Hello. I’m home. I’m hurting. I’m very, very happy. I am happy beyond words… I have done what I thought I could not do. And all the pain in the world, and all the problems of my complicated life… All of that is nothing. NOTHING. It is all minuscule and non-existent.
There was a problem at the finish line. I lost consciousness right as I crossed it. The last thing I remember is stepping on the timing mat and looking at the sky. I woke about half an hour later on a stretcher at the medical tent. The wonderful people from Johns Hopkins were all around me, taking care of me. There were a few things going on:
- My blood pressure was 80/40, down from my usual 110/80.
- My blood glucose (sugar) was in the 30’s.
- My body temperature was over 100 F.
- I had tunnel vision and was talking gibberish when they picked me up.
- My legs were cramping.
The young lady doctor, who was cute (very), by the way, said that I was minutes away from all-out failure. I was reminded of that guy that almost won the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, but his body shut down a few meters from the finish line. We both had the same problem… Too much sweat left our bodies and not enough water and electrolytes made it back in. See, the temperature in Baltimore climbed into the 80’s. It had been in the 50’s and raining all week! So the heat caught up to me and kicked my ass. That’s why I was cramping, and that’s why I felt like quitting.
But I didn’t quit. This “thing” inside me kicked into gear and kept me going. Something in my head kept saying “you must go on.” Yes, a part of me thought about the shame of quitting. It was countered by many thoughts of how it wasn’t quitting. It was being safe about my body. Still, I had to go on…
The medical staff at the medical tent started two IV’s on my left hand and my right arm. They also took my pressure, gave me oxygen… The works. Then they called two guys from the massage tables to come over and work on my legs. I don’t remember any of this. It was scary. The next memory I have is reaching for my finisher’s medal on my chest… It was all that mattered, really.
When I completely woke up, the “high” of finishing a marathon kicked in. I have been feeling very good ever since. But now, I need to sleep. I need to take a nice, long nap. A recuperative nap.
Thank you all for your wonderful comments on the audioposts. I will post pictures when I wake up. Thanks again.