Thursday, October 13, 2011

Long Beach half marathon Race Recap

I don't even know where to start with this one.
OK first THANK YOU ALL for your kind messages and for your concerns.  I truly appreciate it.  I am much better. FOR REAL.

LONG BEACH HALF MARATHON (Half Marathon #4 and race #25)

Will was running the kids race on Saturday morning so we left at around 8:30 am and headed to Long Beach.  The kids race was at the Aquarium of the Pacific.  It was really well organized.  The best kids race so far for sure.  Disneyland should take some notes from this one to improve on their kids race.  They had waves every 20 min by age groups.  No crazy insane waiting like at Disneyland.  They had fences to keep the crowd away from the course but we could still see our kids very good.  The announcer for the Marathon was there for the kids race and he was great.  They had this bird named Lola who was there to replace the tradition gun for the start, instead she would open her wings, it was pretty cool..see pics below.  Will did great!  He gave the mascots high 5 on his way back, he finished with his arms up like he had one the gold medal at the Olympic games!!!


After this we decided to head to the Expo even though it was lunch time.  It was pretty hot already and I needed to drink and I did not. I know. I know.  The Expo was pretty crowded, the kids are not very patient when we all go to these so we did not stay long.  I got my stuff and we took a quick tour, I did not see anything special..they did have nice race merchandise but very expensive so I did not get anything.  I like the bib and the bag we got, the shirt no so much. 

On our way to the Convention center (we left the car at the Aquarium) we saw a huge bookstore where all the books were $1.  If you read all the crap I write here you know I LOVE books.  My kids love books also.  So...even though it was way pass lunch time and I was getting dehydrated we made a quick stop there.  I wish that store was in MY town!  I could have stayed there for hours.
We got some books for the kids and we headed back to the car.  I was thirsty, hungry, hot, tired, you get it.

We went to the hotel and Bill took the kids out for lunch while I stayed and tried to rest and eat (I brought my own food).  I could not sleep, too much noise next door.  Boys came back and we had to get ready to go to Los Angeles.  We needed to be there by 6 pm to pick up the meet and greet passes.  We could NOT be late for this!   I drank water and NUUN as much as I could and I ate..but not enough. 
I said it in my previous post but I'll say it again this guy is fantastic!

I thought the show would be over by 11 pm but no..I forgot this is Saturday night in LA...and he had 2 surprise guests (John Fogerty and Jack Black) so he played until 11:30 pm.   Great for the Keith fan in me, not so great for the runner.  I could see the hours of sleep shrinking by the minute.

We got to the hotel well after midnight.  On the way home I had decided that the kids would NOT get up for the start and that I would just walk to the race by myself.  The hotel was about a mile away so no big deal.

I did not sleep at all.  I am not kidding.  Jonathan kept hitting me, I was afraid I would not hear my alarm on my watch, I was super stressed.  I got up at 5:30 and I got ready in the bathroom.  I was really tired.  I did not know how I would run 13 miles.  I was a bit worried. 

I walked with many other runners to the race.  I got there and went for the porta potty endless lines.  I was able to say hello to Rebekah, her dad and her father in law before the race and we walked to the really crowded starting line. was impossible to get to the wave I was supposed to be in so I started at the back. It was fine, I just had to remind myself to not pay attention to the clock along the way because I was more then 20 minutes behind. 

Even thought it was a very crowded race, I thought this start was a lot better than the one at Disneyland.  Yes I had to pass a lot of people but not as many walkers this time.  I decided to start slow because I was very tired and I did not want to crash at mile 6.  The hotel we were staying at was on the course so Bill said he  and the kids would be around mile 4 or 5.  I saw them from far away and I started waving like a mad woman and I was sure that Bill was seeing me but no, he was so not ready for me when I got there.  He said he thought I would pass later than I did.  He did manage to snap these pics thought so I am happy:

I did like this course.  I did not mind that there were a lot of people.  This was my first time in Long Beach so I liked looking around and see new things.  Lot's of nice people on the course.  One woman had a sign that said "YOU ARE ALL CRAZY!" I stopped to tell her that was my favorite sign!  They had mile markers and sometimes I was off but for the most part I was right on it, I ended up with 13.13 on my Garmin so pretty good.  I tried to be good about my drinking but at mile 6 I realized I had not finished the bottle I was carrying in my hands and by then it should have been emptied. 

