Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ogden Valley 50 miler 2012 race report

Ogden Valley 50 miler 2012 Race Report

Even though this would be my 3rd year running this race, I was still pretty nervous for the race.   As in the previous two years there were some unpredictable factors this year.  The biggest thing that was different this year was I had talked my two brothers into running the race with me this year.  I promised them if they ran the race, that no matter what I would stay with them the entire time.  About a month before the race we did do one long run together.  We were able to stay pretty much together.  I did notice that my older brother John did tire out quite a bit towards the end.  He had put in by far the least miles between the 3 of us.  Also come to find out my little brother Jimmy Joe had been getting these dizzy spells where he’d almost fall over.  He was guessing it was due to stress.  Then about a week and a half before the race I had a couple of great fast runs in a row and I must have done something to my ankle cause it was hurt real bad.  I was limping and could barely move it.  So I stopped running until the race.  Doing only one short run the  Monday before the race.  So going into the race we had Jimmy joe, on the verge of falling over randomly.  Johnny, who was way undertrained for the race who  also got very sick  the two weeks before the race.  And me really not knowing what to expect with my ankle.  So Now onto the race.  We drove out the night before to pick up our packets.  We had a great dinner at olive garden.  Went back to the hotel and had a great time swimming and soaking in the hot tub.  A very relaxing night.  Finally we got our number pinned on.  Jimmy joe realized he hadn’t cut his toenails so he made an emergency run to walmart to buy some toenail clippers.  Finally we all said a prayer together and headed off to bed.  I slept great the whole night.  Which is very rare for me.  I always sleep horrible.  Jimmy joe and Johnny said they weren’t able to get much sleep.

 The alarm sounded at 3:30 am and it was time to get going.   We all ate some breakfast. 

 When we got into the van the temperature said 22 degrees.  It was a short 10 minute drive to the start line in Mountain green.   The temperature dropped quickly to 18 degrees by the time we got there.  We got there and there were  a few runners huddled around the fire.  
We got all geared up.  I was shivering as I prepared to start.  I can’t believe how cold it was.  There was so much snow up there too.  There had never been any snow up there the previous years.  After a short pre race meeting it was time to start.  Right as we were about to start some lady lost her glove and went back by the fire to find it.  While she was over there we found it and I ran over to give it to her and the race started.  So I caught up to Johnny and jimmy joe and just as we started going I reminded them to turn on their gps’.  Neither of them had done it yet so they had to stop and do that.  Nobody started off fast but we were already in last place.  It was a rocky start.  After a half mile or so we headed up the canyon.  With headlamps on and rear flashers going the 21 of us ventured up the canyon in the sub freezing temperatures.  The  first few miles were slow.  We were still in  last place.  Not that it really mattered but it was hard to watch the rest of the pack leave us behind, as last year I led the way up the canyon.  Then Johnny had to shed two layers of shirts, he had compensated a little too much for the cold weather.  So that slowed us down even more.  Up the canyon we went.  At a nice steady pace.  After a few miles we joined up with a very talkative lady.  She talked with Johnny quite a bit.  I had to go pee so I said I’d catch up with them and said I needed to go pee.  The lady we were talking to got so mad that I was able to pee standing up.  She was genuinely jealous. It  was kind of funny.  So I caught up to them after and we had some other things slow us down so we stayed at the end of the pack.  It was nice running back down the canyon.  It was real steep.  Like an 8% grade.  It’s hard to enjoy downhills when you know you are going to have to run up them later.  At the bottom of the canyon I really need to go #2 so I told my brothers I was going to run ahead and use the bathroom. Which I thought was coming up soon.  I never saw one so I slowed down and waited for them.  Finally around mile 12 or so we had an aid station and it was by a chevron gas station.  I said I’d go inside but the race director lady said there was a portapotty just a little ways up the road.  So I took off and told them I’d wait for them.  It was about 2 miles away( a very long ways when you gotta go)  Finally I made it and went.  While my gloves were off I got so cold started shivering.  It was still below 20 degrees.  I waited like 10 minutes or so and started wondering if I’d missed them.  Probably another 5 minutes went by and finally I they came around the corner.  I guess Johnny had chosen to use the restroom back at the chevron and took a really long time.  So jimmy joe left him and didn’t know where I was.  Jimmy joe later told this this was probably his lowest point of the race.  Not really know where me or Johnny was. He said his run kind of turned into a cry/grunt with each step he took. 
 Not gonna lie.  The whole first part of the race from mile 5 to mile 25 was pretty miserable.  My stomach was upset.  I had to use the bathroom a few times.  It was sooo cold. Jimmy joes hair even frosted over it was so cold.  There wasn’t much conversation going on.  I seriously wanted to just quit.  I started to believe all the people that called me crazy for doing this.  This was crazy.  This was not fun.  By mile 18 or so.  The sun finally started to come up but it was still freezing.  We were still in last place.  There was one pack of 3 guys that we kept catching up to at the aid vehicles but they’d leave when we’d get there.  I really was ok with last place but would rather not be.  

