They say whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. So Imma get stronger.
Right on, Will.I.Am. And those words will resonate with me until the day I die.
So, on the 6th day leading to the CLE Marathon, I had a very busy day coming from a busy weekend. After teaching all day followed by grocery shopping, I got home, threw some running clothes on, and was out the door. As soon as I got to the second mile of my scheduled easy run, I knew it wasn’t going to be good. I decided to cut down a side street and just start heading home. No sooner I made that decision, I felt like I was losing control of my body. In the past, when this feeling came on, I tried to push through it…and then ended up face first at the bottom of a hill. This time, I stopped, turned off my watch…and that’s all I remember. :-( The next thing I remember, I was in an ambulance heading to the hospital. I remember using the paramedic’s cell phone to call my little brother to come to the Emergency Room, and I remember them telling me it looked like I had a seizure. That is what they ALWAYS tell me, and the test results ALWAYS contradict their hypothesis. I was too scared and overwhelmed to panic right away. When they wheeled me into the room of the E.R, I started to freak out. I needed to get the heck out of there. I didn’t want to get stuck there all night, have them run all of the same tests again (that are NOT cheap), and just have them tell me that they don’t have any answers. I almost took the IV out myself because I had lost all patience, mainly with myself. How could this have happened AGAIN!?!! This is the THIRD time in three years. What in the HECK is wrong with me? The nurse came in to take out my IV as I was insisting on leaving, followed by the ER doctor (who happened to be a total hottie). Regardless of his hotness, I had to go. LOL. And, so I did, despite the crazy looks I got from that entire ER. Maybe I am psycho, but I just couldn’t do it again. So I went home, tried to keep to myself about it without upsetting my family, and maybe slept 5 hours that night (maybe). I felt so alone, frustrated, guilty, worried…to name a few of the emotions I felt that night.
On day 5, I was a mess. I had a late night at school. I knew something was wrong, and was trying to go through my daily routine pretending like I was fine. I was paranoid the ENTIRE day and night that I was going to pass out while I was driving, or while I was teaching, or while I was walking…just TOTALLY paranoid. I kept getting this jittery pain in my legs, in my arms, and in my chest. This extended into day 4. Fortunately, I was able to go home right after school that night and was in bed at 7pm. That was the first day this ENTIRE school year I JUST went home, watched TV, and RELAXED. My body was desperate for it.
On day 3 until CLE, I attempted a 30:00 easy run. There was NO way I was doing this alone, or any run again alone for that matter, so I recruited my little brother to go with me. Thank you SO much for everything, JP. I couldn't have done it all without you! I LOVE YOU! It was the longest 30:00 easy run of my life. I was SO paranoid with each step. Some moments, I felt fine. Other moments, I felt like I was going to <maybe> pass out again. I had lost all confidence in my ability to run. I felt out of control of my body and truly didn’t know if I could even run a mile. But, regardless of my fear, I felt that I HAD to run the marathon on Sunday. Not for me, but for Wigs For Kids. I had accomplished so much, my student and inspiration Annie was so excited, and the P.R. people were making plans to capture each moment. Not doing the marathon wasn’t an option for me, and I was SO scared I wasn’t going to be able to do it.
On day 2 til the marathon, I did another 30:00 easy run. I did this one solo, but up and down half of my street. Everything felt good, but I couldn’t get the fear out of my head. Even that night heading to the Expo, my chest was SO tight and my legs and arms were so jittery. I couldn’t calm myself down. Running, one of my biggest passions that I have loved so much and has brought me so much joy, had suddenly become something I feared. All of this happening THE WEEK before I was to run 26.2 miles for a charity that meant so much to me. Murphy’s Law, I suppose. Just awful.
When day 1 came, I did everything possible to put aside my fear and headed to Phases Hair Salon. With my sisters, my brother, Mom, Annie, and her Mom by my side, I donated 15” of my hair to Wigs For Kids! http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_portage/aurora-high-school-honors-teacher-mary-pavicic-donates-hair-before-running-in-cleveland-marathon It was an awesome moment, and I was so glad to have all of those wonderful women there. It was especially awesome that Annie and her Mom came out, and just made everything that I had done and was planning to do that much more worth it. Annie’s strength, courage, and kindness has had such a positive impact on me throughout this entire experience. I used that energy to get me through the day and to the start line the next day. Time didn’t matter to me at that point. The temperature was expected to be in the 80s and with this overshadowing health issue, I just wanted to cross that finish line. I prayed and prayed and prayed that night…I REALLY needed God to be with me.
|With my inspiration!|
|15"+ of hair! Can't believe that was mine! :-)|
Then, my alarm went off at 4:00am on Sunday, May 19, 2013…the day of the CLE Marathon…
…to be continued…