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Category Archives: How I Almost Died

If You’re Still Standing That Means You’re Not Dead Yet

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Oh my lovely little snark doodles…. contrary to popular belief, I am not, in fact, Dead.

More like I’ve been on a short hiatus, recovering from killing myself by participating in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, and then getting ready to start my new job, and spending some much needed quality time with my kiddos, because while I am super excited about my new job, I also signed something somewhere along the way that says I will not take any time off (unless I am legitimately ill) for the first 90 days of my employment. So that means I’m pretty much stuck in the coal mines, for the rest of the year…. sigh….

But enough about that. What you really want to know is all about my marathon right….So prepare yourselves for a cautionary tale of woe and misery. (We could be here a while, so maybe uncork yourself a nice bottle of wine, and for all my homies, open up the stopper on your box ‘o wine– don’t hate, appreciate).

On Sunday, October 16th, in the year of our Lord 2011, I ran (and by ran I mean barely jogged and walked) the Nike Woman’s Half Marathon. Myself and 22,000 other participants lined up in the streets around Union Square in San Fransisco by 6am, got crushed by the swelling crowds, got our ear drums blown out by the loudspeakers, and by 6:58 am I was this odd mixture of oddly excited and completely terrified. I placed my ear buds in my already sensitive ears, pushed the volume to max and got pumped up by Fergie’s “Here I Come.” Our corral crossed the official start at 7:11am.

Blowing out my eardrums at 6:30am

As feet hit the start line elbows started flying, runners taking off, pumping their arms back and forth, every inch of the street covered in excited women, finding their rhythm, excitedly chatting to their friends, concentrating at the task at hand.  My friends had already passed me up, and I was working on controlling my breathing, finding my rhythm, and cursing at myself. Right about the first half mile I had a great conversation with myself that went something like this…

Me1: Wow it’s a nice cool morning
Me2: What the fuck, i mean what the fuck are you thinking, we’re half a mile in and our chest already hurts
Me1: It’s not that bad, and we’re only half a mile in. We’re doing ok.
Me2: Ahh, watch out, elbow!
Me1: just got to duck and weave
Me2:oh you’re fucking hopeless.

The first five and a half miles went as planned. I ran at my pace, kept my shoulders back, remembered to just keep breathing, and enjoyed some of the scenery. While others were taking spills left and right (shifting air currents ya’ll), I was (amazingly) avoiding any major pitfalls and keeping up my target mile time: until I came to The Hill. Let me preface this by saying that anyone who had visited San Fransisco is surely aware of the “Hills” or mini mountains that make up the city and its outskirts. I knew the course was hilly, I had seen the map and elevation, and yet I still foolishly believed that these hills would not be the end of me. Oh how I was wrong.

The view from mid-mile 5, it was breath taking, I think I felt like barfing

The first hill claimed it’s place in my heart as the mountain that broke my running streak. By mid-hill my thighs were trembling, my ankles threatening to turn underneath me, my calves straining.  When I finally crested this behemoth I was greeted with a 200 foot plateau before descending into the heart of darkness and walking down another large mountain. I could feel my heart beat in my mouth, and the obscenities that my lower half of my body were screaming at me was enough to even make me blush. Still I soldiered on.

On rubbery legs, the 7th mile seemed easier to tackle, a little flatter, beautiful scenery, it promised some relief and I found the strength to start up my jog again. I had blisters, I felt them biting into the soles if my feet with every step. The hills continued through the winding course and slanted streets, and while the course itself was gorgeous I could feel myself dying as every belabored breath escaped from my mouth.

The view from mile 7, where my feet felt like they exploded…

Thankfully for me and the rest of the participants it remained cool and breezy for the entire duration of the marathon. I’m pretty sure that had the sun come out, or I had taken a tumble I would have had to been golf carted back.