Around mile 22 we skipped the aid station and passed the 3 guys.  It was good to be out of last place.  At mile 23 there was another aid station and we saw the leader on his way back .  He was on about mile 32.  He was cruising.  We continued on.  Trying to eat what we could.  I was taking tums and pepto bismol tablets but just could get me stomach under control.  Which really makes for a miserable run.  We finally get to the 25 mile marker in just under 5 hours.

  That is a very nice place to get mentally.  When you have less miles to run than you’ve already gone.  A few more miles later at mile 27 we get to the station with our drop bags.  Where we ditched most of our night time gear and got ready for the warmer part of the day.  Even though it was still real cold I needed to get my pants and jacket off asap.  I was roasting.  The last two years at this stop they had a nice warm chicken broth that I ate that really calmed my stomach. They didn’t have it this year.  Just as we were leaving the aid station jimmy joe’s  high school friend showed up.  He brought some supplies with him including some hot chicken soup.  This was the turning point for me in the race.  Chicken soup never tasted so good.  From then on out my stomach felt great.  It was a life saver.  Zach ran with us for about 5 miles or so.  It was nice to have some new company.  Kind of gave us a nice change of scenery.  Not that I was tired of my brothers but it was fun having someone else there.  Around mile 30 some guy came flying past us.  We figured he was in a different race.  We looked back and saw a pack of people coming up.  At a turn in the road we followed our marker arrows and someone in a truck told us we were going the wrong way.  We shouted back “for the 50 miler”?  and they said oh never mind.  Then we saw that guy running back towards us.  And we told him he went the wrong way.  We looked back and saw the majority of his race. Probably a 5 or 10k passing him.  He didn’t seem to happy about it.   Around mile 31 or so we saw a runner sitting on the ground and one of the  volunteers talking to her. We stopped as we passed her and she said she was just feeling horrible and to just keep going.  We felt bad for her but were kind of glad that there was another person that would keep us from being in last place.  Zach headed back to his car and it was just the 3 of us again.  It was finally starting to warm up.  Reaching mile 35 we were feeling good and finally starting to have some conversation.  Which up until then had been minimal.  I was surviving on the caffeinated jelly belly beans and pretzels.  And a few snickers bars.  I was just so relieved my stomach was feeling better. Getting to mile 35  was good to have that many mile behind us but then realizing we still had like 3 hours of running was a little daunting.  Rounding the eastern part of the lake around mile 37 April finally showed up.
  It was so good to see her.  She is such a great support for me.  I was also excited that when she first  saw us we were actually running.  Usually when she finds me I’m walking.  She would pull over and take the occasional pictures. Rounding mile 41 it was time to head up the canyon again.  It’s a steep climb up this canyon. The steepest mile was mile 43 with 425 feet of climb. 

