The Corporate Track Meet

The Wednesday before the nightmare in 2013, I actually completed a corporate track practice and then tacked on another 3 mile social run at our local running store afterwards. During that run, I got so dizzy that I fell. I bloodied up both of my knees and had to hobble back to the store.

 My hand would have been more busted up, but my cell phone took the brunt of the fall.
Photo from April 2013.
My extreme dizziness should have been a warning that my Adrenal Insufficiency was incredibly unstable, but I didn't realize it until it was almost too late. In the months that followed, I went from being able to run a 5k in 26:09 while holding on a conversation to barely being able to walk from the bed to the bathroom without passing out.

I had to drop out of track with no other explanation than "health." I could not adequately express my disappointment as I believed running in track was yet another dream cruelly stolen from me.

But dreams should not always be viewed as stolen. Sometimes, dreams are just placed on paused.

In 2015, I was healthy enough to rejoin the cooperate track team. I even qualified to compete at the regional meet in May. I was running the opening leg of the pyramid relay which consisted of five different sections: 400M Female - 800M Male - 1200M Male - 800M Male - 400M Female.

At the start.
Photo from May 2015.
I am not used to starting races in an individual lane, on a track. But I did it, setting both a PR for my 400M and beating the time of the other woman on our team. My husband overheard someone on our team state that I looked like a sprinter. This long distance gal, who had never sprinted before in her life, looked like a sprinter. Mission accomplished.

Our pyramid relay team.
800M, 800M, 1200M, 400M (aka me), 400M.
Photo from May 2015.
Our pyramid team took third in our event and our corporate team took second over all.

The 2015 Track Team.
I was wearing compression socks to try to avoid aggravating my shin splints.
Photo from May 2015.
I did amazing for my event. Afterwards, things began to go down hill.

My husband and I left the charter bus to head north of the city in order to put our group on waiting list for a particular restaurant. What was supposed to be only a 45 minute drive turned into over an hour with us trapped in traffic. When we finally got to the restaurant, they informed us it would be over a four hour wait.

As I continued to fade due to inadequate steroid coverage and dehydration, my mind became irrationally fixated on the task I said I would complete: procure a table at that specific restaurant. I am a bit ashamed to admit I shouted loud profanities in the restaurant as I stormed out in tears feeling completely overwhelmed and helpless, unable to complete the task.

This was a wake up call. I took more HC as we drove to our friends' house. I knew that my body would not be able to handle a turn around trip from Houston so we planned to stay the night with some dear college friends.

The wife said she'd be happy to prepare a gluten free meal that we could just eat at their peaceful home. I started crying when I realized that was the new plan. I knew that I could not handle being out in public at the moment, but I needed to eat food. This could not have been more perfect.

We were planning on watching a movie after dinner, but I was starting to get the dreaded low cortisol migraine. The wife saw how unwell I felt and stated, "Please don't feel obligated to stay up. If you need to go to bed, go to bed." I was so appreciative her stating that. I took some more HC, a zofran, and was in bed by 8:45pm. I awoke the next morning feeling better, but still not 100%. I then realized how badly sunburned I was. By this time I should know beyond a shadow of a doubt that sunburns are extreme cortisol utilizers. And yet, I forgot sunscreen.

PSA- Be CAREFUL of the sun on cloudy days!
Photo from May 2015.
After we packed up our things, my husband and I returned to Dallas. I'm glad I was finally able to compete in a track meet. Though I did learn a few things:
  1. Sprinting is HARD. It also utilizes much more cortisol than I was expecting. We're talking like half marathon levels to run 400M fast.
  2. Sunburns require extra HC. And aloe. Lots and lots of aloe.
  3. I might feel fine immediately after exercise, but I must be extremely mindful of the following 4-6 hours. This is when I can get into the danger low cortisol zone.
I'll remember these lessons and apply them to my next running adventures. I shall also never forget that this long distance gal was able to sprint, and sprint well.

28 August 2017 Update

In all honestly, I needed to go to the Emergency Room after the Track Meet. I had sprinted, gotten badly sunburn, and my body was giving all the signs of an impeding crisis. I begged my abuser to take me because I knew I needed IV fluids. He refused, because it was inconvenient for him. He left me upstairs, in the guest bedroom, while I was still writhing in agony from a horrible migraine.

Cortisol is only half of the equation. An emergency injection does very little to combat dehydration. Sunburns are extremely dehydrating. Although I did survive this event, there were hours of unnecessary physical torture due to my abuser. I was unstable for several days after the event.

Do not fear emergency medical treatment.

And if you are in a position where someone refuses to take you, call an ambulance.

You deserve to remain Clearly Alive.

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