, let’s just try to make this go okay. I fluctuate from OMG Boston! to omg, wail, Boston. I am so fucked! (Sorry, Gary!)

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I’ve been laying off the booze lately. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. A good thing in that maybe I am coming out of this funk? Or a bad thing like, “I am so depressed, I don’t even want to drink anymore!” Not that I am an alcoholic, but I just like to drink sometimes casually sometimes erm not so casually. I’m not abstaining or anything, I am sure I will have a few drinks this weekend. But I stopped by happy hour last night and didn’t even really want to drink. It’s weird. I hope it means my health is coming back and I will feel like my old self who could easily run sub-8 minute miles in 11 days.

I’ll keep dreaming.

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