This was the worst race I had ALL year. We had been to Disney for a week during Thanksgiving break, came home to celebrate Thanksgiving, then I headed down to Orange Beach on “Black” Friday. I would definitely say I was tired when I got there from our trip. I had a really bad run the day before we left to go to Disney. I ran 5 miles, felt dizzy and sick to my stomach. I believe I was dehydrated and did not have time to run while we were on vacation. I was extremely nervous about running this half and even though I had been training for the Dopey Challenge at Disney since September, I had not run more than 10 miles since the first week of November. I didn’t feel ready for this race and I think my nerves got the best me. I had not run a half marathon since March, when is when all my health issues started happening.
I have Mitral Valve Prolapse and all the symptoms that comes along with this particular heart condition. I suffer from palpitations, low blood pressure, chest pain, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and major anxiety. (Thank you MVP) These symptoms don’t always occur at the same time, but I’ve had this since I was 23 years old. After running my fastest half in Bay St. Louis in March, I had a headache for three days afterward. Again, I may have been dehydrated. I had to have another minor skin cancer surgery (I’ve had melanoma and basal cell skin cancers), and by mid March I suffered from two panic attacks a couple weeks apart. I am not sure what caused the attacks, but I had two pretty close together. By April, my son had pneumonia, my heart issues flaired up and I wasn’t running much at all. I was tired all the time and had been back and forth to the doctor trying to get help for my anxiety, but nothing worked for me. In May I tried “Thrive” for three days which made my heart rate go up and caused some serious chest pains after I ran 5 miles. I ended up in the ER on May 13, my first ER visit in 13 years. The doctor and nurses said I had a bad reaction to the “Thrive.” I wore a heart monitor for a couple days and my heart had started to race even at night when I was asleep. I went to see my cardiologist at the end of May and he gave me a low dose anxiety medication. I also started wearing a heart rate monitor while running which added more stress.
Back to Kaiser half a a few weeks ago. This was the first half marathon I had ever worn a heart rate monitor. It was chilly that morning when I got to the Orange Beach Sportsplex and I met up with my friend Katherine. I had a spibelt for my phone and carried a 20 ounce water bottle. We sang the National Anthem and we were off. The first three miles were the best I ran the whole race. I started checking my heart rate and my monitor kept reading “174.” I thought that was really high and I didn’t feel like my HR was up that much. I started walking and running after three miles. Every time I tried to run, the monitor would say over 170. I would stop and take my HR myself and it would be about 150. I was so worried and upset about my heart rate, I slowed way down and ended up walking most of the race. My finish time was 2:46:40. I was happy the race was over and I just wanted to go home. I called my husband crying telling him I could not do this any more. He encouraged me and told me to ditch the HR monitor. It’s funny how some races make you want to quit running all together. I’ve been doing this almost 4 years and believe it or not, 2:46:40 is not my slowest half marathon finish time. I walked away from this race frustrated and just plain MAD. Funny how much can change in two short weeks. I managed to find the courage to sign up for Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon and boy am I glad I did.
Have you ever had a race just go terribly wrong? How did you bounce back from that race? Would love to hear your thoughts!