Then mile 7....chest pain, calf pain...I stopped running and I walked for a while.  The calf pain did not worry me too much, I WAS RUNNING it should hurt a little...but the chest that was another story.  At first I thought it is just heartburn and decided to drink only water and no more NUUN for a while.  It got better and I could run again.  I did take several walking breaks for the rest of the race.  I walked fast and I ran.  I just wanted to FINISH.  At mile 9 I got sick, lovely.

I finished running.  I had nothing left.  I was so done.  I was also not feeling the greatest.  It took me a long time to find my family.  When I did we still had to walk back to the hotel.  That one mile walk felt like 10 to me.

My new strategy to prevent people from passing me!


Best supporting crew

Way better than a PR!

I was sad because I did not see Rebekah after the race, we did not take our traditional picture together.  Later I found out that she did AWESOME.  Well better than AWESOME actually.  2:02:16 for her FIRST half marathon! I am so proud of her!

We got to the hotel, I took an ice bath and we had to pack really quick and hit the road.  On the way back home...things got worst for me. 

Chest pain and shortness of breath.  I was also really worried.  We decided that I should go get checked at the hospital.  Better safe than sorry.  So I ended up in the ER.  I was not well at all when I got there.  I could not stand up.  I had some numbness in my toes, pins and needles in the hands and face, chest was not good.  They took me in right away.  They thought I had a blood clot.  I got a CT scan for my lungs.  It came back negative.  My blood test came back with elevated troponin (cardiac enzymes).  That is not good.

From WebMD:

Low levels of these enzymes and proteins are normally found in your blood, but if your heart muscle is injured, such as from a heart attack, the enzymes and proteins leak out of damaged heart muscle cells, and their levels in the bloodstream rise.

So I got admitted in the cardiac unit because of that.  They did tell me the reason and that they needed to see if I had a heart attack.  At that point I had a different kind of attack: an anxiety attack. Who wants to hear that? NOT ME.  I tried to calm down to say goodbye to the kids without crying and they took me to a room.  Kids went home with Bill and I stayed there alone. :(.  It was a long night with almost no sleep. Lot's of tests, EKG, blood test, ultrasound, ect.
The cardiac unit is quite different than the other floors.  I had 2 nurses just for me.  That is crazy.  They said that is protocol.  I had several other nurses who came and see me, they called me "the runner with the accent".  Around 2 am my levels did go down.  The next day more tests.  I was told I would need to do a stress test on the treadmill.  Nurse Jon informed me that all I had to do is stay on the TM until my HR gets to 180.  Then he added that they had bets going on about how long it would take me! No pressure.  I had to pass the test to go home.  I wanted to go home.  I did not know exactly what was required to pass and I was a little worried because I was tired and I had not eaten a lot since my race.  They let me eat very little at 7 am and then nothing until 1 pm the time of the test.  I went for the test with the cardiologist.  They plugged all the wire and the BP machine and turned the TM on.  I asked how long this will take, they said usually 5 to 10 min max.  OK I can do that.  Every minute they increase the speed and the TM is at pretty steep incline.  I realized that it was going to take a lot longer than 10 minutes to get to 180.  It took 20 minutes to get to 110.  The Dr said that 160 would be enough for me.  After 30 minutes I was at 120 and she said that clearly my heart was fine.  They increased the speed to get me to 160 and I got off and she told me I had passed and I could go home.  So I did not have a heart attack.  She said that elevated cardiac enzymes can come from the skeletal muscles after hard effort.  That is the conclusion to this nightmare.

I am fine now, just tired.  I got the green light for running and I need to follow up with my Dr to check my levels again.

Did you fall asleep reading all that crap?
I would not blame you!!!!

No time to read proof this so forgive the grammar mistakes and typos.

My official time: they got back to me and they said 2:28:34 and no 10k split and apologized.  That is impossible.  I have 2:31 on my watch.  Whatever. Still not a PW or a PR but a FINISH

Long Beach: I will be back next year and I won't go to a concert the night before.
Clearly that was too much.
We learn from our mistakes and we move on.


Carrie said...

I'm so glad you are ok! What a scary post-race experience.

The concert sounds like it was amazing and it's so neat that your son got to meet Keith. Awesome memories. (sorry didn't get a chance to comment on that actual post)

Long Beach is so nice down by the water, it looked like a great race. Congrats on Half Marathon #4! That's fantastic!