 I had tons of energy running up this part.  Johnny and jimmy joe were pretty worn out but I stayed back with them.  There was no reason leaving them now. I’d been with them the whole rest of the race.  I think I had so much energy. Partly because april was there. But mostly cause we took it so slow the first part of the race.  I just felt so good.  It took quite a while to get up the canyon.  We were pretty excited though that the group of 3 guys were still way behind us and we couldn’t see them.  So we knew we were not taking last place.

  Finally at mile 45 it was time to sail down the canyon.  We kept a pretty good pace down the canyon.  I was pushing them pretty hard.  My mom and sister were there cheering us on as well as jimmy joe’s wife.  It so great to have so much support from my family.  Heading down the last few mile of the canyon was so much fun.  Yeah we were tired.  But I was so proud of my two brother for being able to complete this distance. Something probably 99% of the rest of the world will never do.  We excited the canyon with about a half mile to go.  Approaching the end of the race we all had huge smiles on our face.  We could see our family off in the distance and could hear them chanting our names.  
You can’t help but relate racing to when we get to heaven and we have all our ancestors that went before us just cheering us on.  Pulling for us.  With us every step of the way.  Such an emotional thing to be pushed to your limits physically and mentally and have your loved ones there waiting for you.
 Just an amazing thing to go through.  We came in at just over  10 and a half hours.We crossed the finish line, hands held high in the air.  What an amazing day.  So hard but so fulfilling.  An experience we will never forget.

 Oh and the guys we were neck and neck with. We ended up finishing about an hour ahead of them.  And the lady that was sitting down and I thought would probably drop out.  She finished too.  

3 brothers + 50 miles + 10 hours + one awesome day.
My number one fan.  Love her so much for putting up with my craziness.

 Kiddos having fun waiting for me to finish.

Thanks for reading.  On to the next adventure.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Utah Half Iron Man 2012

Race Report
It was the usual night before the race routine.  Slept horrible.  Super nervous.  Kids woke me up a few different times.  Probably on got a couple hours of sleep.  Finally it’s 4:30 am.  I had prepped and loaded everything the night before so once I woke up all I had to do was eat some toast  and get my water bottles out of the freezer and head out.  Took a couple of pepto bismol tablets to slow things down for the rest of the day.  Headed out to Utah Lake State park.  Found a place to park and got all my stuff out and headed over to the transition area to get set up.  I wasn’t sure where to go but I’ve found whenever you arrive at a race, all you have to do is walk towards the bright light and that’s usually the right way to go.  Found a good spot on the racks in the middle of the  transition area.  Got all my gear set up.  This is triathlon #3 for me so I’m getting used to setting my stuff up.  Took my time.   Headed over and got my body markings and timing chip.  Used the restroom.  Listened to a little music and finally it was time.  After a short pre race meeting we got our wetsuits on and headed towards the water.  It was a super calm and peaceful morning.  The water was smooth.  ( a good thing for swimming in open water)  as we are waiting to start we are all looking at the buoys making sure we know which way to go.  The race director tells us it will be a deep water start. 

