Ok, so I look really strong in some of my finish line photos, but believe me.. looks can be very very deceiving. I’m an expert at hiding what I feel inside (I think most asthmatics are, to some degree.) Behind those smiles were waves of excruciating pain shooting down my legs. My breathing was really labored at times and my calf muscles felt like they were going to explode, but I told myself at the start of this race that if I made it past mile 21, that no matter how bad my breathing was, or how much pain I might be in, that I would push on with positive thoughts in my head and a smile on my face….And that’s exactly what I did! And if for no other reason, that’s why I’m so proud of myself for finishing the race in style.
(Finish line photos)
I don’t care how healthy you are, even if just walking a marathon, when you get to a certain distance in a race, your body starts to hurt really bad (I think that’s what they mean by “Hitting the WALL”). The problem is, you can’t really stop moving or you run the risk of your whole body cramping up. It’s happened to me before, and I’m telling ya..it ain’t a pretty scene. A full body cramp would end the race for you , right then and there. So after 20 miles, you do whatever you can to stretch out those muscles while you’re moving, but you never stop.
So what did it take to get this 55 year old severe asthmatic across the finish line at the Boston marathon?
Well, how about lot’s of training, lots of medications and a ton of determination and willpower! Having a good friend walking along side of you , who makes you laugh constantly, probably helps as well.. Thank goodness for Lizzy.
Here are couple photos I left out of the main photo set. I think you know why…
(Had to stop to sneek a neb treatment about every 7 miles along the course… this eats up a lot of time )
( Needed 3 neb treatments back to back after crossing the finish line. )
*To control my asthma during this 26.2 mile race, in addition to the neb treatments every 7 miles, I took appx 24 hits off my inhaler ( about 3 puffs per hour). On top of the inhaled drugs, I swallowed 10 mg of prednisone every hour , chased by an antacid to control the stomach burning that the prednisone causes in the first place . Thank You Jon ( our spotter who went and got me some TUMS in the middle of the race.
*To control the pain in my calve muscles and the metatarsalgia pain in my feet, I took 2 Motrins every 2 hours along the course, 6 in total.
*For energy and hydration , I consumed 2-4 oz of plain water every mile, alternating with Gatorade every other mile. I did this for the first 20 miles, then switched to a 50-50 blend of electrolytes and water (2 oz) every mile for the rest of the race. In addition, I swallowed one Powerbar gel ( tangerine with double caffeine) every 6 miles.
So as you can see, doing this race ( or any other for that matter) wasn’t as as easy for me as most people might think. I just make it look that way:-)