26.2 Miles. Done.

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.

  One thought on “26.2 Miles. Done.

  1. Anonymous
    October 15, 2005 at 18:43

    Rest well and heal, amigo. You deserve it. Not many men get to face their biggest challenge, meet it head on, and come out on top (even if an IV or two are involved!!)You have entered a new phase in your life…you’ve passed beyond one stage and are ready for the next. Nothing can stop you now.Thank God you are safe. Posted by Motherdear


  2. Anonymous
    October 15, 2005 at 19:26

    This was so incredible, Labbie. Just incredible. Congratulations! And thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. Posted by digitalicat


  3. Anonymous
    October 15, 2005 at 21:03

    I absolutely LOVED your audio posts…..It was so inspiring to viariously live through you…..Congratulations on a huge personal victory!! Posted by jenna


  4. Anonymous
    October 15, 2005 at 22:13

    Way to go my friend, you are right, you have accomplished somehting not many others can lay claim to and no one can take it away from you. Great Job. I was a little worried when I heard the 15 mile report, but you hung in there and got it done, despite the pain. Congratulations, and good luck with walking for the next few days. Bob Posted by Bob L.


  5. Anonymous
    October 16, 2005 at 00:07

    You are such an inspriation! I hope yo are soaking your footsies and taking it easy! 🙂 Thinking of you! …Ox…t Posted by lil irish gal


  6. Anonymous
    October 16, 2005 at 01:11

    Man, it’s scary to think about you blacking out and all that. Thank goodness you’re all right. I can’t really say any more than what’s already been said, but I guess I’ll try anyway. You’re a champion, and I think that the fact that you finished today after all you went through speaks volumes as to the kind of man you are. It’s such an amazing accomplishment. Kudos to you, LB. Just…wow.  Posted by Dirty Gypsy


  7. Anonymous
    October 17, 2005 at 00:48

    Perhaps I’ll join you next year…. okay, more like hold the sign cheering you on from the side of the road.  Posted by ltlme


  8. Anonymous
    October 17, 2005 at 11:55

    You take that nap and drink your Gatorade, Buddy!! Congradulations by the way. You did something I would never even think of doing. I think I would have to grow wings and cheat. Posted by KiKi


  9. Anonymous
    October 17, 2005 at 13:06

    Awesome, congrats! 🙂 Posted by Lulu


  10. Anonymous
    October 17, 2005 at 13:38

    CONGRATULATIONS! You know you are definately someone people should look up to. When you set a goal for yourself come hell or high water you always seem to achieve it. Well, at least from my perspective of a stranger out here in the blog world. Next time drink your gatorade 😉 Posted by LostNotFound1980


  11. Anonymous
    October 17, 2005 at 15:28

    You ROCK! You are my hero!You are the champion my friend. Rock on with your bad self. I”m glad you survived 🙂 Be proud. Be very proud of yourself. Posted by colonialave


  12. Anonymous
    October 17, 2005 at 17:57

    (golf clap) Nicely done, old man. Nicely done. :o)YAY! Posted by Jess


  13. Anonymous
    October 18, 2005 at 00:06

    Motherdear – Thank you for your comments. Yes, I feel something inside of me changed. I noticed it today at school. I was more confident. More… Alive.Digi – No, thank YOU for coming along with me…Jenna – Thank you.Mr. Bob – I had to re-learn how to walk. But it feels so good to have this kind of pain. I think I would have felt worse had I given up. Today began the training for the next one… Hopefully in January.Tiff – You are an inspiration, too. What you went through does not compare to this. YOU are MY hero.Dirty – Gracias. Yes, I grabbed life by the horns, didn’t I? Hehehe.Ltlme – You mean it wasn’t you? What the..? Yeah. You’re near Baltimore, right?Kiki – You already have wings, angel ;)Lulu – Thanks.LNF – Your perspective is correct. I hate quitting… Though I know my limitations.Frankie – I am the dog’s bollocks, aren’t I?Jess – I feel really old. And thanks.Okay… On to a post about forgiving and forgetting. Or not. Thank you all for your kind comments!!! Posted by Lab Guy


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