John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Monday, November 7, 2011

First DNF

I received my first DNF!

Here is what went down: I woke up and was excited to run this little 10k for fun. Easy 6.2 miles during my taper, right? I took my vitamins like I do every morning... and just like every morning, I gagged myself... and dry heaved (I seriously do this every morning... so much so that my kids leave the bathroom because it makes them want to puke.) My heart started racing... I didn't think anything of it.

As I was dressing, my heart was still racing. It was weird... but I just got ready, grabbed my stuff and met the gang outside of my house to walk to the start line. I joked about what had happened and how my heart was racing... but didn't think it was anything.

My husband hugged me goodbye and I felt like he was squeezing the breath out of me. It was weird... but I walked with the gang thinking it would go away. As we walked the mile to the start, it did not go away. We started a little jog to warm up and I stopped. Again, still not thinking it was anything seriously... but starting to get a little worried. Of course worrying wasn't going to slow my heart down, so I tried not to think about it.

Race started and I got about 2/10ths of the way in and felt light headed... couldn't catch my breath... pace was 10:15 (odd, right?) and so I went off to the side and stopped. Sat down. Tried to catch my breath. Got up after a few minutes, started walking... and then jogged and decided... NOPE. This race was not going to happen.

I was walking back to the start COMPLETELY embarrassed. I actually removed my bib number and ditched it in the closest trashcan thinking maybe no one would notice that I had quit. Yeah... I was pretty embarrassed.

I walked to the Ambulance... and there was no one in there. So I found a cop and he started knocking and sure enough 3 medics were in there. I felt embarrassed telling them what was wrong. I felt like they would think that I was not a runner. They checked my pulse and were alarmed. Sat me in the "gurney" and checked my blood pressure and heart rate. My heart rate was 156 and was not coming down. My blood pressure was "good" but it is normally low... so they started to talk to me.

Again, I am embarrassed, they are taking my information, I tell them my symptoms, what happened that morning, etc. They are funny. Making me laugh. They want to take me to the ER, but I needed to let the "gang" know that I was going. I mean... Steph saw me stopped, she would have worried Jay or TG.... I asked if I could leave... by now Jay and TG would be finished... and the female medic said: "Sure, because as soon as you faint, you're MINE!"

Okay, that got my attention. I asked to borrow a phone to call Lyle and had him meet me at the race (and to bring my phone). Meanwhile, I am positive the "gang" is waiting for me... worried... but I didn't want to faint by standing up. Lyle arrives, I text TG that I am in the ambulance... and apologize. I actually was thinking how pathetic I was... not even making 2/10ths of a mile.

This group of medics had to remain at the races since it was still going on and I had to get on another "bus" to go to the hospital. The EKG they did in the "bus" wasn't good and they didn't want Lyle to drive me and us wait unnecessarily.

The new "bus" arrived and I had the medic take a picture... why not, right? I look worse in this picture than I was feeling... because I blinked, but the pink bucket was in case I puked. And the medic to my right said, "I am NOT cleaning up puke again today!" And thus started my interesting morning. The two new medics were Chad and Jamie from Ireland. They both had me laughing by cracking jokes. It was funny considering the situation. As we were headed to the hospital (no sirens, mind you), Chad called it in: "Yes, we have a 34 year old, so called runner who barely ran 2/10ths of a mile of a 5k, who thinks she is funny, but really it is just a symptom of her irregular heart beat!" I corrected him:"I was running the 10k." "Even worse", Chad said!

Chad wanted to cut my UA leggings off and I was like: "Do you know how much these things cost? I will strip down, but you are NOT cutting them off." He allowed me to pull them up so he could get the EKG strip there. And he joked: "Man you are so HIGH MAINTENANCE"!

Seriously, my muscles in my tummy hurt form laughing. Not sure it was getting my heart rate down though. Arriving at the hospital, another "bus" arrived, and I said, "Let them go first... that person is probably serious." And Chad said to them: "Is yours serious? Mine is pretty lame!" I cannot make this stuff up. It was funny.

Once inside, it got less fun. Long story short, I was diagnosed with: Supraventricular Tachycardia. It has nothing to do with running or exercising or stress or even anxiety. It is just a "miss-firing" and there is a procedure to fix it. After thinking back, I had two more instances 2 months apart, but never thought anything of it. Most importantly, it is not life threatening.

The important question for my cardiologist (how many 34 yr olds have a cardiologist?) was could I run Richmond this Saturday with Bob. And he said, "Yes." He asked me to see a specialist this week, but that I had shown that when it occurred before I stopped, I sought medical attention and just asked me to do the same thing. And NOT because it was life threatening, but because he wanted to have an EKG for it to document what was going on. I asked several times, and he had no issue with me running Richmond.

I talked to Bob this afternoon. He understands. He wants me to be safe. But assured me that he would be with me and that we would be fine. He also gave me permission not to run. I love this guy... absolutely ZERO pressure from him.

I go on Thursday for a consultation with an EP specialist (whatever EP stands for), but for now, I am to document occurrences and to seek medical attention.

Have you had a DNF? How did you get over it?


Randi S said...

lady. You have NOTHING to be embarrassed about. Even pros have DNFs!! I haven't ran enough races to have one yet but I'm sure someday it'll happen. I'm just so thankful you are ok!

sometimes I get a tightening in my chest. I bet that's not good. No insurance, though, no doctor. :(

Melissa said...

So glad that you are ok, how scary!

BigHappyFamily said...

Feel better. Scary stuff.

kimert said...

So glad you are ok! That sounds scary. I hope you are feeling better.

Erica said...

you poor thing :( But it sounds like the medics were rather entertaining!! I will be in Richmond too I hope you get to come!!!

Janet said...

I am praying for you and I am pray that you would be more concerned about the medical problem, verses not finishing a race.. there are 1 million races in your future, but you only have one heart and one life. This could have been a sign from God that you should NOT be doing Richmond, since this 10k was a spur of the moment race...and these problems could have occurred during the marathon and been much worse, passed out and hit your head or anything. Just something to think about. All your running buddies might not know how we lost our brother, immediately after completing his first tri at 28 years of you know we as family think this is a lot more serious than just the normal person....Be SMART. I love you. and don't want to lose my twin to a or not.. its not worth it. Think about what you would be telling me if roles were ya.

Lisa said...

yes, i've had a dnf. it was easy to get over. life happens. it's just a race.

actually, you should be HAPPY you were at the race with a DNF that forced you to go have yourself checked out! Now you know what you are dealing with. If you weren't racing, you might have just stayed home....

Pam said...

I personally wouldn't even really consider 0.2 of a mile a good start. Call it a DNS. It's less depressing that way. lol

No, really, don't sweat the race. You did the right thing by stopping in your tracks and getting it checked out! I'm SO GLAD it's nothing serious, and I hope it doesn't cause you any problems Saturday!

Frugal Frenzy said...

uh yes...IM wisconsin....sucked....I travelled there did the entire race (in pain, because I am a hard head) dropped out at mile 14 of the run...was pissed at myself, regretted it all night, second guessed myself for days...but then I decided i did more than most ever do and I made the right decision. I listened to my body and quit when I knew I was causing more harm than good! Train smart...we can do that....but RACE SMART, know when to call it quits...there are more races we can do in the future. You will get over it when you think long term, that 10k didnt matter, save your health for a race you really want to accomplish when you get the heart under control!

Angie Bee said...

I have had to cancel all the races jaws signed up for this year due to heart issues. I must say I agree with your sisters comments. Races are dime a dozen.

We are not defined by running.

This has been a hard lesson for me this year.