How did I get the name theBrainrunner?

Well it's a long story but I'll keep it breif. On November 3rd, 2008 I was getting ready for work and passed out in the shower. Luckily, my wife was home at the time and ran upstairs to find me and after having trouble reviving me she then called the paramedics. After an ambulance ride, followed by a CT scan, then a helicopter ride to another hospital I ended up having surgery to repair a ruptured Brain Aneurysm. 5 months later I had two more aneurysms clipped. I was thankful to be alive, as 40% of ruptures are fatal, and 66% suffer from some permanent neurological deficit. I use to be a runner in High School, and after I had recovered from the surgeries I wanted to be healthier than I had been at that time so my wife and I started running again. Every time I run I'm thankful to be alive and able to be outside doing what I love. Thus, theBrainrunner was born.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Monumental Marathon Recap

The alarm was set for 5:00am yet it was a couple of hours before and I was awake. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, which I think I did at least for a little bit. At a quarter till five I turned on the television to catch a glance of the weather for the race. I knew it was going to be in the 30's at the start of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon but there was a chance of rain so I wanted to see if that was going to happen at the start. Thankfully it looked like it was going to hold off. I ate breakfast, took a shower, got dressed, and met Matt who was running the race with me. All four of us, Tammy (my wife), Matt, Jody (Matt's girlfriend) and I headed down to the start line.

Matt and I said our goodbye's to the girls, who were going to ride their bikes around the course to see us, and headed off to where Back on My Feet were going to have a group prayer before the race. We got there right as they were starting, and while they were giving the group prayer I said my own. Then it was time to go over to where we would meet up with the four hour pace group. The coral was crowded but we were close enough to the group that we could easily see them and catch them once we started. I took a gel and took off my throw away clothes.

As the race started I told myself to stay calm and stay with the pacer, especially since I have a tendency to go out too fast. We headed out through the streets of downtown Indianapolis on this 26.2 mile excursion. Just after mile 3 we saw the girls and I blew Tammy a kiss. I was feeling good and strong at this point which I should be.
1-3 splits: 9:02, 9:39, 8:57
Soldiers and Sailors Monument

We then head north, away from downtown toward our northern most point near Broad Ripple on 66th street. But on the way to that point we went through the art district on Mass Ave where I took my first gel. At near mile 5 I felt like I needed to pee so I started looking for a pit stop. I thought I found one but after waiting for 12 seconds realized the line was to long and decided to go ahead. I saw the girls at mile 6 or so and waved and wondered if they thought I dropped Matt or if he dropped me. Then I caught back up to Matt who wondered where I went, and when I told him he laughed at me and said he needed to go as well. So we started to look for a pit stop without a line. We finally found one at mile 10 that still had a small line but neither of us could hold back any longer so we waited a little bit and did our business then headed back out on the course.Trying to do math and figuring out how far behind the pace group we were, how long it would take us to catch them if we ran 8:55's proved to be more than either of us could do at that point so we just went with it.
4-10 splits 9:02, 9:09, 8:53, 8:54, 9:21, 9:29, 10:49

We ended up catching the pace group near mile 12. Wow! We were pushing it, because by my calculations they had about a minute plus lead on us. The problem was now that I needed another pit stop, my stomach started to become sour, and churn. I told Matt I was going to try and put some distance on the pace group so I could use the rest room again. I wished him good luck just in case I didn't see him again, and he did the same. I took off on my own out in front of the group. Other than the stomach urgency I was feeling good, my legs felt great, but holy cow my stomach was not cooperating. Just after crossing the timing mat at the half way point there was another pit stop, without a line. I ducked in to my disgust, and quickly realized that wasn't happening, so I ran on with stomach urgency.
11-13.1 splits 8:47, 8:34, 9:46

Oddly enough my stomach subsided and I kept running smoothly. I thought that the issues might come back so I planned to run an even pace (even though I'm typically not good at that) and see where that left me. Somewhere in the 16th mile my issue returned, even worse this time. There wasn't a pit stop in sight....
I even half seriously contemplated going off course into a wooded area. But thankfully that didn't have to happen. Just a little bit after the 16th mile marker I saw another pit stop and quickly made my way inside, did my business which seemed to take a long time. But upon exiting I felt so much better. I said a quick prayer that I'd seen the last of stomach troubles.
14-17 splits 7:54 (this was only .9 miles), 9:02, 8:25, 12:51

Now that that was behind me I tried to figure out where I was. As we made a turn I looked back and didn't see any pace group signs. Then I found a runner who I remembered seeing with us earlier and asked if the pace group was ahead or behind them. Unfortunately they said they were ahead by a couple of minutes. I knew I was behind my pace, but I wanted to try and stay smooth, and strong. I went through a mental check list. Feet-Good, Calves-Good, Legs-Good, Stomach-Good (thank goodness), Breath-Good, Mind-Real Good. So I pushed on.... Just before mile 18 there was a gel station, where I grabbed two gels. Unfortunately an overzealous volunteer had already opened them. I had planned on carrying one and taking one. Instead I took one and dropped one, then tried to lick the gel off of my hand. That's not as pleasant as you would think considering all the sweat. We ran by the Butler University campus where I had run my very first race after my brain surgery with Tammy. Then we made our way toward the Indianapolis Museum of Art and ran through some of their grounds. That's when I caught up to Matt. He said he was feeling a little tired and was having some cramping issues and I should go ahead if I could. I waited for a little bit since I'd been pushing for a while to try and catch up to the pace group. Then we fist bumped, and wished each other good luck and I headed off again.
18-20 splits 8:42, 9:30, 8:46

Mentally I had split this race into 6 segments, 4x5 milers and 2x5k's. I was now into the short segments. It was starting to get tough, but my legs felt good considering. At mile 22 the temperature seemed to drop quickly and then sleet started to fall. This can't be good was my thought. I knew that at mile 23 I needed to be at 3:30:50 which I didn't meet. I needed to run a fast 2nd 5k, I figured this was not going to happen, by my calculations. I could see in the distance to the south Methodist Hospital where I'd been airlifted to exactly 4 years earlier to the day with a ruptured brain aneurysm. I almost lost it right there and had to hold back the tears. I'd come so far from then. I then saw the girls up on the next corner and gave Tammy a quick kiss, and told them Matt was behind me a little ways. I also told Tammy that I thought 4 hours was out, but she encouraged me, saying I was doing great and that it would still be a PR from Chicago the year prior. Off I went!
21-23 splits 8:52, 9:27, 9:28

I had a brief moment where I thought maybe I could. Maybe if I could just run a 25 minute or even a 26 minute 5k I might make the four hour time. I gave it everything I could but mile 25 was rough. I walked for 30 seconds during this mile, but it seemed like it was longer than that. With only a mile left to go one of my inspirational songs started playing from my playlist. It was like I timed it perfectly for when I was feeling low. The song, by Eminem 'Till I Collapse, the opening lines say: "Sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak, and when you feel weak you just want to give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse." That was what I needed to get running again I didn't want to be a quitter, I'd go until I finished or collapsed. My legs were tired, I was about finished, then it happened.......I crossed the finish line!
23-26.2 splits 9:19, 9:39, 9:18, 1:51(for the .2)

I couldn't hold back the tears any longer. One of the volunteers who was at the finish line, said to me "It's ok! You did it!" I gave it everything I had on that day and even though I didn't make my four hour goal I know that I have that in me. I just need to get the stomach issues under control. I'm proud of this finish!

Total time 4:03:30.3

This won't be my last....I love this race distance!

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