Two months ago I shuffled into the emergency room with pain in my right leg and shortness of breath. A few hours later I was in a hospital room diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis in my right calf and a massive clot load, or pulmonary embolisms, in both sides of my lungs. I spent the next four days in the hospital. I would be on several different restrictions for the next eight weeks, including travel. I had been planning on walking the Wineglass Half Marathon for almost a year and now I was afraid all that was in jeopardy.
Once I was released and back home I started walking, but walking to the end of the street and back left me wanting to take a nap. I slowly built back up. By race day on October 1st I had gotten up to a slow 7 miles on the treadmill ONE time. I was not sure if I would be able to finish, but I was determined to start.
My Doctor has said I was cleared to walk the race, so I thought I would try. I went in with the plan of walking slow, even for me, and checking in to make sure my breathing was not labored. I had looked up where all the medical tents were. I had written Michelle’s contact info on the back of my bib just in case. The start signaled and I started walking.
Just after crossing the start mat a lady came up to me and said she had noticed my Atlanta Track Club hat and asked if I lived in Atlanta. I responded and to my surprise she stayed with me and talked some more. As an introvert, I typically have my headphones in and don’t talk to anyone the entire course. Plus, when I am pushing I usually find it hard to keep up a conversation. I kept expecting her to say “bye” and move on, but she never did. As everyone else passed us and the marathoners started catching up and overcoming us, she stayed by my side. You can cover a lot of material in 4 hours and 51 minutes and we did so with ease. I really did not notice the miles. I did notice the beautiful scenery, supportive volunteers and the smiling, cheering spectators that lasted the entire way. The weather was perfect on what turned out to be a sunny and cool autumn day. Michelle joined us from the sidewalk at about 11.5 miles and added her own cheerleading with a full rundown of what we could expect at the finish line.
I want to take a moment to thank Lindsay Mast of Tucker, GA from the bottom of my heart. I believe that God puts people in your path when you need them and I believe he led her to me that morning. While it was the longest I have ever been on a half marathon course, it felt like the shortest. That is because of her engaging personality. So on October 1st, I earned my 11th Half Marathon medal.
Check back Sunday as Michelle and I will post our combined race rating and review. As a preview I would definitely recommend the Wineglass Half Marathon in Corning, NY. #WGM17