I’m not really sure what the photo company that Reebok uses for the Warrior Dash is up to, but a few mornings ago, I woke up to an email containing the photos from one of the first races I did over two years ago.
This picture made me smile for a few reasons.
One, because I barely have any memory of this race. I think I might have fallen down and sprained my ankle a little bit during this race, but I really, for the life of me, can’t remember!
The other reason is Austin’s incredible facial expression. I think we were both having a great time – we typically do every time we do something active together, but what an incredible facial expression, right? This is going to be my husband!
Feeling the itch.
I ran a ton of races back to back in the spring, and my body decided that it was ready to take a break after all of that, and that’s probably good since I had a wedding to plan and all that good stuff. But today, I was at the Whole Foods, and I saw a flyer for a race I’d run in October of 2013. I also saw another ad for the Greensboro Marathon, and part of me was a little tempted to maybe take on that challenge again – but no, right? I need to focus on everything that’s going on here.
But I really am starting to feel like I’m ready to get back in the racing game. My runs have been good – the heat has been tough, but I’ve been really comfortable with how my body has seemed to adapt to time/distance even though we haven’t been there in a while. I know for a fact that I have Ragnar in November, but does a challenge in October sound cool? Not sure yet.
If you’ve been following along carefully, as I’m sure you have, you’ll recall that mid-26.2, I was halted by a sudden urgency to vomit. And 18 miles into my second marathon, I left my DNA all over someone’s lawn somewhere between Elon and Greensboro North Carolina.
I’d been experiencing some GI discomfort since I got food poisoning in September, and my GP’s explanation just wasn’t cutting it for me. Plus, anytime I ate anything, or even looked at food the wrong way, I’d wake up in horrid pain.
So, since I had the appointment, I didn’t have work, so I dressed extra cute for the occasion. I so rarely look good in public due to the fact that I work out, so when I do dress like a regular human being, I really take it up a notch. Even put on the Spanx under. I felt so cute, in fact, that I took the requisite bathroom selfie for my viewing pleasure later on.
“Work, honey!” I said to myself.
And off to the stomach Dr. I went.
Dr. H: Tell me what’s going on!
Me: [I describe my symptoms to him] Sir, I also threw up in the middle of a marathon.
Dr. H: A marathon?! What is that, like twenty…whatever. That’s extreme.
Me: Well, bye, I never usually throw up when I run so…
Dr. H: [points at the remnants of my green breakfast smoothie] What is that? Does that bother your stomach? I bet! [I start to kind of wiggle from buttcheek to cheek here]. Do you drink alcohol? [I wince right over here]. How about gum…do you chew gum? [I start to fidget in my seat, and bounce my ballet-flatted foot around]. How about coffee. You drink coffee?
Then, being the brilliant, educated young woman I am, I have to explain to Dr. H that I wore Spanx to a gastroenterology appointment, and that he’ll have to excuse me while I wrangle my body out of the giant compression sock I sewed myself into that morning in order for him to you know, examine me. I thought we were just gonna chat! He looked really confused. I’m sorry, dude. I wasn’t thinking.
It’s acid-related (duh), either an ulcer, or some lovely hydrocholoric acid splashing to and fro in my stomach. So the grand list of things I’m no longer allowed to do.
No ibuprofen. I told you I just finished my 2nd marathon, right?
No gum. ::blank stare::
No more smoking cigarettes. Okay, doc, gotcha covered. No prob. That’s the one thing I know I don’t do.
Citrus is bad. So that smoothie I drink every morning? With pulpy delicious OJ as the base? Apparently was just tearing my stomach to shreds.
No coffee/caffeine. Is this a joke? This is a joke, right?
No kombucha. My will to live is dwindling.
No mint and chocolate. The only candy I eat is York Peppermint Patties.
No Italian, tomato-y food.
No alcohol. Is beer included in that?
