Well...where to begin...
I knew going in to Ghost Train last weekend it wasn't going to be pretty. IN fact, I went from *gee, maybe I can pull this off somehow* to *dear lawd if I make it 15 miles I will be lucky* I have had about 2 months of less than stellar health with no idea what was wrong, which pretty negatively impacted my training, not to mention my 24 hour stomach revolt right before the race...NOTHING made me think this was going to end well....but not ending well and how it ended were 2 different things...
I got to the race prepared for 100 miles because with Ultras you never REALLY know. I was actually kind of hoping for 30 truth be told. I had my eldest kiddo with me to act as my crew along with doing some volunteering. I had sort of a plan, as my sister-from-another-mother Mushie and I planned to run together. She was trying to break a record running with Log and I was happy to try and support her as opposed to doing my 100. Well, lo and behold I woke up feeling oddly ...good. So, I figured I would just see how the day played out. We headed off gabbing our heads off as usual, catching up on everything as we hadn't had a good gab session in a while. It was great, we were both feeling good and running well. I have said before and I will say again there is no one on this earth I could spend a solid 24-30 hours with other than Michelle. We have a connection and share certain traits that we both *get* in a way no one else really can. One of these days we will actually MAKE it through a 100 together, I am sure of it, because she is probably the only person I could run with and actually finish. I know some wonderful pacers who have truly helped me and are fantastic but there is something to be said for someone who knows you on such a deep level that things don't even need to be spoken... We got through one loop...then a second...7:02 for 30 miles is a damn good time for me! Headed out on the third and it started to get a bit harder. We ran/walked a bit then as darkness started to come, we began walking. Took some anti-nausea meds as the nausea started creeping in, but I was still eating and drinking which was good. 30-45 wasn't beautiful but it was ok and we got it done. 45-60 was...when the wheels came off.
I was really starting to struggle with the nausea. I have been dealing with some crazy GI stuff as of late outside of running. I have been nauseous almost constantly, I have had a hard time eating for the past 2 mo. as I am in major pain when I DO eat. I am actually HORRIFIED at the way my diet has deteriorated, as I can only seem to eat total crap- overly processed garbage that I would NEVER choose to eat normally but need to now as I need to get calories in somehow and I can't live on smoothies...So, the original onset of nausea was not a surprise. When it got worse despite the med...I was confused. The second piece for me, which is something I need to work on if I am EVER going to finish a 100, is that after it gets dark I completely lose. my. shit. I mean, cryin' like a baby, out of my mind, somebody take this chick home, crazy. Its when my demons come out to play and it ain't pretty. I need to figure out how to manage this better or I will NEVER finish as it overwhelms me before I can catch it and then it is too far gone...but I digress...
Somewhere around mile 50 or so things got real ugly. I felt HORRIBLE, I was having dizzy spells here and there, my stomach was really not doing well and things were not cool, adding to my freak-out. I was fairly certain I was not going to be able to keep this up if something did not change and fast. Mushie was REALLY hurting after carrying Log for all this time( Uh, hello...carried Log 56 MILES!) and after we passed through the midway aid station she passed Log off to Steve and we went off on our un-merry way...By about 57ish miles I was REALLY not good and trying to figure out what I could do because I wanted to finish this thing so I NEVER had to do it again. All of a sudden I was hit with a wave of nausea and before i could even think I was going to puke, I did...and it was blood. A lot of it. Well, that was it. I was done. I called up to Mushie and told her what happened and we made our slow way back to the start/finish which was the longest freaking 2 miles of my life. I promised my kids after VT100 I would never do something that would cause me to leave in an ambulance again, and I knew at this point if I continued that is exactly what would have happened. If I even could have kept going...which at that point, honestly, there was no way.
I got back, dropped and crawled into my tent and got under a few blankets and for a little bit, I actually felt better. Which of course, did not last...as soon as it was light, I called Dave and told him what happened, Steve helped Jeffrey pack up and we headed home.
Fast forwarding slightly, seems I have some internal bleeding going on from ??? Things are definitely worse now than they have been, and after getting some blood drawn we realized things were not fine and dandy. I had my physical 2 weeks ago and was anemic for the first time EVER in my life, which explained some of my recent symptoms, but after the second draw....yeah, not so good. So, Monday I am going in for some, er, tests, which require me fasting/on clear liquids from Saturday morning until Monday and drinking a rather undesirable drink today and tomorrow, so that hopefully they can find out what is going on(and there is quite possibly more than one thing)plus I have to have my blood drawn again sometime in the next day or 3 to make sure my levels are not continuing to drop, and hopefully are stabilizing.
In a way, the whole episode at the race was a blessing in disguise as quite possibly no one including me, would have thought this was anything serious and these tests may not have been done for another month or 2 which would have meant that much more damage...now at least it will be addressed and hopefully we will be able to treat/fix it. In the mean time I am on this heavy duty acid reducing drug along with as many tums as I want to eat to quell the nausea and some of the discomfort...which helps from the waist up...the waist down...that pain is quelled by nothing so far...So, Monday we will finally have answers. (I hope)
So in the midst of all this I had already been dealing with some rather heavy stuff in my life and adding this to it, well, yeah...Its a bit much but I also got me thinking....I really do need to *take stock* so to speak...see what is truly important to me in my life and let go of some other things...reduce some of the stress, simplify things in many areas, embrace more of what makes me happy, and really DO the things that make me happy and fulfilled. I need to stop doing the things that stress me out...I need to stop being a *people pleaser* trying to save the world and be more of a *Julie pleaser* and take care of myself. I am no good to my kids, Husband or myself if I am a hot mess so...time to change things.
So in a sense, I am looking at this as a healing journey. I had planned on taking November *off* and only running when I felt like it and however far I felt like it, if at all. I knew I needed a break, and was going to take one anyways...whatever is going on physically did not show up over night, and won't be healed over night so I know that will take some time...and that is ok. I will work on the physical piece, the emotional piece and the spiritual piece and hopefully come out the other side stronger, wiser, and calmer ;)
And, I did not finish the 100....you know what that means.... ;)