I ran a 30k race in Toronto on Saturday night. It's called "The Midsummer Night's Run". It's different from most races in that it starts at 5:30pm. There is a 15km and 30km route. I did the 30. The route follows roads but it also goes into dark unlit park trails. A lot of people wear flashy lights and faerie costumes. There is even a costume contest. The race volunteers all use glowsticks to direct us. It was actually really neat.
The reason why I wasn't going to write about it is because I just didn't have a good race. I don't know why exactly. Most of the reason was due to bad attitude on my part I think. Running, as we all know, is mostly a mental sport. To start the race in a bad mood is a sure fire way to ruin the entire thing. And ruin it I did. The time of day of the race threw me off. I'm not used to running that kind of distance in the evening. Not to mention my general attitude of late has been dismal. It didn't help at all. The past 3 races I've run I've had this problem and not had a good race. I didn't take in any carbohydrates the whole run which was stupid of me and I also think I have a problem with over-hydrating during the race.
As the title of the post goes, I had no exploding knees and assholes. The knee? After last weeks LSD run I had terrible pain in one of my knees. I had an appointment with the chiro to treat my foot (which is pretty much healed now) and asked about my knee while I was there. Upon close inspection he diagnosed IT band syndrome. Just minor irritation, nothing serious. He directed me not to run until my race and proceeded that comment with this, "If your knee explodes during the race, make an appointment with me right away." It hurt, a lot, in the last 10k of the race. I hobbled a bit, I limped and I walked a lot. But I would not consider this an "explosion" of the knee even though it did very much hinder my performance in a major way.
And my bum? no explosion there either! I did get hit with some pretty major cramps and urgency 3 or 4 times though. Each time I stopped to walk, panicked and considered my options. Then just as fast as it came on, it went away. Hmm.. strange.
I don't want to talk too much about my bad attitude making my race kind of miserable when it should have been a fun and rewarding experience. No numbers here. I'm too embarrassed and pissed off about it.
It's what happened after the race. I know my body pretty well. I am prone to anxiety and panic attacks. About a month ago I hit a whole new low and haven't budged from there since. When this happens (because it has happened many times in the past couple years) I usually end up having a panic attack. It's cumulative though and after many weeks it will hit me. Hit me it did, at the most inopportune moment of course and with no warning. I was standing in a long line up to get on the shuttle bus that would take us back to the parking lot. I felt the wave of anxiety flush over me and thought, "No, not here!!". If you've ever had a panic attack, you know that once that train has left the station, there is no stopping it. It will run it's course whether you want it to or not. I began sweating and my skin started tingling. Then the dreaded tunnel vision. What follows tunnel vision is the blackness. I crumpled to the ground as my vision disappeared. There I stayed, head in hands as the line started to move. This was really happening and there was nothing I could do and nowhere I could go to get away from the crowd.
A few people stopped. I remember hearing, "is she okay?". I remember feeling somebody shaking me and pulling my hat off my head. I was really out of it. They offered me water thinking that I was dehydrated from the race. I drank close to 3 litres on the course so I was not at all dehydrated. The woman told me she was a nurse and saw the infusion set on my arm and asked if I wore an insulin pump. Then it got uncomfortable. How do you explain you aren't having a low when you are a diabetic crumpled shaking and sweating on the ground? Food and drinks were being shoved in my face yet I couldn't really communicate. I stumbled through my bag to get my meter bits out of my sweaty Tummietote. I tested. 6.9 mmol/l (124 mg/dl). I was fine. The nurse (and now joined by a paramedic) urged me to have something anyway in case I was dropping. I stomached a few fruit chews, I was already feeling super nauseous. Then the questions.
"Did you run the 15k?" - No I ran the 30
"Are you alone?" - Yes
"Can you get someone to come and pick you up?" - No, I live in Hamilton (80km away)
"You ran a 30k race alone with diabetes and you live in Hamilton?!"
Yes, us diabetics have to be independent sometimes.
I was not in fact having a low. I tried to explain that I was having a panic attack. They helped me off the ground and they walked me over to the paramedic tent. I sat there for a good 15 minutes until I felt well enough to get to my car and drive home.
As if my body wasn't hurting enough physically from the race now the panic attack had wiped me of everything I had left in me. I made it home - barely. It was a long drive. I struggled to keep my eyes open which wasn't easy as my contact lenses were all fogged over and ironed onto my eyeballs. I collapsed into bed after a much needed shower and slept hard for almost 10 straight hours. I totally ignored the fact that my blood sugars were through the roof as a result of the panic attack. I just... slept.
Thank you to the nice nurse lady who expressed concern.
I did have grand plans to write a nice post about my evening. I even went so far as to photograph people while I waited for the race to start. I thought I'd at least try to end this post on a good note so here are a few pictures.
The volunteer shirts. They pretty much glowed in the dark. I love how it says "mortal" on the back.
I hope this guy never sees my blog.
I saved the best for last. It was a long time before I realized this was a man. Also, at this race there are no pace bunnies, instead there are pace faeries! This man was a pace faerie. Too funny. I loved that people went out of their way to dress up. He passed me at one point and I giggled under my breath at the mass amount of pink taffeta. I can't imagine running 30k dressed like that (fake boobs and all!). I couldn't help but wonder what kind of bad chafing he endured.