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Monday, August 20


I’ve talked about running plenty of times before. I was training for a race or two when I started running.  Both the husband and I ran a half marathon in 2010 so I was excited to run another race but nervous since this would be by myself.

The 10.5 kilometer race was few weeks ago. I was especially thrilled when a local American expat wife was also planning to run the race.  Having prepared for months, I was ready to start and finish.  At 10am, we started together.  The first 5 kilometers felt comfortable.  Although the sun was out in full force, having my music to run with as well as a partner helped pushed me through the first half.  Though at some point in the first half, I said to her the sun was really making it tough to stay cool.  She was supportive and encouraged me to keep going.  After couple quick water stops and 30- 45 second walking breaks, I slowed down at 7,5 kilometer.  My partner slowed down also to run at my pace. Between kilometer 8 and 8,5, I started walking and told her to keep going. 

What ensued is dreadful, especially with all the training I had done.

Around kilometer 9 I started feeling lightheaded.  Instead of stopping to walk, I kept running because I believed I was close to the finish line.  Then I saw big balloons and lots of people cheering so I was happy to cross the finish line.  I called the husband to meet him and our friends.  He was confused because he didn’t see me and couldn’t find me near the finish line.  After multiple failed phone call attempts, we both realized I was disoriented and did not finish.  I was in fact 0,5- 1,0 kilometer from the end.

I stumbled to get help.  Using my best German the emergency unit drove me to the finish line in an ambulance to meet the husband and friends that were impatiently awaiting my arrival.  (side note- when we were driving to the finish line in the ambulance, a young nurse offered me aswater and asked me if I needed to barf. To this day that makes me chuckle because I didn't know barf was medical terminology. Before you roll your eyes, I credit him asking and using his best English.) Once at the finish line, I admitted myself to the make-shift hospital tent to seek help.  The nurses gave me water through ivy and once the first bag was finished, I received another because my blood pressure was too low.  While I was getting ivy, the nurses said I experienced sun stroke and dehydration hence the lightheaded and disoriented feeling.  After two bags of water through ivy, I was discharged to get some food.

Our friends with a car offered to drive us home, thankfully.  I slept for an hour before round 2 began.  And by round 2 I mean all the water I had consumed through ivy and the food I had eaten came back up.  This lasted for couple hours before we decided to go the hospital.  The doctor there gave me water through ivy again and that didn’t last long.   While I was hooked up to the water ivy, I felt the sensation to throw up and did.  Then the doctor took me off of the ivy and gave me anti-vomit medication.  That helped, I came home and went to bed.  The next morning, I woke up feeling a bit sore (from not stretching post run) but fine. 

Looking back there are some lessons to learn from.  I drank 2 glasses of water pre run; I now know that wasn’t enough and any (especially mid morning or mid day) run requires lots more water for a race.  I also didn’t eat a hearty breakfast before the race, another lesson learned.  Eat what works for you; for me fruit, toast and drink plenty of water.  2 mini muffins are not enough.

It’s important to set a pace that works and keep going at that.  Although it was great to have a partner and I will always be thankful to her for running with me, she’s a faster runner than me so I ran too fast in the first 5 kilometers.

There was another race recently the husband and I ran together.  It was at 7:30pm and still too warm for a race but we had the whole day to consume plenty of water and food.  And fortunately for both of us and other runners, it was only 6 kilometers.  We both finished at a good time.

The husband did the 6 kilometers and is finished with running.  The shorter race was motivation for me to keep running and try running another race.   


  1. hi ben.. didnt know you went thru so much after a race... take it easy... loved your blog...