Ready Set…Go

Okay…so the race was a little while ago. I’ve been busy. (whoopee).

As it turns out, I walked almost a 10k. The day of the race dawned balmy and bright. I was up early and out the door to make sure Katherine and I were on time for the pre-event festivities, namely photos by various and sundry. After lining up and kneeling on the pavement numerous times, I stretched my reluctant knees and considered my position. My training had not gone as smoothly as I might have hoped. Shingles, insomnia, anemia (not to mention two small people who call me ‘Mom”) had all kept me off my feet more than I would have liked leading up to an official race. However, here I am standing next to a woman who is still in chemo (Wendy) and one who has started 5 weeks of rads (Katherine), both of whom are walking the 10k. Feeling like a wuss, I agree, reluctantly, to go for the 10…reasoning that we’ll be walking slow-ish, it’s a cool morning, etc.

This was good for quite a while. The early mile or so was quite paced as we were in a pack of hundreds. After breaking free of the multitudes, we set off at a clip, down Congress, across the river, turn on Oltorf….here’s where it starts to lose continuity for me. I was tired and realized we were half-way there (yes, the irony of reaching the 5k mark and realizing right where I was). But I pushed on as Kathryn was happily chatting next to me and Wendy was in the lead. “No problem…I’m drinking plenty of water and it really isn’t that hot yet.” As we passed the 5 mile mark, I realized we had been walking for just over an hour (good pace) and were coming up on another fairly big hill. All of a sudden, confidence waned. I looked at Katherine and said, ‘That hill looks a bit intimidating.’ We slowed and let Wendy and her friend Marc pull ahead.

I hit the hill…and the hill hit back. I was, in fact, the only person in our 120+ person group to require medical assistance. I just stopped breathing properly. Silly me. My blood pressure went through the roof, my oxygen uptake went waaaaay down. Anemia a big way. After a rest and some oxygen, I felt better. The paramedics were very sweet, but asked surprisingly hysterical questions like:

“Do you have any health problems, mam?”…my answer, “You mean other than the cancer?”

“Are you taking any medications”….my answer “You’re kidding, right?”

In the end, they offered to 1) take me to the hospital (no thanks), 2) drive me in their cute little cart to the finish line (really, no thanks) or 3) follow me like a guardian angel while I walked it out. I chose 3, but Katherine and I peeled off before reaching the finish line to go to the car. She had a son and a ball game and we were a wee bit late.

It was a good experience. I walked about 5.2 miles and I now, definately, know my limits. If you don’t push your limits you’ll never really find the edge and next time…who knows…I might be able to go farther.


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