The Weekend That Wasn’t

4 Sep

Happy September, everybody! Hope you all had a relaxing, enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

You know how you can plan things out as well as you want to and then life has other things in mind? This weekend was one of those. As I had excessively mentioned before, Stefano and I were headed down to Virginia Beach for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. On Saturday morning, we braved the vehicular exodus from Washington and were on our way down.

The traffic wasn’t super horrible, but we definitely hit a few rough spots along the way.

Luckily, I had great company to help pass the time.

Stef takes his air guitar very seriously

We ended up driving straight to the convention to pick up our bibs and swag bags.

I don’t know if every Rock ‘n’ Roll convention has a runner’s heaven, but we had one, complete with an angel playing the harp.

We had a great time walking around, trying the free samples, and doing a little window shopping for gear and shoes. Stefano was looking for new running shoes but didn’t find any that he was crazy about. We dropped by the sign-making booth and made each other some motivational posters for our respective runs, though I never got to use mine (cue foreshadowing).

On our way towards the exit, we caught some of the experts’ panel, that had some great speakers, like Olympic gold medal winner, Frank Shorter. They talked about what they liked about running, how to get past mental blocks, and why it’s so important for people to stay active. Frank said something I really resonated with, which was that some just don’t like the bio-mechanical movement of running and should look for other activities that use different movements. I completely agree with him, because I have tried time and time again to enjoy running and I just can’t seem to get there. I do like the race environment, but running has always been, and continues to be, a real struggle for me.

After the convention, Stef and I decided to hit the beach for a stroll, before grabbing an early dinner at Tautog’s, just off Atlantic Avenue. The beach was definitely crowded, but Stef and I were excited to put our feet in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time! In his words, “we lost our Atlantic Ocean virginity”. Thanks for that, Stef.

A couple of kids on the beach had made a pretty impressive sandcastle, which was dangerously close to getting swept away by the incoming waves.

When we got to the restaurant for dinner, it was super busy and the wait was over an hour long. We decided to get drinks and the bar and, upon finding out we could order dinner there, just decided to stay there for the rest of the evening! We both ordered the crab soup as a starter, which was creamy and delicious, filled with lots of crab meat.

Pardon the flash! It was pretty dark in there.

The sandwiches were looking delicious, so Stef went for the crabcake sandwich while I ordered the Bronzed Fresh Fish with Lettuce, Cheddar Jack Cheese, Red & White Salsa in a Soft Flour Tortilla – yum, yum.

Now excuse the dark photo…that’s what happens when you don’t use flash in a dark place.

After a really delicious meal, we called it a night and walked back to where we were staying for an early bed.

The wake-up call was a cheery 5:30 AM and we did a short jog down to the race line to get ourselves warmed up. I was in Corral 12. but Stef was all the way up front in Corral 1, with a predicted 1.5 hour finish time (more foreshadowing). We wished each other luck and off we went (as Stef would say, like a herd of turtles)! At the start line, cheering us on, was Francena McCorory, one of the women on the winning 4×400 USA relay team at the London Olympics! So exciting.

The day was muggy and warm and I will tell you now that the run was a slog for me. The bands were great, though, and I felt okay by the time I finished my 5K in 30 minutes and 53 seconds, which is a hair under a 10 minute/mile. My goal was to get sub-10, so I am pretty pleased, especially since I didn’t really train and the humidity was killer (the most foreshadowing).

After collecting all my yummy freebies, picking up the gear bag, and wiping myself down with a cold towel (brilliant idea, by the RnR planners), I was by the finish line, waiting for Stef to finish up. His estimated finish time was 1.5 hours, so I got my camera out and was ready for when he crossed the finish line. Then it was an hour and 45 minutes and still nothing. When two hours had passed and he still hadn’t showed up, I knew something was wrong.

About that time, I received a phone call from a paramedic at the marathon, saying that he was with Stef and they were transporting him to the mobile clinic that they had set up for the race. Panicking, I raced over there and saw them taking him out of the ambulance on a stretcher and into a tent. It was a few horrible minutes before someone came to meet me and explain what was going on. Because of the humidity, Stef’s body had lost A LOT of water during the run and he eventually passed out while running on the course. The paramedics had picked up him and were giving him fluids through an IV.

Of course I was terrified, but I knew that he was in good hands and there wasn’t much I could do. The real terror set in when another medical volunteer came over to me and told me that they were taking him to the emergency room because his body had reach 107 degrees and they wanted to cool him down ASAP. WHAT?!?!?! After getting the address of the ER, I ran back to where we were staying (which brought my total distance for the day to 5 miles) and pick up the car. Luckily, the ER was close and I was there within minutes.

Upon arrival, I gave his name to the receptionist, who promptly told me that there wasn’t anybody in their system by that name. I explained that he had been brought over from the race course and she suggested that maybe they hadn’t arrived yet. I had a hard time believing this, because they had left much earlier than I, but I waited in the visitors’ room for news. A few minutes later, the phone rang again. It was yet ANOTHER medical volunteer who was apologizing profusely for mixing up patients and saying that Stefano had, in fact, been released from the medical tent on the course and was NOT being taken to the ER.

As relieved as I was, another wave of panic set in, as he was walking around the boardwalk by himself, without his cell phone to contact me (I had checked our gear bag and had picked it up after the race). Luckily, he borrowed somebody’s phone and called me, so we found a place to meet and were finally reunited.

When I picked him up, he looked awful – his face was pale and he was really out of it. We had to stop on the way back to our place for him to vomit (sorry for the TMI) on the side of the road. After taking a quick shower, he went straight to bed and stayed there for the rest of the day. He had been so dehydrated that the medics had to put over two liters of fluids into his body before they deemed him fit for release. Needless to say, the rest of the trip was pretty subdued.

When it was time to leave on Monday, he was feeling much better, having had a good night’s rest and plenty of fluids. We were lucky not to hit any traffic along the way, though we did get pulled over for speeding, which I thought was a totally bogus ticket. Stef has never been pulled over in his life, so go figure it would happen after the previous debacle. It was just not his weekend.


We made it back to Washington safe and sound and spend the rest of the day catching up for the work week ahead. Thank goodness it’s only four days! Hoping for a low-key next few days, because this weekend was eventful enough!

On totally unrelated note, my breakfast today was a yummy smoothie and a classic PB&J on an English muffin. Simple and delicious.

Quick Question: Have you ever had an accident or injury during a race/game/meet/match/etc.? Has one of your loved ones ever gone through something like that?


3 Responses to “The Weekend That Wasn’t”

  1. Aunt Rebecca September 10, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Since I’ve never competed in any sporting event in my many lives, nor have any of my significant others, the only thing I can say is that I sprained my ankle hella bad when I lived in Guatemala. Took months before it was healed. i had no idea that sprains could be as painful & long healing as breaks.

    I am very glad Stef was ok, and didn’t do damage passing out!


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