Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Race Day Mishaps - aka My First Marathon (Tuesdays on the Run Edition)

January 2015.  Walt Disney World.  My first marathon. 

My training up to the marathon was great.  My longest run 23 miles (as I was coming down with the flu), but I felt prepared.  I was nervous but I knew I could do it.

My Mantra

I traveled down to Disney World with my parents.  The trip was going well.  I volunteered for the 5k - it was FREEZING.  Like 30 degrees FREEZING.  That is not what I expected when going down to Florida in January.  I got to see my friend Candace who was running Dopey that year.  We went to Universal the rest of the day and saw all the new Harry Potter things (amazing and highly recommended).

Water, get your ice cold water here

Thursday I ran the 10k with Candace.  It was a nice shack out run two days before my marathon.  We had fun taking it easy and chatting the whole way.

I had no idea who they were but they looked great!

I decided to get a chicken quesadilla for lunch.  Plans for the day were maybe a park, depending on how everyone was feeling.  And I wasn't feeling all that great shortly after.  Yes, I had food poisoning. 

I spent all night Friday going between the bed and the bathroom.  It was horrible.  I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't eat.  I couldn't even get water down me.  I got some Ginger Ale and crackers and that didn't help. 

Saturday I woke up and had to work.  We had a major deployment that was happening and had to help out.  I was feeling a little better, but still couldn't get any food or water down.  On the phone at the hotel there was a button to call for medical help, and I called.  The man that answered said I had a few options, but the best one was probably to go to the hospital to get fluids.  If I want to a Patients First type place, they couldn't do that there.  The only problem, how do I get there?  By ambulance.

I have never been in an ambulance ever in my life and really didn't think it was necessary, but that was the best way to get me there.  The paramedics met me in my room and took vitals and asked a lot of questions.  They put me on a stretcher and wheeled me to the ambulance.  I will tell you every single person stared at me wondering what was going on.  They sent my folks in a taxi, with a voucher to pay for it.

At the hospital, I was hooked to an IV and most everyone attending to me was saying that I probably wouldn't be able to run the next day.  I was devastated to say the least.  The fluids and medicine I was given was making me feel better, but I still felt very weak.  I got some prescription meds and  we took a taxi home.

As a side note, I do have to say the Disney staff was amazing.  They paid for the taxi both ways and while I'm still paying of a huge hospital bill, the ambulance was never part of that charge.  The staff and management asked after me over the next few days seeing how I felt.  They were amazing.

I was able to eat some plain pasta and get some fluids in me.  I went to bed not knowing what to expect the next day.  I had trained so hard.  I had traveled so far.  And when I woke up I knew I had to start.  It would be OK if I didn't finish, but I had to at least see what I could do.  I'd be too disappointed in myself if I didn't at least try. 

(Dead Last Finish is better then Did Not Finish which is better then Did Not Start)

The start of the race I was feeling much better then I had in the last two days.  I was able to eat my Honey Stinger Waffle and not feel bad.  I was trying to get some water in me, knowing I had a long day ahead of me.  I did have a costume ready for the race, but changed my mind and just wore shorts and a shirt.  I needed to be as comfortable as possible.

The race started and I headed through the first few miles.  Went into Magic Kingdom and through the castle.  On the way out at the hotels around mile 7 I found my parents cheering for me.  I stopped and told my mom that so far I felt good.  I would see them in ESPN.

A few miles later, my stomach was starting to bother me again.  Not horrible, but noticeable.  Especially when I ran.  I continued my walk/runs.  Before getting into Animal Kingdom, I decided to walk a whole mile and see how long that would take me.  It took like 18 minutes so I knew I couldn't cut that.  So I had to run some.

Now, when I got to Everest I had a major decision to make.  I have been dreaming of riding Everest in the middle of the marathon the moment I heard you could do that.  It was the one thing I really wanted to do, besides finish the marathon.  But my stomach was all icky.  In the end I knew I would regret it if I didn't ride the ride.  So I rode.

It didn't make me feel better, but it didn't make me feel worse.  The adrenaline rush was a big boost half way through the race.  It was so much fun riding a ride in the middle of the marathon and it was so worth everything.  I was so glad I decided to do it.

The rest of the race was about the same.  I walked and I felt better.  I ran and my tummy got upset.  But not bad enough to stop.  Most of the second race I stopped at every medical tent and got some Pepto tabs.  I'm not sure if they made me feel better in the long run, but I was happy to chew on them.  I was able to get a few Gus down but by the end of the race the thought of them was not making me happy.

I saw my folks at ESPN when it started to drizzle.  They were such troopers!  I told them that I hadn't been feeling good, but I was still moving forward.  I wanted to keep going and I knew I would see them at the finish.

I made it into Epcot and knew, no matter what, I would be finishing the race.  I continued on with my walk/run and made it to the finish line.  I had done it!  I had finished my first marathon! 

I saw my friends Meranda and Lacy at the finish.

 I got my medal and my snack pack and looked inside.  ICK!  I dug further and found an apple sauce pack.  I thought I would give it a try and OMG that was the best thing in the world.  I was able to scrounge for a second and was so happy for a bit of food that I didn't want to throw up.  Now, I always have apple sauce packs around.  I wish they were easier to carry on a run.

So happy to finish!

I knew that if I could finish a marathon after having food poisoning, I could do anything.

Have you ever been sick before a big race?  Have you ever done anything that made you think you could do anything in the world?


  1. Oh I so remember this! Disney was definitely generous and attentive to your needs. Kudos to them.

    I am so glad that you were able to get through this race. So many things (for good or bad) made it so memorable! Your parents are so cute in that pic!
    Tell me again what your costume was suppose to be for the full?

    1. The Mad Hatter. I had a fun shirt and a cute headband with the hat on it. I still haven't worn that for a race, yet.

  2. Oh wow, that is so nice that Disney took care of you so well. That sounds so horrible, having food poisoning right before a big race. Very impressive that you were able to finish the race and even ride the roller coaster :)

  3. I am so impressed. SO impressed. I also had a food poisoning situation and there was no way I could do a full like that- the half was hard enough! GO YOU.

    1. I just read your post about that. At least I had an extra day between, you didn't. Go us!

  4. Wow, can't imagine having food poisoning before a big race.

    1. Yeah, it's nothing I would wish on my worst enemy. Thanks for reading!

  5. Wow that's a crazy story. It seems like food poisoning is rather common at WDW. Wonder why that is... glad you got to run your race, though!

  6. You are tough! I can't believe you ran a full after dealing with all of that. You'll definitely have that to look back on the next time something seems too difficult. Awesome job!