And the kicker? I have to get scoped the day before Thanksgiving, to see how bad my stomach lining is. But on the plus side, it’s a pretty simple procedure, and they’ll IV me up with the same stuff that Michael Jackson used to use to get to sleep. Lucky for me, Dr. Conrad Murray doesn’t have his medical license, so I think I should be decent on, you know, living and stuff.
Alright guys, I’ve already done really awesome, I’m chewing a piece of Eclipse as I write this, and I just slammed a glass of ice water with lemon as a garnish. Jesus take the wheel.
I have never been so glad to be done with a race in my entire life.
Following the conclusion of the race, I kept running, and ran directly into the medical tent, where I calmly informed the EMT that I needed fluids.
Here’s how it went down.
Saturday morning, I woke up around 5 with a stomachache. SHOOT! So I ran down to the car, grabbed some Tums and a Prilosec, and waited for them to kick in. They kinda seemed to, and by the time we’d made our way to a very chilly start line, I decided that I felt okay. And off we went.
It was cold, but not unbearably so. I’d dressed perfectly. A thin, long-sleeved Brooks top, a Brooks Nightlife Vest, stuffed to the gills with goodies, gloves, and 3/4ths tights. On the feet were the Glycerin 11 (an excellent choice of a shoe), and some Smartwool socks. When it felt like my hands were going to fall off, I palmed my boobs under the vest, and as silly as it seems, the warmth made the ride really comfortable.
I stuck to the plan. About 6.5 miles in, I started with my first bit of nutrition, and the nagging tummy ache that had been bothering me started to flare up. I tried everything to push it away. I breathed the cool, fresh fall air. I house shopped. I focused on music. But it wouldn’t leave. By the time another 6 had passed, and it was time for more nutrition, I couldn’t do it. I nibbled at another piece of Clif Shot Bloks, and the stomachache started up, worse than before.
The stomachache was too real. Katy Perry came on with ‘Roar’. And I dissolved into tears. I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared this, but I get hyper-emotional during races. It’s an introspective period of time, and the thought of the message of the song, the stomach pain, and the fact that I was over halfway in the race got to me. Get it together, Cheri. Someone is going to see you crying and think something is really wrong.
I literally pulled over in a field, and the stomachache was just too much. I barfed in a field. Everything I’d eaten, all the water, and all the nutrition was gone. A cop looked on, sorrowfully. But I couldn’t give it up, I was only like 8 miles from the finish!
So I knew that I’d lost all my nutrition and all my water. And the thought of eating was producing more vomit. So I kept up with my water, and trudged through the last bit of the marathon.
I did it.
It was abysmally slow. I was a little sunburned. But I did it, run-walking that last 8 miles or so. Once I finished, I med-tented, explained to them what had happened, and let them check my levels. I was fine, understandably a little dehydrated, and not feeling like eating ever again.
I finished. I’m a two-time marathoner!! And upon an appointment with a gastro, I am totally ready for the next running adventure.
Marathons are very much like weddings in that you do this…thing.
You check the weather incessantly, smiling when it looks good (about 10 days out), and progressively getting more anxious as you realize that things aren’t going to go the way you planned. That’s so life right?
You have to understand where I’m coming from here though. There was a point during training where I was running, in the mountains of Pennsylvania on a 94-degree day with like 77% humidity. I never dried off that day, btws. Never for a second did I think that I’d be crossing the start line in Greensboro with a starting temp of 32 degrees.
Of course, there are a few conflicting reports on what temp we’re starting in, but the truth is, it’s gonna be effing cold.
No matter, it’s off to the running store I go tonight. Objective? A better pair of gloves that actually fit my limbs, and those little hot hands thingies to stick in my gloves while we’re just chilling and waiting around for the gun to go off. And it’s time (now two days away) to plan a good outfit.
4 days away from the Greensboro Marathon, and I’m a little alarmed that I’m not freaking out or having a psychotic break. All I can think about is eating a biscuit from Biscuitville with an egg on it. 26.2 miles, and all I can think about is the fat I can consume immediately following. Oh well, have me arrested if you don’t like it.