  The waves will start every 3 minutes.  First the elites, then the 29 and under then it’s my turn.  We swim over to the start area.   Soon enough the horn sounds and we are off.  It’s a little crowded at first but we thin out quickly.  I’m so thankful that we got to use wetsuits.   Last week they told us the water was 82 and not to plan on a wetsuit.  Which freaked me out to say the least.  Luckily the water temp cooled down so we could all wear wetsuits.    About .2 miles into the swim just after we round the first buoy.  I go to tread water to rest a bit and I feel the ground.  Very good news.  I look over and notice a few other people touching the ground to.  So I continue to walk a bit and swim a bit.  We round the second buoy.  I’m still able to touch the ground.  I try to swim as much as possible but it was very nice to know I could touch if I needed to.  I still have a long ways to go with  my swimming endurance.  Around the next buoy and we have completed the first swim lap.  The sun is peaking up now making it hard to see exactly where I’m going.  The first lap took a while but I knew I could do it again.  I successfully make the 2nd lap with intermittent breaks of walking and back stroke.  Finally I head towards the water exit.  Veered off the wrong direction a few times.  The water was deep during this last stretch but I just kept moving.  Took a second to go pee in the water before getting out.  Made it to the boat ramp.  It was super slippery and mossy so baby steps up the boat ramp and headed over to the transition area with a huge smile on my face, happy the swim is over.  The swim took me 48 minutes which wasn’t too bad for me.  T1 took less than 2 minutes.  I took some time to put on some sunscreen.  Brought a bucket this time to sit on while taking off my wetsuit and changing shoes.  I thought that worked good.  After a quick mount I was off on the 56 mile bike ride.  There were lots of turns at the beginning.  In the first 5 miles I saw like 6 people with flats.  I kept praying I wouldn’t get one.  I started off with a pretty good pace, keeping it to around a 3 minute mile.  The entire bike course was real flat.  So it was easy to keep a constant pace.  Every once and a while I would hear what sounded like a car coming near me, and it turns out it is a real fast bike cruising by me with what seemed like very little effort.    About 15 miles or so into the ride they had an aid station with drinks.  I passed by it.  I had enough on my  bike to get me thru the entire ride.   The ride took us way out south towards Spanish fork.  Made it to mile 28 and we turned around and headed back.   The out and back is nice cause you can see who is ahead of you and who is behind you.  A few people in my age group passed me.  Which surprised me cause I really thought I was the last person out on the swim in my age group.  The 2nd half of the bike course was hard.  Mostly because my rear end was getting real sore.  Had to keep standing up and giving it a break.  I tried munching on a clif bar.  It was real hard to get it down.  I took a caffeine gu when I had an hour left on the bike.  The last  5 miles of the bike were kinda fun.  There was one guy in my age group that we kept passing each other.  He finally ended up beating me  into the transition area But I knew I’d pass him on the run.  I ate one more caffeine gu just before finishing. . I did see April and the kids at the end of the bike which was great to see a familiar face. The bike ended up taking me 2 hours and 55 minutes.  Which I was pretty happy with.
Quickly transitioned into a runner.  Applied some sunscreen. 1 minute 28 seconds later I was off on the run.  Legs were pretty heavy to start out but had a pretty good pace.  The first mile took so long to finish.  Finally I completed the first mile in 6:35.  The next mile was 6:45.  I was flying by all the people that passed me on the bike.  That’s always the funnest part of tri’s for me is passing people on the run. 

  I saw Jimmy Joe and he ran with me for a half a mile or so and gave some good motivation.  Each mile seemed to get longer and longer and I started losing steam.  I had my hand water bottle with me full of Gatorade. But water was the only thing that sounded good.  A few more miles later I saw my brother and his wife again and they gave me some more motivation.  After starting the second loop I was getting real tired. By mile 7 I had slowed to an 8 min mile pace.  Around mile 9 my brother ran with me and stayed with me till the end.  It helped so much having him there and keeping me moving.  My body was shutting down.  I know I needed another caffeine gu or I was going to bonk.  I was on the verge of throwing up so all I could take in was water.  All the aid stations were great.  They had ice cold water, ice and Gatorade.  I ended up emptying out my handheld and filling it with ice water.  Which worked out great.  I kept spraying my face and dumping it on me.  The temperature the whole day had been great.  But it was really starting to heat up on the run. 

  My stomach was getting worse and worse. Finally during mile 12 I had to stop and pause and throw up gatorage for a while.  As people ran by me they’d shout out things like “you’ll feel better in a minute”  which I did.  We started moving again.  I passed most of the people that passed my while throwing up.  I was so tired though. All I wanted to do was fall over and cry.  But I had to keep moving. The finish line was so close but felt so far away.  Finally we round the bend, entering the park.  As I head towards the finish line I can see my family.  A sight for sore eyes.  There really is nothing better than seeing loved ones and the end of a long exhausting race.

  I called out for Zade to hold my hand and he runs me across the finish line. 

