If you follow me on Instagram, you may have already heard that I didn’t finish yesterday’s More/Fitness Women’s Half Marathon.
Let’s start from where we left off yesterday morning.
My cousin Amy and I did our usual pathetic selfie shot while waiting in line for the Port O Potties.
It was a bit chilly but not terrible; the sun was shining, the park was looking beautiful and everyone was ready to line up and get moving.
I felt fine and loaded with that prerace adrenaline that keeps you bouncing in your corral ready to be let loose.
When the race began, it was crowded for the first mile. Like really crowded.
I did my best to weave in and out of the crowd; I had so much energy in my legs that I could hardly contain myself to run slow in the pack.
Somewhere after that first mile though, something got a bit weird. I can’t even fully explain the weirdness but I felt it.
The first hill really didn’t help me, that I can tell you.
I started getting hot which is normal since it was about 50 degrees outside with the sun shining. 50 degrees isn’t all that “warm” but when you run, you warm up internally a good 20 degrees.
Normally that isn’t so terrible but right now it is a new sensation for the season. It has been so cold for so long that I haven’t trained in warm in a while.
I had left my Lulu Run Swiftly long sleeve top on but it is so thin and sweat wicking that I can’t even say it was bothering me.
Something else was bothering me but I couldn’t full pinpoint it.
I kept up my speed to an extent. The hills were rough; rougher than I remember. I kept thinking about the fact that I ran this race last year with an injured shoulder yet didn’t recall the hills affecting me. Strange.
I began to slow a bit but not too terrible. I told myself that I would have time to make it up during the flat parts of the course.
Then the 1:45 pacer sign people bounced their way past me.
I wasn’t thrilled but I let it go. I figured that I would catch them later in the race.
But I still didn’t feel myself. I did my usual internal assessment of what was wrong somewhere after the 5K point I think.
Did my legs feel like lead? Nope. Did anything hurt? Nope. Was I injured? Nope.
So what the heck was wrong? I couldn’t decide but I didn’t feel myself.
I kept going. It wasn’t easy but what race is easy?
I stopped for water and even walked through the stops which I never do thinking the water would help me.
I tried my jelly beans. They didn’t help me.
But what was wrong? I wasn’t sure. But something was off.
At mile five I remember feeling better. We had conquered two of the bad hills and this part of the race was a bit more flat so I gained some speed and I thought I would fall into my groove here.
Yeah, that didn’t last. At some point (maybe at mile six?) I started looking for water again to the point where I was going to die if I didn’t find some.
This might have been where the 1:50 pacer people bounced past me.
I won’t lie; that bothered me. It was not OK but was going to have to be OK because I didn’t feel well.
In fact, somewhere after that I decided I was dizzy. I stopped for water. Literally stopped completely to drink it. I didn’t feel better.
I didn’t feel as though I would actually faint; trust me, I know what that feels like because I have quite the history of fainting due to my low blood pressure.
I tried running a bit slower and told myself that perhaps I could just keep going at a slower pace and see if I could pick it up again when I felt better.
But I wasn’t feeling better at the slowed pace and another round of hills were approaching which is the exact point where I said to myself,
“You do not need to continue this race. You don’t feel well and something inside is telling you to stop so stop. You already know you can run this course. You already know you can run 13.1 miles at a time. Why continue? Stop. Just stop now.”
And stop I did. I hooked a right off the course and I didn’t even feel bad about it.
I did not feel the need to keep going, or even walking the rest of this course just to say I finished.
In my opinion, if you don’t feel well, you stop. There is always another day to run.
I walked around the park waiting for my cousin. I was completely freezing at this point so I got one of the finisher wraps even though I didn’t finish and had no issue telling this to anyone who wanted to take my picture and hand me finish line bagels and apples.
I was proud of myself for knowing that my health was more important than finishing.
I called my mother while I walked around. As I told her I stopped because I didn’t feel well, her first response was, “Weren’t you awaiting the arrival of your monthly visitor?”
Do you know I had completely forgotten about it? Even with all my praying during taper week for it to arrive late?
That was exactly what was wrong. That was what caused me to feel all sorts of dizzy, lightheaded and just not right.
Did I not tell you I get this at the most inopportune of times?
I have never been so happy to see that visitor because it truly gave explanation and validation for how I was feeling. I have a history of fainting during this time of the month.
I had used the MayMyRun app for the race and didn’t shut it immediately upon stopping so who even knows what I ran or even what here is accurate.
Maybe I ran seven miles? I don’t know. And it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that I knew to stop when I didn’t feel well.
Tragically, a 31 year-old man and a 35 year-old man both died yesterday during the Rock n Roll Marathon in Raleigh. Click here for the full article.
When I learned this terrible news, a part of me was once again proud of myself for stopping. Did these men know they didn’t feel well? We may never know.
I am never one to quit; never have I shortened a long run simply because I didn’t feel like running or because my legs were feeling like bricks with sneakers.
When you know something isn’t right inside though, when you feel dizzy or sick, it is a whole other story and I hope you will realize for yourself when it is truly time to stop.
I still went out for my favorite salad last night and now, well, it is business as usual.
I do have a another half on the horizon which is in less than three weeks. I haven’t signed up for it yet but I do believe I will be running it.
In fact, I will be running again this morning. I feel fine now but will take it slow anyway and avoid any form of a hill.
The little boy is off from school this week for spring break and Passover begins tonight at sundown.
Happy Passover to my Jewish friends! I will have some fun kosher for Passover recipes for you tomorrow!
Anyone else not finish a race?
Who ran with me yesterday? Were the hills super killer for you too? I heard a lot of people saying it was rough one yesterday!
What are you making for Passover?