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    Hi! My name is Leah and I like food! Welcome to my blog about mostly healthy eats! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at leftoversforlunchATgmailDOTcom.

  • June 2012
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Rock n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon 2012

Also known as “The One Where We Ended Up At The Hospital” but more on that later.

{Me & Huz}

We registered for this race last year, after hearing about the course change – it used to start/finish in different locations but now, it starts and ends at the Seattle Center. We also happened to know a bunch of people that were participating so we thought it would be really fun. Huz and I planned on running together again and just having a blast.

Then I got injured. And I’ve had a really hard time recovering, not only physically but also mentally. It was pretty crushing after a fairly successful first year of “being a runner” to get laid up for nearly 6 months. I tried to go into this race with a “just for fun” mentality but honestly? That doesn’t really work for me. I knew I wouldn’t PR so I set a goal of 2:30 as an acceptable finish time. I have been a Negative Nancy with my running so I told husband to train by himself and shoot for a PR.

{Me & Ellen}

Friday night, we took the ferry to Seattle and headed to the expo then out to dinner with Ellen. We stayed at the Hyatt Olive 8 which was utterly fabulous. Thanks to Ellen, we got hooked up on a great rate. I would LOVE to stay at this hotel again. It was swanky, had great customer service (for the most part), and was in a good location, close to Westlake Center.


Saturday morning, we woke up at 5am and headed to the Seattle Center. We were blessed with no rain – it had been in the forecast all week! Ellen and I took the monorail and Jodus walked, thanks to a mix up with our monorail tickets (that was totally my fault). We got there super early and had plenty of time to potty, twice, check out the competition, check our gear, and head to the corrals. I was supposed to be in corral 34 but totally hopped into 27 to be with a couple friends.

{Lindsey (Ellen’s friend), Ellen, Me, & Allyson}

It actually worked out really great. Lindsey and Ellen were planning on faster than I was and Allyson wanted to pace a little slower for the first half to finish strong so we ended up running together the first 7 miles. It was soooo nice to have the company. We walked through water stations and up a killer hill and tried to just not start out too fast and burn out (which I did anyway).

1: 10:35
2: 10:17
3: 11:15
4: 10:44
5: 10:54
6: 12:07 (Hill, Gu break)
7: 11:25

I’m really happy to say that Allyson did great and finished in 2:17 – a 20 minute PR. After I departed from her, things got a little hairy for me. The course takes you through a really long tunnel on I-90 and I kind of freaked out. It was humid and muggy and loud and I got really claustrophobic feeling. I started to panic and breathe really heavy so I ended up walking most of it.


{Click to enlarge}

I crumbled. I had zero confidence. I walked a lot. I was very emotional. Just a disaster. My hips ached, my toes hurt, my hamstrings were tight. It wasn’t pretty.

8: 12:50 (Another hill, panic attack in tunnel)
9: 11:48 (Saw Ellen)
10: 12:13 (Gu break)
11: 12:33 (Potty break)

When I saw the Mile Marker 11, I knew I wasn’t going to make my 2:30 goal. It wasn’t going to happen. So I just gave up. I walked even more. I tried to just relax, take in the view of the waterfront, and get through the rest of the race.

12: 12:55 (Hill, Emotional breakdown thanks to a t-shirt)
13: 11:48
.27: 3:17 (12:02 pace, uphill, assholes.)

Finish time: 2:34

I didn’t really care for the course overall. There were a couple pretty spots but the tunnels were horrific and there were a couple of nasty hills and one at the very end of the race that was just plain mean. This was my first Rock ‘n Roll event and I must say, I was disappointed with the amount of rocking. There weren’t nearly as many bands as I had expected. There were a couple good cheer squads out there which was fun. The expo was good, the organization was good, and apparently the medical personnel are competent.

After I crossed the finish line, I looked around for my husband and didn’t see him so I pulled out my phone (from my Spibelt) and called him. It went to voicemail. I had a missed call from a number I didn’t have in my phone. I checked my voicemail. And my heart sunk.