  What an amazing experience.  I am so happy to have completed this race.  Only last year completing a triathlon was only a dream.  Now I’m living that dream.  You really can do anything you set your mind to.  You just have to get out there and do it.  Even though at the end of the race I couldn’t have taken another step.  I still have this desire to do a full Iron man.  I know I’m  not ready for it right now.  But I will do it.  Oh yes I will.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Boston Marathon 2012

The Boston death march.
By Davey Orgill
I remember at one point looking over at the crowd the sounds of the cheers as well as the faces becoming blurry. I couldn’t even tell if what was happening was real or not. This feeling was something I’d never experienced before. I was unable to run for longer that 30 seconds without my chest tightening and me barely able to take a breathe.
Well let’s start from the beginning. On April 16th 2012 I was about to run the Boston Marathon. One of the oldest most sought after Marathons in the world. I shot a wedding on Saturday night. Flew out bright and early Sunday Morning. Arrived around 5pm. Met up with the Schwabs ( a couple from my home neighborhood) who were kind enough to pick up my race packet. We walked around town for a while trying to find some pasta. After an hour or so of walking. We found some food. Then headed off to bed. Now before I go into the race details I want to emphasize that I had very high expectations for this race. I had been training up to 70 miles per week since December. Running diligently every day of the week but Sunday. I had trained hard. I did my part and now it was time to enjoy the fruits of my labor. We got to the Red roof inn. Which the room smelled like a wet dog. I layed out all my racing gear, took a quick shower and went to bed. I said went to bed. Not went to sleep. I always sleep poorly before races and this one was no different. For the first couple hours I kept getting up out of bed not wanting to forget something for the next day. Thinking about the race. Getting more and more nervous about the race. The temperature was expected to reach record highs. The race director had sent out multiple emails to all the runners telling us that we shouldn’t race. That we could differ to next year. That we should not try to get our P.R. that speed was the ultimate killer. I said to myself. I’m here. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. Heat or no heat. I didn’t think I’d have much of a problem. Since I ran through the heat all summer last year with no problems. So I finally got to sleep around midnight or so. Then woke up at 3am. Laid there for another hour or so and finally it was time to leave. At 5:50am we left for Hopkinton to hang out at the runners village. I was one of the first runners there. I grabbed an available seat and talked with a few other runners. Finally after a half hour or so the busses of runners started showing up. It was an extremely long and anxiety filled morning. Waiting 4 hours for a race to start was so hard. I kept trying to enjoy the atmosphere and the experience of the Boston Marathon and 22,000 other runners. But I Just wanted to start running. I was on edge and had waited a long time for this. I passed some time watching the other runners rituals as they rubbed white stuff all over their feet. Had several jerseys and shoes to choose from to run in. It was pretty interesting to watch. They had music playing and tons of runners everywhere you looked. People from all over the world. It was pretty chilly out there until the sun came out. Then it started to warm up fast. There were 3 waves/ start times. The red wave, the white wave and the blue wave. I was in the 1st wave and the 3rd corral. Each wave had 9 corrals. Each corral held about 1000 runners I’m guessing. Finally it was just about time for the 1st wave to make the .7 mile walk to the start line. There were so many people there. On the way down to the start line the road was completely packed. I knew this was my only chance to warm up so I found some other runners weaving their way through the crowd so I joined in their little train and made a jog through the herding mass of runners. Near the beginning of the corrals I was able to do some of my pre run warmups with a few short runs. Finally I made my way up to the 3rd corral. We had to wait there for about 20 more minutes. It became shoulder to shoulder in there. 