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

So thankful you are fine. What a scare.

XLMIC said...

I am so glad you are okay, Caroline. So, so glad.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

First off - so glad you are fine!!! That was pretty scary just reading. It wasn't boring at all, I was hanging on every word. The heart is nothing to mess around with!

You are obviously a "hardcore" runner! I'm always impressed with the way you persevere through your races. You are a warrior! Also, after all of the news about the hospital visit, you actually gave us an oh by the way, my time was ... that was awesome!

We always hear so many comparisons between the Canadian vs. US health care - would you have been able to pop into the emergency room in Canada like that? Or would they have admitted you as quickly as they did? Just curious. I don't know how things work up there - just curious!

Glad you're okay ... runner with the accent!

Julie said...

I am SO glad that you are OK! What a nightmare!

I absolutely LOVE your new strategy to keep people from passing you. So smart ;-)

Anne said...

Phew!!!!! Très contente que ce ne soit pas ton coeur ma chère. Fais attention à Bravo pour ton demi. Tu es incroyable...quelle force de caractère! :)

The Unexpected Runner said...

I am so glad you are ok! What a relief!

Jim...that sounds like an awesome (unusual?) hospital Caro was at! I work in PA in a top cardiac hospital and you'd be admitted to a cardiac med/surg floor with a 5-8 RN:patient ratio depending on the shift.

Canada...I think you'd be admitted with elevated troponins even's a ticket to the front of the line anywhere!

Caroline said...

What do you mean by unusual?
There was nothing unusual I think. Was taken quickie in the ER took several hours to get a room though

Yes in Canada it would have been the same But for FREE

SupermomE12 said...

What a scary and rotten end to a great weekend! I am so sorry that happened but SO glad that all is well with you now. Hospitals are NO FUN at all. I hope that you are having a great week now and have caught up on your rest. hugs!

Laura said...

So glad you are ok...that is scary...
The runner with the accent..that kills me. I know when my hubs had his internal bleed, we were known as the youngest and fittest on the cardiac ward. A dubious honour but still funny.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I am so gald your ok, that is scary, is there a follow up to see what the root cause of this is?

Congrats on the race

Darlene said...

Congrats on #4 - A finish is a finish. You can guarantee that the next one will be better. Glad you are fine.

Nelly said...

Wow, that is a scary story. I'm glad that it seems like you are okay now. Like others above, is there any way to figure out why this happened to you? Maybe it was a combination of being somewhat dehydrated from all the weekend activity and doing a half marathon? I know XLMIC said that it was hot, I bet that contributed somewhat.

Nelly said...

And yea, isn't that Spirit of the Marathon blog awesome? I thought the Long Beach recap was my favorite by far as well. It is powerful seeing photos of people doing the race, as well as getting their medals. Very poignant photos.

Kerrie T. said...

Wow. What a scary thing. So glad you are OK, though. And, dang, not a bad time at all for no water, food, sleep and not feeling good!

Zaneta said...

I'm so glad you are ok!!
I know this is scary! I went thru the same thing... I ended up being told that I had overtrained and to take a couple weeks off of exercising... since then, I've learned to listen to my body... pay attention to chest pain, to know the difference between a cold and over doing it, and I haven't had any problems! :)
Get some good rest!! :)

Coy Martinez said...

I was super worried reading this! I always have fear about these kinds of things! The most important thing is that you were ok and able to finish! Was it hot that day? Sometimes when it's warm out I get crazy swelling in my hands. Freaks me out.

Anyway, glad you're ok.

Black Knight said...

Glad you are ok now but that experience was very scary.
Now another half is under your belt, congrats. I like your strategy to prevent people from passing you and your wonderful supporting crew.
Now think positive and be ready for the next adventure.

Black Knight said...

...I forgot, John Fogerty. As an OLD man I grew with the music of the CCR long time ago.....

Colleen said...

First, how scary! I'm so glad that you were smart enough to go get everything checked out. And I'm super happy to hear that it's nothing serious. Hugs...

Congrats on a great race!

Fruit Fly said...

Whoa! That will certainly be a race you'll never forget. What a crazy experience, I'm so glad it all had a happy ending!!

RoseRunner said...

what a nightmare....I'm so sorry. The anxiety must have been the worst. Are you going to take some time off from racing?

Wish you the best and good health