It was the medical tent. My husband was being transported to the hospital. They instructed me to find the medical tent and they would let me know more.

Another panic attack ensued. I called Ellen and told her and started shoving my way through the crowd, skipping the food and drinks provided. When I found the medical tent and told them who I was, someone took me aside and told me what happened.

He collapsed at the finish line. He had a fever of 105”. He was hyperthermic. He was dehydrated. They loaded him up with icepacks and started an IV drip. He had been in the tent for an hour and they were transporting him to the hospital.

And then I saw him, on a gurney, and he was really out of it and it was one of the scariest moments in my life.

I am so very happy he had his Road ID on him. My phone number was on there, his name, and age, and blood type. That was how they got my number so fast. I am so so thankful. I am also thankful I had my phone with me (along with my ID and a credit card) instead of checked in gear check. I managed to join him in the ambulance and help answer questions and take care of some logistics. Ellen got our gear for us and took it back to our hotel. My dad drove to our house and renewed our parking and took care of the dog. I extended our hotel stay since they weren’t allowing a late check out. It was calming to take care of some of these things but really, I was freaking out. I was listening to the paramedics, and to Jodus, and trying to figure out what happened.

We ended up at Swedish Medical Center – Cherry Hill in the ER. A bunch of blood tests and two more IV drips, and 5 hours later, he was released. Basically, he had not enough potassium and sodium so he was severely dehydrated which caused him to overheat.

Yes, he hydrated the day before and during the race, alternating between Gatorade and water. He also had 1 Gu around mile 8. The ER doctor recommended Gatorade the day before as well, and for him to listen to his body more and not push it as hard. He’s very competitive (even with just himself) and in his effort to PR, he overdid it even though he followed his training plan to a “T”.

But at least he PR’ed, right?

By a minute.


We tried to make the situation light and joked around about his PR and needing a beer but in all reality, this scared the shit out of both of us. I had already had a pretty demoralizing race and having to deal with this right after (and no stretching, no eating, I did grab a bottle of water though) was really exhausting. We are both really wary about running distance now and at what point is time/pace worth it? It isn’t worth a trip to the hospital, I can tell you that much.

Even before this race, I knew I wanted to scale back my running. For this, I have done ZERO cross training and ZERO strength training. I want to get back to a more balanced exercise regime. I want to get strong and get faster and lose some weight before I decide to tackle another half. Right now, we have Ragnar on the docket for next month and a 10k shortly thereafter but I think I’m hanging up my racing shoes for awhile. I still want to run 3x a week, but I want to incorporate speedwork. No more depressing, demoralizing, dreadful long training runs for me. If I’m not having fun, it isn’t worth it.

Jodus’ situation is a little more precarious. He was feeling great about running earlier this year and bit the bullet and signed up for a Full in November. So where does he go from here? Focus on training smarter and fueling properly, slowing down the pace a little or is this scare enough for him to say no to a Marathon? Personally, I hope not. I think this situation is 100% avoidable with proper nutrition and listening to your body. I really don’t want one bad experience to ruin it for him.

So, we’ll see what this running season brings us, I guess.

4 Responses

  1. Oooof! That is definitely scary. I’d be freaked out too. I am glad he is feeling better and that they got to you so quickly so you could go, too. My boyfriend and I both have a Road ID. It never occurred to me to wear it during a race. But that makes a lot of sense and I’ll do that in the future.

    As to your injury and run…I totally get what you’re saying. After my injury I got back into running slowly but it was definitely difficult mentally. I was suddenly hyper-aware of any aches, twinges, slight pains and would become paranoid. That is the hardest part getting over an injury. Learning to trust your body again.

  2. So scary! I’m glad everything is ok though.

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one that didn’t like course. Too much freeway. I was bored and I am SORE from all the uneven running.

  3. So, so glad Jodus is okay, give him a hug and kiss from me.

  4. OMG! How freaky–no run is worth that scare!!! Glad u guys are okay now.

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