2 guys came and crammed right in front of me and I heard them say that someone was peeing right through his shorts onto the ground and it was splashing on them. Pretty gross. But you do what you gotta do I guess. With about 7 minutes to start time someone sang the national anthem. The tension and anticipation was rising. I had two gu’s with me for the race. I noticed one of them had fallen out of my pocket during my warmups. Not a good start. Next the elite runners arrived. They gave a short introduction of their accomplishments Including Geoffry Mutai who ran the fastest Marathon ever last year at the boston Marathon. Then before we new it we were off. I couldn’t help but smile. Knowing I was in Hopkinton experiencing this race with runners from across the globe. I started my watch. Waved to the tv cameras that were hovering above and started on what was going to be the hardest feat I had ever encountered. I had a very specific goal and plan for the race. I was shooting to run pretty even splits of 6:15 per mile with a goal time of around 2:45. I had trained at that pace. I had done multiple marathon pace runs at that pace so I knew I could do it. The first part of the race had some pretty good downhills so I knew I had to hold back and preserve energy for the latter parts of the race. As the race started there were so many runners. I was doing what I had to to keep at the pace I wanted. Weaving here and there. Giving hi 5’s to kids every so often. It was pretty cool every time I gave a group of people 5’s I would look down at my watch and I’d be going like 30 seconds per mile faster than I though I was. Mile one came in at 6:26. Mile two at 6:18. I was right on schedule. But I was working harder than I though I would have to this early in the race to keep that pace. Miles three and four came in in at 6:16 and 6:14. I was right on schedule still but I was having a hard time breathing. I figured it was just my nerves and I just needed to get into a nice rhythm. I took my first drink of Gatorade at mile 5. I tried taking deeper breaths through the next few miles but it was getting worse. Miles 5, 6, and 7 came in around a 6:30 pace. They had some minor hills involved but nothing too bad. My chest was getting real tight and it was hard to breath. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I kept saying prayers that my breath would be loosened and I could run the way I had trained to run. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I was supposed to breathe so much easier at sea level. I was getting scared. Miles 8,9, and 10 came by and I was slowing down with each mile. I was getting to the point where I could barely finish the mile without walking. I was drinking at every aid station but still felt thirsty. I still hadn’t seen April yet. I wasn’t sure if I had missed her but I really needed some encouragement right about now. Just before reaching halfway we passed Wellesly with all the screaming college girls trying to get kisses from the runners. Each had a poster with a reason why we should kiss them, “kiss me I’m a senior”, kiss me I’m asian, kiss me I won’t tell your wife” I ran on the opposite side of the road to avoid any complications. Finally I crossed the Halfway point. With tons of fans watching, thinking about repeating the distance I had just completed was daunting. Finally I heard april screaming my name. I had passed her but then turned around to talk to her. She said “are you quitting”?. I said no I’m not quitting but I’m tired and I can’t breath. She kissed me and sent me on my way. I had accepted that I wasn’t going to be able to get close to my 2:45 goal. But if I could get some energy back up I could still finish with a respectable time. I knew everybody at home was getting the text message updates and was watching me get slower and slower at every checkpoint. Every time I would walk (which was becoming more and more frequent) about 1-200 runners would pass me. It was so hard to do. I still have no idea if the 88 degree temperature was related to my breathing but I knew I had a major problem. The next miles really are a blur to me. I had switched my goal in the race to surviving, to not dying, to not becoming a DNF. Runners were dropping off left and right. I kept seeing them down on the side of the road. Getting medical attention. I saw one guy in the middle of the street writhing back and forth in pain from cramps in both legs. It was like something out of a war movie.
One thing I do have to say about the race. One expectation I had that was not let down were the fans. I have no doubt that they literally saved thousands of runners from heat exhaustion. Every where you ‘d look you’d see some little family with their little kids giving out oranges, or drinks or popsicles or ice chips. They saved me on multiple occasions. The once a mile aid stations were not enough. Every town we came to had passionate fans who genuinely cared about the runners and about the race. Like giving you piece of their will to get up the next hill or around the next corner. It was amazing.
