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  1. Today
  2. You are so inspiring! Glad you kept going after it. I’m sure your brother in heaven is so proud.
  3. Yesterday
  4. BANGLE

    The Last-Minute OTQ Chasers

    Love this. And loved tracking your quest. A guy from my local group was there and ran 2:18:31 to get his OTQ and will be going to Atlanta.
  5. Dave

    The Last-Minute OTQ Chasers

    Runners are the best.
  6. Throughout my Olympic Trials Qualifying time-chase, I've connected with many amazing women who shared the same goal. Over the past couple of years, I've celebrated with several who have reached the goal. I've commiserated with several who have missed. I've connected with many who kept dreaming. Before the Houston Marathon, I was included in a message group with the 2:45 pacer and other women planning to run with the group. While I struggled with feeling like an outsider because I was struggling to find the same importance in the pursuit as I previously did after losing my brother, I related to the women and their passion. Group photo before Saturday's shake-out run No one plans to try for the OTQ on the very last day the qualifying window is open, 6 weeks before the Trials. The women in this group hadn't achieved the standard for one reason or another: near misses (one woman had run 2:45:02), injury (one woman was in a boot at her goal race), disagreeable weather, pregnancy, illness, simply a bad day, etc. Some had breakthrough performances in the fall, such as dropping 5-10 minute PRs for 2:48-2:52s and wondered if they could dream a little bigger still. Some had already raced 3 fall marathons, coming close each time. Some had raced attempts just 2 weeks prior to Houston! Pre-race note in Runners World Pre-race note in Fast Women newsletter These ladies were the most determined grittiest women you'll find. Every single person felt that the perfect day would be her finishing in the very back of the huge pack in 2:45:00. I passionately wanted every one of the women to get it, and I believe they all have a sub-2:45 in them. I really realized that the difference between those who qualified and those who didn't was often just things aligning slightly differently - whether that was weather, a pace group, health, timing, etc. It's just a different perspective when you're one of the 2:46s versus one of the 2:44s. My friend Liz from Portland was among the dreamers - she & I ran the Portland Marathon together in 2009 (I ran a PR of 3:08 then) Everyone loves the stories about the woman who got the standard in her first marathon, of the woman who ran it off of 50 miles a week, of the woman who ran it despite surgery or injury, of the woman who ran it 6 months postpartum (or while pregnant!), of the woman who did it because she just wanted it bad enough. I guarantee that every women in the Houston last chance group wanted it more than bad enough. I'm thrilled for every woman who made it to the Trials - especially those for whom it didn't come easy to - and I celebrate this amazing time in U.S. women's marathoning. But! I admire the tenacity of the underdogs so much. Some women tried for 10 years before they got it - others tried for 10 years to narrowly miss it. Some ran several 2:45:XXs. Some debuted with 4:00 marathons and kept showing up. Talent is a beautiful thing, but hard work is even more beautiful. Shake-out run taking off Pre-shake out chatter I am so thankful this goal has connected me with so many strong women, with so many hard-working dreamers. I was so honored to be part of the Houston group. I now have friends all over the U.S. who understand how I felt on January 20. The goal is gone, but the spirit and community live on. My dad's video from the OTQ shake-out run is here. See the pre-race mention of the 2:45 pace group in the Fast Women Newsletter here. My short Houston race recap is here. Read my longer race recap part 1 here, and part 2 here. Our group was featured in Runners World here (3 screenshots from article below)! Happy group I'm glad Runners World didn't use this one since my face is halfway blocked! Shake out run Shake out run My dad cheered for me at every attempt My husband supported this chase 100%
  7. SIbbetson

    One Night, Two "Marathons"

    I'm so thankful there are people like you in this world to do this!
  8. Last week
  9. Dave

    One Night, Two "Marathons"

    I don't even know what to say. This is powerful. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into the path you've chosen.
  10. PegLeg

    One Night, Two "Marathons"

