Runner at Large

My whole life, I have viewed runners with a sense of awe. Now I am one of those, and I am extremely proud to be considered a runner.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sometimes rules have to be broken

As runners, we have a list of "rules", so to speak" that we follow. These rules are based on past experience, advice from experts, or common knowledge. These rules help us run our best times, feel great during a run, and keep us healthy and injury-free. Especially when it comes to race day.

But sometimes, life gets in the way and the rules we keep are pushed aside due to circumstances usually out of our control.

For example...take this past week. Ted and I had a 10K in Hamburg on Saturday. Thursday evening (36 hours prior to race time), we find ourselves in the ER. Ted had abdominal pains. At 10:45 pm, I am waiting in the hallway at the hospital while Ted receives cat scans to verify the doctor's suspicions. And at 2:15 am, Ted is being wheeled away from me to the OR, where the surgeons wait to perform an emergency appendectomy.

This is where my list of pre-race rules begin to get tossed aside.

Rule #1. Be sure to get plenty of rest. I left the hospital after the surgeon told me Ted was in recovery and everything was fine...about 3:30 Friday morning. I head home, fed Curley (who was patiently waiting outside), called into work to say I would be out, called into work to say that Ted would be out, and crawled into bed at 4:00. At 7;15, Ted calls and groggily asks for a pair of socks and underwear and I, surprised that he was alert enough to use a phone, jump out of bed and rush up to the hospital. My day is spent sitting by his bed, watching him fade in and out, and take a quick 15-minute cat nap until the nurse came back for the routine vital check. Friday night I left the hospital at 8:30, and ran into our neighbors as I was getting out of my car. I climbed into bed at 10:00 pm, and Ted called Saturday morning at 6:00, making sure I was up in time to get the race. This brings my total sleep time in the past two nights to a whopping 11 hours.

Rule #2. Run easy, if at all, before a race, being sure to not to any strenuous activity in 24 hours leading up to the race. This is the part of my year commitment to run a mile a day that I was kicking myself. After leaving the neighbor's house Friday night, it occurred to me that I had not yet run my mile. So, at 9:30 Friday night, less than 12 hours until race time, I'm heading out for a mile.

Rule #3. Eat properly, including plenty of healthy carbs, vegetables, and food that has been tested previously. Never, ever eat something you have never before tried the day of the race. I stopped at a convenience store on my way in to the hospital Friday, grabbing coffee, water, a Nutri-Grain bar, and a Nature Valley peanut butter granola bar. Lunch was macaroni and cheese in the hospital cafeteria. Dinner was turkey breast in a lemon sauce, more macaroni and cheese, and broccoli. And a big, big pudding parfait that just wanted to hug me. Saturday--race day--I stop at the same convenience store for coffee and a Cliff Bar. They don't have Cliff Bars. So I grab a chocolate Power Bar, something I've never before eaten, and figure this will just have to do.

Rule #4. Ensure you can run the distance of the race, or more, before race day. Okay, so this has nothing to do with the fact that Ted had his appendix removed. But it was just one more rule that I hadn't followed--the most I had run in the past few weeks, was 3 miles.

The race was okay. I wouldn't have even gone if it hadn't been the fourth race in a series (turns out I was the only female to complete all four events, making me the overall winner, which was neat). At the hospital (where I stayed, still sweaty from this race), it occurred to me that I still hadn't finished calling people who were expecting Ted and I to be places this weekend, so I called Cassie, happy to tell her at least what was going on, and have her make a phone call for me (I didn't have the number...the whole weekend was a bumbling mess for me).

Bottom line is Ted is fine. He was discharged this morning (Sunday) and is up and around as much as you can expect with stitches and 72 hours post-op. And we're both looking forward to hopefully a normal week, with sleep and rest and everything as routine as possible.


At 6:42 PM, Blogger ShoreTurtle said...

I'm glad that Ted is okay. My wife's appendix burst while we were moving to NJ. It was a scary experience.

At 6:30 AM, Blogger Marcus Grimm said...

I'm amazed you ran that mile @ 9:30... if that didn't break the streak, nothing will!

Congrats on winning the series, too!


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