Tomorrow at this time I will be cruising into the Philadelphia area, and heading to my favorite coffee shop, MugShots. I am just so excited about this weekend. Yesterday there were some Team ETP PHL emails exchanged that just gave me a feeling of such comraderie, and also a feeling that something absolutely amazing is going to happen this weekend. Yes, maybe that will include a fast time for me, but I have a feeling it will be so much bigger than that.
This is my first time running for charity, and it is a charity that is so very near and dear to my heart. Not too many years ago I never, ever would have run for a charity supporting epilepsy research. For the first 6+ years after my diagnosis, I was an avoider. I hated going to Dr’s appointments (just ask my dad). I never ever told anyone I had epilepsy unless I absolutely had to, worried that they would think I was “different” (or crazy, possessed by the devil, etc). After I went on medication my SAT score dropped 200 points and for the first time, I ran out of time on a test. Nothing about epilepsy was positive (license taken away, daily medication, feeling crappy, trouble thinking/processing, etc) and I had NO one to look up to. I knew zero people who had the type of seizures that I had. My mom had had a grand mal seizure when she was 17, but she had grown out of it and been able to go off medication 3 years later. Plus, I was 17 and we all know at that age your mother is a complete dunce. I was not exactly receptive to anything she had to say.
But then, when I was 24, I realized that I knew NOTHING about this disease I was living with. As someone who was obtaining her master’s degree I thought that was a little rediculous. So I googled a little bit and found epilepsy.com and epilepsyfoundation.org. And I read, and read, and read. I was fascinated. I learned so much, and so much made sense!
Fast forward to now. After leaving my most favorite neurologist ever in Philadelphia, I got incredibly lucky and found one I love even more here in Cleveland at the Cleveland Clinic. If I ever move, I will pay to fly back here once a year to see her. She is amazing, intelligent, and caring. After having a really crappy neurologist when I was first diagnosed, I understand the importance of having a good neurologist, that is willing to work with you to help you have the best possible outcome.
Hmm, I didn’t really plan on writing this much about epilepsy this post. Basically, tomorrow night, for the first time in my life I will meet several people who are like me – who have epilepsy but don’t let it run their life. Instead, we RUN. And we are all running together to support research so that those who don’t have “normal” lives like us CAN. I find something incredibly beautiful about that.
I’m getting nervous about the little stuff.
But the little stuff is important. Here are my top concerns leading into the race weekend:
- Getting my normal breakfast on race morning. I was planning on bringing my gluten free oats and a little container of peanut butter with me, buying a banana at 7-11 so I could have my normal pre-long-run breakfast. Unfortunately hubster stays in fancy hotels for work, and I’m slumming a room off of him, and said rooms do not have microwaves. WTH!?!? So I’m going to politely explain to the front desk that I have food allergies and need to make my own oatmeal in whatever microwave they have available. Crossing my fingers. I need to come up with a backup plan though.
- Porta Potties before the start. I am infamous for having to go to the bathroom RIGHT before my race. Unfortunately there’s no where at the start line that you can conspicuously pop a squat, so I’m relegated to the porta potties. Problem: NYCM peeps flocked to Philly like it was their job (not judging, I would’ve done the same) and I’m anticipating the porta potty situation to be less than ideal. I’m thinking about drinking 16 oz right when I wake up (WWLFD, right Jocelyn?) and then carrying a little throwaway water bottle with me the first mile so I can a) hydrate and b) skip the first aid station, which is inevitably SUPER CROWDEDDDDD. My other option is to stay at the hotel until the last possible second, don’t check a bag (but I want pictures!), and hop right in my corral, freshly peed in a fancy bathroom. Thoughts?
- Going out too fast. Ok this is more of a BIG THING. How fast is too fast? How slow is so slow that I can’t make up the time and PR? I know exactly what time I want to hit (between 8:10 and 8:20) but I SUCK AT PACING. With a capital S. I’m considering finding a pace group and trying that out but that also scares me, I want to run my own race.
OK time to head to GoodWill to pick up some “throwaway clothes”.