I’ve been back home for almost two weeks now. That’s enough time to adjust, don’t you think?
Since I’m unemployed, that means I have plenty of time on my hands. Time enough to apply for jobs every day as well as enjoy the outdoors. So I’ve been running. And swimming. And riding a bike.
The bike ride didn’t really go as planned. First, my 26-year-old butt just doesn’t like the seat as much as my 10-year-old butt did. Ouch. Also, you know that phrase “it’s like riding a bike”? Well, it must not apply to me because I fell. Yep. I was coming off of a little green belt that runs by a creek and turning onto a (main) street. Instinct said I should stop the bike and get off to turn it, but in my head I thought “That’s silly! Who actually stops their bike to turn it?”
Sure enough, the turn was too sharp and I ended up falling off the curb into the street just in time for a car to drive by and see me. They slowed down, surely to ask me if I was OK, so I immediately jumped back on (hoping the helmet was low enough to mask my identity) and rode away in shame. I hope it wasn’t anyone I know. I’ve got two scraped knees and some giant bruises to show for that.
On Thursday night, I decided to go to a women’s running group. I’m thinking of running my first half marathon in October so I thought it would be good to train in a group, when possible. Plus, did I mention my only friends here are my parents? Time to meet some new people.
So I show up to running group and a very fit lady there talks about how she fell on her bike.
“Me too!” I said.
“Where do you guys bike?” Asks a lady who works at a running store.
“Oh I was on the trail in blah-de-blah and I hit a giant rock and skidded out of control.” She answers.
They turn to me.
“Oh. Uh. I was in my neighborhood…sharp turn. I haven’t ridden a bike in 10 years!” Pathetic.
So we get ready to run a trail and they start putting people in order by pace. I tell them I run about a 9:30-minute mile and they seem surprised and put me third in line. Now, I know I’m not fast but for a brief moment I felt really good about myself. I should have known that I wasn’t faster than the lady who WORKS AT THE RUNNING STORE AND RUNS THIS TRAIL REGULARLY.
I was not prepared for this run. It was just like a hike, but at running speed. The first two miles were completely uphill! My lungs were burning like fire. My first mile was 11 minutes. My second mile was a mere 14! I wanted to turn around, but they kept encouraging me to go further. I wanted to cry. And walk.
The way back was, obviously, easier because it was downhill. The only danger in that case was tripping on one of the many rocks in the path and spraining my ankle and then tumbling down the side of the mountain to my death. I’m thinking that next time, with the coordination I inherited from my dad, I should wear the bike helmet. Just in case.
I ended up feeling really good on the way back. The view was absolutely breathtaking and coming down the hill looking at it felt like flying. I love Colorado. There’s no place like home.
The next day, I swam some laps and went to donate blood. I was feeling good, but I still warned them that sometimes I get dizzy when I donate. So they were careful to keep my feet elevated, and when I was finished I took my time getting out of the chair and went to the canteen to have some snacks. I had a cookie and some apple juice. Then, suddenly, I didn’t feel well at all.
Did I say something to someone? No, I didn’t because I thought it was all in my head and that I just needed to get up and move around. [Stupid decision #1.] Plus, it had been like ten minutes since I donated. I should’ve been fine. I drank the freaking apple juice for heaven’s sake.
So I got up to walk and for a second I felt better. Then, suddenly, way worse. I thought if I could make it to the car then I could sit with my head between my knees for a few minutes and be better. [Stupid decision #2.] But, by the time I made it down the elevator, I was in horrible shape. It was worse than just feeling like I was going to pass out.
I sat (kind of threw myself) in the stairwell of the first floor with my head back. My eyes did not want to open, and when I did open them, everything was hazy and dark. My arms were tingling. My stomach felt sick. I was worried. I didn’t know what to do to make myself better, I didn’t know how to get help.
Two people, a man and a woman, walked in from outside (or down the stairs, maybe? I was out of it.) And asked me if I wanted them to “Go tell them.” Obviously they knew I had just given blood and “them” referred to the people upstairs at the blood center. “Yes.” I choked out. My eyes were heavy and everything was still dark. I could not even make out their faces. The man ran upstairs while the woman stayed with me. She asked me if I wanted her to call 9-1-1. I must have looked about as good as I felt.
A few minutes passed and a woman came from the blood center with lots of cold compresses. She put one on my head, one on my neck, and one on each of my wrists. It wasn’t until then that I realized I was sweating. She used the woman who had stayed with me’s phone to call upstairs and ask for a wheel chair to take me back upstairs.
I let out a few groans of agony because I felt awful. The innocent bystander woman, assured I was in good hands, left and I thanked her. Eventually, things began to clear up a little. I was able to open my eyes and things weren’t dark anymore. My arms still tingled and my stomach still felt really sick. A wheelchair came and they took me upstairs. I sat in a chair with my feet elevated for about…an hour. It took me a while to have the confidence to drive myself home. They took my vitals and released me.
So that was fun.
I’m still not feeling 100% so I didn’t go to running club this morning. I figured it’s probably not cool to pass out at running club.