|I didn't get a single pic...this is Jim starting the race|
We went to register Thursday night and I was shocked to find the late registration was $40. I thought that was insane for a 5K! Totally insane. I said “I’m not doing it. I refuse to pay that much”. Jim…was not happy with me and encouraged me to “please sign up – wasn’t it me who said this should be an annual tradition”. So I signed up, although a bit begrudgingly.Now, as some of my readers may recall I went through a period of about a year where I suffered from vertigo. It was first induced by an antibiotic. I would have episodes that were quite debilitating for days at a time and it would recur at any time over the course of about a year. I went through a myriad of testing to find out that I just seem to have more fluid in my inner ear and with the help of a daily allergy pill and watching my salt intake I had not had an episode for a year and a half. I pretty much thought it was no longer an issue for me.
Well, on Thursday night I picked up a prescription for an antibiotic for a bladder infection. I went to bed feeling fine. Skip to Friday morning. My alarm goes off I sit up to turn it off and instantly the room starts spinning. Vertigo attack. It lasted maybe 4 or 5 seconds, but left me dizzy and disoriented. I sat in bed for a while but just felt “off”. The room wasn’t spinning, but I didn’t feel right. I got out of bed anyway and got dressed. There was still over an hour before the race, so I was hoping by then I would feel ok. I text my friend Michelle to say hey I’m coming…but I might not run.I shouldn’t have run. Before the race I was still feeling a bit off, but better. I decided I would at least try to run and if I felt bad shortly after the start I’d just go back. Well the race started and I started running. I immediately felt bad. It was like I was running in place with things moving around me. I was having trouble focusing…but then suddenly, I felt ok. Within two or three minutes that feeling seemed to disappear and I was running with no issues. Good, I thought, maybe it was just a short-lived episode. I was actually running pretty well. The first mile passed quickly and I was pleasantly surprised to see a 9:50 pace. My 5K PR is a 9:50 pace…so I started thinking…hey I could possibly have a good race.
At about a mile and a half you have a pretty steep downhill and then then of course, a pretty steep uphill since you do a loop. I knew the rest of the race was going to get tougher, so I thought to myself you really need to push it down this hill. I picked up the pace and all of a sudden another vertigo attack hit me. I’ve NEVER had that happen before. I’ve never had one hit me during a workout, it’s usually from sudden head movements. It was awful. I stopped dead in my tracks (which is not the best thing to do in the middle of a 5K in a downhill section). I put out my right hand because I knew I was going to fall. I was staggering to the right trying to get out of the way and get to a curb when I could feel myself falling. I was so dizzy I just couldn’t stand up. Suddenly, some random runner grabbed me and kept me from falling and escorted me to the side. Immediately I was surrounded by 5 or 6 runners all asking if I was ok. I felt like an idiot. I kept saying, I’m fine. I’m just dizzy – it’s not medical it’s just some medication I’m on. I’m sure they thought I just over did it….embarrassing. I finally talked them in to moving along and I just sat there on the curb trying to make the world stop spinning. Occasionally people would run by and ask if I was ok. One girl, trying to be encouraging screamed “you are almost done, it’s ok, get up and run”….I know she was trying to be nice, but frankly I wanted to punch her. Anyway, I sat there for what seemed like 20 minutes, but apparently was only about 4 or 5. I thought about asking to get someone to drive me back, but I figured I’d have to wait until after the race and it would take forever so I just decided to try to walk the rest. I got up and immediately started walking sideways. Again, people start asking if I was ok. I found that if I just walked and looked at the ground I was ok. I didn’t feel great, but I could walk. And so I walked the last 1.5 miles. It took forever.I finally crossed the finish line, still feeling dizzy but better. I was feeling ok, until I had to turn in my chip. I tried to raise my foot up to the bucket and almost fell over. That was all it took to start feeling dizzy again. I found Jim and went to sit down on the curb and pretty much fell into it and a bush. Yeah, it wasn’t a fun day. I felt stupid and I felt bad because there was Jim, my friend Michelle, and Jim’s friend Paul…..all just staring at me. They all had GREAT races and something to celebrate and I was ruining it all.
So anyway, the moral of the story is that it is ok to say no to a race. I had just spent $40 to do that race and I was going to do it no matter what. It was a dumb decision. I should have sat that one out. In the end, I didn’t hurt myself or anything, but it was a possibility. It’s been almost a week and I still am not back to normal. I haven’t had any more vertigo attacks, but my head hasn’t been clear since. It’s amazing how long the side effects linger.Have you ever been smarter than me and pulled out of a race when you knew you shouldn’t do it? Or did you do it anyway? What was the outcome?