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The Half-Marathon Fiasco

Today was the first race of 2014! I laced up my shoes after a rough winter and got ready for the Tuscaloosa Half-Marathon. This was the second year for the race, first year for me. I was looking forward to this race for a few reasons.

Here is one of them. I got to see the MS and AL chapters of Ainsley’s Angels in action! Captains Mollie (MS) and Kylie (AL) were at the start line for the wheelchair division. I was running late and needing to find a bathroom so I quickly introduced myself to the directors Chrisanna and Vera and managed to snap a couple of pics before they were off running and rolling. It was so great to meet up with the MS group. I know Chrisanna is a sole sister to the core…she had the same idea I had regarding a line of discreet (enough) bushes we could use instead of standing in lines for stinky johns. 



Another reason for this race is that the course stayed in the downtown and RiverWalk area which is some of the best areas of our town. It’s been 3 years since the tornadoes leveled our town and the rebuilding has been great for Tuscaloosa. But I’m just not ready to run through some of the worst hit areas that hold memories that still wake me at night. After I saw the final course, I wanted to register. (I had to wait until a few days before due to a possible meningitis exposure at school).

The race started on time and was very well organized. We all lined up at the Amphitheater and then spent the first few miles winding around some residential areas of downtown. Then we went down University Blvd through campus and Bryant-Denny stadium. Eventually, we were along the river using the River Walk. I absolutely love the River Walk area. It is one of my favorite places for running, walking, Farmer’s Marketing, and enjoying the peace and solitude of the river.

I’ll save a ton of details but things went downhill (not literally) for me. I started feeling lightheaded even though I had already used 1 gel. I slowed down to a walk so I could check my glucose. It was way too high and I knew I had trouble waiting for me. It has been a few years since this has happened and I honestly wasn’t thinking very clearly at that point. I knew the higher it went, the faster it would fall. I remember spending way too much energy and effort trying to figure out WHY this happened instead of paying attention to how I was feeling. I stumbled off course and sat for a while until I could get my head clear again. And I did finish the race.

After I crossed the line, I got my medal and got to my car as quickly as I could in case I got dizzy again. It was a very sobering day.

Next up, I’m not really sure. There are a couple of local races that Ainsley’s Angels will participate in and I’m thinking about signing up to be an Angel. The next race I’m registered for is the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon in April. Training continues after a week off to rest up and get my nutrition in order.