    It occurred to me as I was driving an ambulance, my hands trembling from the rapid descent after a spike in adrenaline: I enjoy my job because it’s a lot like running and racing. Just a bit prior, I was on my knees in a crowded, semi-lit living room, surrounded by 3 firefighters, 2 paramedics, and 1 other EMT with the same title as myself… hovering over the exposed chest of a male in his 60s who was sprawled supine on the floor. My palms were face down over his sternum just above the xiphoid process, where beneath lay that precious pump of the human body: the heart. A heart that had stopped working. Cardiac arrest. It is controlled chaos. The area around the patient looks like a tornado went through a medicine cabinet… used needle catheters, wrappers, packaging, medical bags with contents spilled everywhere, oxygen tanks. I am doing chest compressions, taking over for the firefighter who had been doing CPR upon our arrival. He is now ventilating the patient via bag-valve mask, a breath every 5-6 seconds. The medic in charge of the scene is reading the cardiac monitor and calling out instructions. One medic is inserting an IV, pushing meds. The other EMT is holding the IV bag and handing over supplies. Another firefighter is speaking with family, getting information and medical history. There is sobbing, wailing, from one or two adult daughters, or perhaps a wife? I am too distracted to really take note, but I see glimpses of them in the shadows as they helplessly watch, as they call his name over and over, entreating, willing him back. Push-push-push-push-push-push… I have never done CPR on a human before, but the EMT training in class comes back. Beads of sweat are forming on my forehead and I hate that I didn’t take off my uniform parka; it is very warm in this crowded room. There is a hot spot forming at one place in my palm from it rubbing against one of the defibrillator pads with each compression. I feel calm. Acutely aware of every sound, sight, smell in the room, in ice-cold clarity, but at the same time, it seems as if I am in a dream. A trance. I am compressing, hard and fast, using my shoulders to drive the clenched palms downward. 20 thrusts, 50 thrusts, 100. You lose count. You just keep going. Someone asks me if I want to switch out yet. I shake my head and say another minute. Push-push-push-push. The monitor is showing the pumping of the heart; right now, we are contracting this man’s heart for him. Nowhere nearly as well as the healthy, functioning heart will do on its own, but enough to keep oxygenated blood circulating in vital organs. And most importantly, oxygen to the brain. The medic calls for a pause to check. CPR stops. The AED is analyzing, seeing if there is a shockable rhythm to deliver a charge to. For a second, everything halts, and I swear every person there held a breath at the same time. If nothing has changed, we have to go back to CPR, maybe another shock/charge, back to begging the body to respond. And then. The zig-zag blip across the screen. The medic reaches down and checks the carotid pulse. “We have one!” he says, and instantly radios headquarters to let them know we have a converted arrest. All 7 first responders gathered around let out a collective sigh, sharing quick nods of relief. It is a team effort. I feel tears pricking the back of my eyelids. Except there’s no time to waste now as the patient is packaged and carried out to the ambulance. Just because he has a pulse again does not mean he’s out of the woods. The family realizes that we stopped CPR, but that he is alive, and they are expectant and hopeful. We transfer the patient into the primary unit’s ambulance, and two medics hop inside with the second EMT driving. They head out with lights flashing, while ventilating and monitoring the still-critical patient. (FYI, Paramedics are amazing. They are the doctors of pre-hospital medicine, they are the kings of the emergency scene). I follow in my unit’s ambulance. I look down at my hands and realize that I am shaking. The entire time on-scene, I felt dead calm. Now I’m climbing back down the adrenaline ladder and it hits me like a tidal wave. There was the déjà vu, the familiarity. This is like running a marathon. The fear going in, the trepidation and nerves. While racing: the cold, calculating focus of doing what needs to be done, the almost trance-like state. The final suspense, the push to the finish, the physical demand. Then the relief, the accomplishment, the completion. Followed by the emotion, trembling, the wide-eyed coming out of the fog. A converted arrest feels like a marathon PR. Maybe even a better feeling, since you helped give life back to a person whose name you don’t even know. And then because the EMS gods are like the running gods in that they are unpredictable and ruthless, our unit got called to a second cardiac arrest on the same night. I go nearly 3 months without witnessing one… then I help work 2 of them in a 12 hour period. When it rains... As the assisting unit, we show up after CPR had already been initiated by the first-in unit. We assist with extrication and transport, this one being about 25 minutes from the hospital. At the hospital, I am on the side of the stretcher, feet on the lower rails a couple inches off the ground as two medics are wheeling myself and the patient into the ER. My one hand is holding onto a top rail to keep my balance, the heel of my other hand is used for one-handed CPR. As once again, I hover over a heart not my own…pushing, willing, hoping. It is strange how we humans are so connected. My own heart is exerting, doubling down, pumping harder… in order to help save the heart of another. An entire team awaits, swarming around us. A nurse takes over the chest compressions. I stand back, walk out, joined by the remainder of the teams. Our work is done. Once again, the shaking, the coming down from adrenaline. It is morning, nearly 12 hours in, at the end of my shift. I am suddenly exhausted. More so than I have ever been at the end of a shift. Today, the heel of my hand is tender and bruised, my shoulders and upper arms sore. Before we leave the hospital, we are informed. We couldn't save this one. Too far gone before anyone arrived, but there’s a duty to act and to always try. This is more of a race DNF feeling, the one where the outcome isn’t what you wanted. It hurts. You feel sad. Just like marathons gone awry though, you have to remind yourself you did what you could, you gave it your best. It is the unfortunate nature of cardiac arrests, much like races: perfect outcomes are more the exception than the rule. The variables are many and the margin of success is small. There are boring shifts of medical transports and helping Grandma up after she fell off the toilet. There was that time driving to Pittsburgh in a snowstorm with a two year old in the back of the ambulance, going to Children’s. There are end-of-shift calls that force you to clock out two hours late from a 12 hour shift. There’s vehicle maintenance and rig checks and supply restocking. Holding puke bags for vomiting patients. Cleaning blood off the stretcher. And charting, oh the endless charting. There’s a lot of mundane stuff as well as challenges taking you out of your comfort zone. In just a couple of months, I've been on a maternity call where a baby was born, a shooting with multiple gunshot wounds, a pedestrian struck by a car, several overdoses, and now two cardiac arrests. I've never missed the office job. And yes, I still run sometimes, too. Planning on gearing up for a spring race, and maybe some trail running and an ultra this summer. My focus has definitely shifted now that I work more and am focused on furthering training/experience in that field. But you cannot ask more from your life’s work than to have it give you purpose. And in the same way running helped shape me, fill me, and give me purpose, well, this is no different. A time on a clock or a heartbeat on a screen. You are fortunate indeed if you are able to do the things that make you glad to be alive.
  11. Dave