This video though. The one I related to the best was the isolation, which I distinctly felt at like miles 17-19 of my first marathon. Justin Timberlake Pandora was playing, and I remember wondering where everyone was.
What I didn’t relate to, however, was the wall, and knock on wood for my amazing co-workers who guided me through the nutrition needed to prevent that exhausted feeling, I hope I don’t hit it this time. 4 days! Eep!
I apologize for the somewhat sporadic posts, but as things go, my life has been turned every which way. While I was at camp, I got word that my first-floor-condo had flooded when the guy on the third floor went to throw in a load of laundry. The water dripped (and dripped is the absolutely wrong word for what it did) down and destroyed the building. Weirdly enough, the belongings were good, but the walls, the floor, the baseboards, everything, just had to be ripped out.
And so there was the mad dash to find a place to live.
And then the mad dash to get everything packed.
And then the mad dash to recruit victims to help move.
And now, I’m here, blogging to you amongst cardboard boxes, trying to eat my breakfast out of a Gladware container because I can’t, for the life of me, remember where I packed the bowls, and even if I did remember, I haven’t put any contact paper down to put them away. Oh well. Can’t be bothered right now.
Anyhoo, so in the midst of all of that, the Greensboro Marathon is still approaching, and I’ll be darned if all of this will affect my training.
But I needed to do my long run (10 miles) yesterday, and I didn’t feel like it. I really didn’t feel like it. And then, like a sign from the heavens, I checked my Instagram. And one after another, pictures like this started to come across.
CPT, my camp home, hosted their second annual 5k yesterday. It’s kind of, no it is, incredible, because you’re talking about kids that came to camp not having exercised in weeks, months, years, some of them. For them to be over halfway done with camp, and to have run a 5k, is nuts. Absolutely nuts.
So my whining turned to motivation when I saw picture after picture after picture of my girls, my fellow counselors, and the guys finishing their 5k, some of them shaving TONS of time off from their 5k in the previous year. With that in mind, I set out on my 10-miler that wrapped up with me feeling accomplished and like I’d shared with my girls, the 5k experience.
This week, my first week back at home in Raleigh, has been a whirlwind of working, teaching Zumba classes, adding new songs to my lineup, job things, and trying to reset my life here in Raleigh. Honestly, it was hard to leave my mom last Saturday morning, and I wish I didn’t have to. But she’s improving, and I can’t hang around my parents’ house forever, right? So my week in a few pitchurs.
The Greensboro Marathon. Oh guess who’s doing their second marathon in October? If you guessed Sydney Poitier, you guessed wrong. ME! I am doing the Greensboro Marathon October 26th, after I searched both high and low for a race I could do (within financial reason) this fall! The race starts in Elon (which obviously, I’m obsessed with because I went there, duh,), and ends in downtown Greensboro. I’m hoping for a little bit prettier weather than the marathon I did last spring, and I’m better prepped for how boring life will get around mile 17. I can do this! Hang in there for marathon posts, I’m sure there will be a TON.
Zucchini Fire. It’s zucchini season in good ol’ NC, and I’ve come into possession of several humongous zucchini weanies. I had to find a way to cook them. And what other way than grating them into some zucchini bread? Well, me being the domestic goddess that I am, I overfilled my bread pans, and they leaked into the oven, where they started a fire in my kitchen. Not kidding. I was literally using my lungs to put it out in a desperate effort to save my bread. The bread was saved, and I only had to spend like 89 hours scrubbing the oven out with a piece of steel wool. #Winning.
Headstand victory. My yoga teacher, the young little Emily Wallace down at Indigo Hot Yoga, let us play around with a few headstands today, and instructed us, step-by-step, on how to get up into one. I got up, and was able to stay up for a few seconds. Do I need more work? Yes. Do I need to get a little more consistent in my practice to continue to see progress, and to continue being a Bendy Wendy, even when I train for this marathon? Absolutely. But it felt good, and it took my mind off of serious stuff to be able to work out my core and stay up in a headstand for a while.