Somewhere around the 9th to 10th mile I started crying off and on, for no particular reason other than I felt like I just had to cry. Many a runner and power walker passed me by with dubious looks on their faces and slight shakes of their heads, as if to say, “she’s so done with.” A few women were polite enough to ask me if i was okay and through my sniffles and snuffles I was able to indicate that I was, and watch them fly past me on Hermes (the Greek demi god, not the designer) gilded feet. As you descend through mile ten along the beach and through the Finisher’s Village (uh huh they actually taunt you with a glimpse of the finish even though you at least have another three mile to go, bastards), two mother daughter teams passed me up (and these daughters were oh I don’t know eight years old or so), and I felt my confidence start to crack and crumble. Whereas I had merely just been in  pain before, and was able to push past it, my mental resolve was now teetering on the very edge of completely failing me, and as mile eleven wound it’s say under my feet I did indeed have a total breakdown, or “hit the wall” as the other runners called it. It went something like this:

Me1: Hey Bitch, just stop, just stop now.
Me2: I can’t, I really can’t. Almost there
Me1: You’re going to collapse right here and die, and no one will find you, and everyone is going to point and stare
Me2: That’s true, maybe I should– no I can’t stop, must keep going….
Me1: Look you almost finished, our fucking legs are done with, you’re going to have to amputate them. You’ll never walk again…
Me 2: Amputate?
Me1: That’s right Bitch, I said amputate…
Me2: That would be kind of horrible
Me1: No Shit
Me2: But we’re so close to finishing, we can do this
Me1: You think you can do this, until we’re walking around on stumps because our feet spontaneously combusted.
Me2: Feet don’t spontaneously combust….
Me1: You never know….

And so the conversation went on back and forth, until I realized that I had reached the end of mile 11, and with one mile to go I was home free.  The promised 12th mile of “Chocolate” was in fact two large tables that had about six boxes of individually wrapped squares of Ghirardelli chocolate dumped on them, and did not live up the to the Willy Wonka hype I had pictured in my mind.  Also, I am sad to report that there were no fireman along the course offering their studly help, and so my well planned and coordinated  falls and trips were of no avail….

Instead when I finally crossed that finish line, a dumpy looking guy in a tuxedo (whom I suppose was in fact a fireman) shoved the Robin’s Egg Blue little box in my hand and urged me forward.  The race was over. While volunteers were busily shoving things in my face left and right, and wrapping me up in mylar, I was trying to not cry like a baby. At the end of the race I had this overwhelming feeling of just needing to let it all out, and when I saw Ms. VampireS I finally did. I stood there sweaty, hurting, wrapped in plastic and cried.

It felt so good.

Me post race, I know, I know, but I feel TERRIBLE

THE GOODS…

I then proceeded to INHALE the nearest food item I could find.  It was probably mildly disturbing, but Ms. VampireS had the graciousness to not stare, or comment. We limped back to the transportation buses, where I was still running high off adrenaline, and then hobbled back to the hotel room. I remember showering and falling asleep, or maybe it was falling asleep and then showering… at any rate, I missed dinner with Ms. VampireS and some friends, and when I finally woke up I was STARVING.

I decided to massacre my food at The Cheesecake Factory because:

1. It was close
2. I wanted to overindulge

While committing my food desecration people stared, I mean one person ordering three food items and a milkshake is a bit excessive, but for the most part, the rest of the participants easily identifiable by their silver Tiffany’s badge of honor just kind of nodded in an appreciative sort of way, and let me continue to pig out.

Overstuffed and in starting to really feel the damage I had done to myself, I paid my bill and stumbled out.

I have never slept sooo soundly in my entire life.

The next morning when I went to get up, I have never been in so much pain in my life.

It would take me a week to be able to walk correctly again.

I am proud of my accomplishment, but highly doubt I will do that to myself again, only because I like walking without wincing. I would recommend it though, to do one at least once in your lifetime, and trust me, if I can do it, anyone can…

So there you have it Snarksters, the race and my life in review. I’m settling in here (my new job) nicely, and cozying up to my new nonsensical title even better (Director of High Muckety Muck Mucks)…. so I’m officially back bitches………

Oh hey, did I mention that my sister is getting married on Novemeber 19th, I’m the Maid of Honor, she’s putting me in yellow, it’s outside on the beach, and every episode of Bridezillas has not prepared me for the horror she’s unleashed on my life………..

Oh no?

Well consider yourself forewarned….

So what have you all been up to while I was away? Please fill me in because I get bored easily and always need new reading material.

When Everything Stops Hurting….

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Dear Snark Doodles,

A quick note to let you know I have not gone to the big blogging forum in the sky. I in fact lived through my marathon insanity, and want to tell you all about it when I can once again move the lower half of my body without grimacing in pain.

Besides I’m only 99% dead.

Thank you for all the support and encouragement, I couldn’t have come back alive without you all behind me!

Snark Hugs and Kisses,

Becca