I felt hot, dizzy, sweaty, nauseous, and broken. I didn't stop my garmin. I was sure I was going to get up. and I did. I walked across the street and sat down again. and cried again. It was over. I wasn't going to finish.
I few people stopped. One in particular stopped and stayed. Her name was Amanda. I never saw her face as I had mine buried in the dirt. eating it, of course. She talked to me. She stayed with me. She sacrificed her race for me.
Runners are special.
Amanda poured cool water over my neck. She kept me going when I'm not sure I could have kept myself going. The ambulance arrived. I refused care... I was tough. I didn't need any help. My future in-laws were there, they comforted me. Once in their car, I looked at my garmin... one hour had elapsed. I stopped the timer and switched the GPS to off. It was no longer about me. I wanted to see Brett finish.
and so we did. He took 4th overall and 1st in his age group. He's incredible.
We stayed for a bit but I was feeling ill so Brett and his mom walked me to the car. Only the walk was cut short when I fainted. What everyone doesn't know is I was just hungry for some more dirt.
I woke up wondering where I was and why I was lying on the ground with people surrounding me that would not let me sit up. Can't a girl just sit up? Apparently not. These people included my family, an off-duty EMS woman, and strangers there to help. I'm one lucky little lady.
I heard a familiar voice, Dave the EMS dude. Dave was there at mile 4.85 when I refused the first ambulance ride. He told me I didn't have a choice now... and I didn't argue.
After a few hours in the hospital and lots of pricks and pokes, I learned I suffered from a case of dehydration caused by a stomach virus exacerbated by my need to run a half marathon.
There's a lot to be celebrated when you cross the finish line and a lot to be learned when you don't.
What I learned:
1. Don't run a race if you're Miss (or Mr.) Poopy Pants prior to said race.
2. ALWAYS stop to check on a runner who's walking, squatting, or sitting. ALWAYS.
3. There's a fine line between tough and stupid.
4. The days after a DNF are emotional.
5. I love running and this will only make me stronger.