    This is not a race report.

    I'd have to race first. Unless anyone's interested in that one I did in 2004. Did my longest run in over a month, since the hamstring thing. That was Friday, out to the Chili's on Eight Mile and back. Nothing to be especially proud of, but just running is good. Since it was my 61st birthday, I ran ... wait for it! ... 6.1 miles. You heard about the guy who ran 70 miles for his 70th birthday? Yeah, I'm not doing that. Call me lazy if you want. Missed Saturday, also because I'm lazy. Mrs. Dave and I met some friends for lunch at a dinner theater (they have a matinee on Saturdays). It had snowed 6 inches the night before, then started raining about noon. I thought several times throughout the day about treadmilling it, but just couldn't get there. I did shovel snow twice, so there's that. Even so, it was 22 miles for the week, running 5 days in a row with no complaints from Sammy. Planning 30-ish this week. Since the rain on Saturday, it's been in the teens and 20s. Everything is ice. Good news it that when there's a good storm in winter, most folks get out and clear the walks. Especially if it's a weekend. So I have been outside both days this weeks so far. There are hazards of course, and the overall pace is awfully slow, what with nearly walking over the stretches that didn't get proper attention, mostly businesses. I could feel some soreness in different spots the day after, a sign that I'd worked different muscles climbing over and around the icy patches. Took a better route yesterday that had less ice and more running. Today it's supposed to get above freezing for an hour or so. What else? Got two puzzles for Christmas. Did the easy one last week in two evenings. It was a 500 piece round one of a Thomas Kinkaid work. Some old church building in the woods with a stream and a bridge. Now I'm working on a much harder, 1000 piece that Big Mac brought back from Amsterdam. MC Escher's "Balcony." This one is taking a might longer.
  12. atombuddy

    Magic Cures

    Fingers crossed for Sammy!
  13. atombuddy

    Freedom To Fail

    Wow, nice going! I've found that tempo runs are a great cure for lagging mojo and general blues, and you seem to be supplying more proof. Good luck with all your runs!
  14. atombuddy

    2019 Review: I am MORE

    Your positive outlook is going to get you far. Well, actually it already has. Here's to an awesome 2020 for you!
  15. atombuddy

    Hello

    Well done! You're close to my own age, and running better than I am right now, so your example is encouraging to me. Thank you for joining in!
  16. Apple Pie

    Hello

    Welcome! And thanks for contributing to the Loop! I agree with you on the half marathon being a distance that fits in with life a little better than the marathon. Good luck with your training.
  17. ocrunnergirl

    Freedom To Fail

    Thanks for sticking by me! I need to keep up the strength work.
  18. ocrunnergirl

    Hello

    Welcome! Hope to hear more about your 1/2 training.
  19. Sorry about the trouble with your brother and son. Stressful. Nice race and cause.
  20. This makes me so happy to read!!! Go get it!!!!
  21. Dave

    5k Australia Relief Run

    Running hurt is tough. Why can't we all just get along?
  22. Dave

    Hello

    I see some similarities between us, my friend. 1st marathon at 50, live in the Detroit area, 2016 Boston. Welcome to the writing end of being a Loopster. Maybe we can meet up sometime for a run.
  23. Dave

    Freedom To Fail

    There you go.
  24. Dave

    Magic Cures

    That sounds SO awkward.
  25. Dave

    Marathon Intervals

    I did not. Hmmm.
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