There were so many hills in this race. I kept thinking I had hit the famous heart break hill and they just kept coming. I saw Dick Hoyt pushing his son in the wheel chair. What an inspiration. I patted him on the back as I ran by. I say ran by very loosely. I was running about half as fast as I was used to. It was getting so hot outside. Every chance I got I was running through a hose or sprinkler or dumping water on my head. I was drenched pretty much the entire race. I was gulping the Gatorade at ever stop and every drink I could get my hands on. I tried to use the roars of the crowd for energy but really I just wanted to fall down and die. I remember at one point looking over at the crowd the sounds of the cheers as well as the faces becoming blurry. I couldn’t even tell if what was happening was real or not. This feeling was something I’d never experienced before. I was unable to run for longer that 30 seconds without my chest tightening and me barely able to take a breath. It became somewhat of a death march. I just knew I had to keep moving forward. I couldn’t even walk down a hill without breathing hard. The only thing that sparked my short spurts of jogging was to end the misery sooner. I hit mile 24 and drank some weird coconut drink from someone and it set me off. My already upset stomach had had enough. I started spewing Gatorade. I tried to jog through the throwing up but it kept coming. Like 7 times gatorade and oranges kept coming out. Probably all I had taken in the entire day. Miles 24 to the end were grueling. I began to despair. Questioning my sanity for ever wanting to do this. Thinking I should never run again that I just wasn’t made for it. I could barely move forward and just when I was about to sit down and give up some kid yells “2” and his friends yell 5-5-5. And I realized it was my bib number 2-555 they kept chanting. It gave me the energy I needed to keep going. Then about a half mile later it happened again. Some young kids chanting my bib number. I was in so much pain and couldn’t take in the breath I needed, but those crazy Bostonians kept me going. Finally I reached the final stretch in Boylston. I had hit the 26 mile mark and had .2 to go. The finish line looked so far away. Some kids starts walking by me and says “not what you had planned today” I laughed and said I was shooting for a 2:45 and he said that’s the time he had qualified at and was going for the same time. We walked for a bit then I decided to try to jog across the finish line. I crossed at 4:05:02. The slowest marathon I had ever run. I was so glad it was over. Shortly after I crossed the finish line I started throwing up again. A volunteer asked me if I was ok. I wasn’t sure how to answer that. It seemed pretty obvious I wasn’t. I told him about my breathing problem I’d been having so he put me in a wheelchair and took me to the medical tent. It was like another scene from a war movie in there. About 150 beds full of runners passed out. Shivering. I.V’s hooked up. Some getting taken away on stretchers. I heard over 2000 runners needed medical attention that day with 120 taken away by ambulance. With 10 still in critical condition the following day. They took my vitals and kept me there for about 45 minutes or so. Made me drink some chicken boullioun and water to try to get some electrolytes in me. I went to the port a potty and threw up again. I was not getting better but I had to get out of there. Finally I told them I was ready to go. But I still felt horrible. I could barely walk but I needed to find april. I made my way to the bag drop bus and got my stuff. Then I had to make it to the street they had set apart to meet up with our families. It was so far to walk. I just wanted to lay down and die. But I was worried about april being worried about me. The sections were alphabetized and I made it to the W,X meeting area. I had to lay down. I couldn’t go any further. I layed there for about a half hour trying to muster up the energy to go find her. I borrowed another runners phone. April didn’t answer so I left her a message saying. I was in the medical tent for a while. I’m trying to make it to the O’s but I only made it as far as the W’s. I’ll stay here for a while. If I don’t see you I’ll try to make it to the O’s to find you. I never saw her. Another medical person asked if I needed help. I told him I just needed some time. After a while I stood up and staggered around the corner and saw the O’s. I saw April and started crying. I was weak. I could barely talk, trying to explain to her where I had been. We hugged. I layed down on the sidewalk and she fed me some potatoe chips and bread trying to nurse me back to health and give me some strength. I felt like such a failure. This was not even remotely close what I was expecting today. I felt like all my training was a complete waste. I didn’t know why this had happened to me or even what happened to my and why I couldn’t breathe. But I did know one thing. I finished the Boston Marathon. I made history today. I did something most other marathoners only dream of. On the way back to the hotel a song came on the radio with the lyrics what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And I realized that was true. That I survived this trial. And that I am tough as nails. That I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. That all my training was not wasted. I am a stronger runner today than I was when I started training for this. And that it only matters how quickly you get back up when life knocks you down. The 2012 Boston marathon was a humbling experience and one I will never forget. This is not the end of my running career. Only the beginning.