We set out for Denver after Kiera & Brady got out of school on Friday afternoon. We had a early morning flight out of Denver and were going to stay in a hotel near the airport the night before. I heard of some spring snow coming into Denver on Saturday so I called Southwest and asked about flights. They informed me that they already made most the cancellations and if it wasn't canceled already it would probably depart. I asked about getting it changed to Kansas City or Omaha because even the thought of chancing it was not something I wanted to do. I was told you can't change airports, so half an hour later we took off for Denver. Six hours later we started to see the mountains on the horizon and shortly after got to our hotel. Just as I sat down on the couch an email from Southwest came in: Your flight has been canceled.
I was devastated. I called right away and said what can we do to get to Boston?
Can we get on another flight out of Denver? Nope they are all shut down until Sunday.
Can we get on one tonight? Nope.
Any options? Please?
Well we can check other airports in the area.
-We have openings from KC to Chicago and then on to Boston tomorrow.
Ok, Quick how long of a drive is that from Denver? Ok 9 hours. and the flight leaves at 4:15PM. We can make it. Let's get on the road soon before the storm starts. Ok re-book our flights - let's go!.....Woah, why does my stomach feel so tight. Probably just nerves of the news, it'll bounce back. lets GO...BOSTON!!!
When I was 5 years old I had to have a surgery to prevent stomach acid from burning up through my esophagus. One of the consequences of this surgery was I would never be able to vomit. So since that day in 1988 I never have. My body still tries to vomit but it goes through this horrible dry heaving process that makes me feel like I look like a weird zombie creature. Why I'm telling you this will be more clear soon.
Hurry everybody the rain is starting to turn to ice! Let's get out of Colorado. Never in my life do I remember wanting to get out of Colorado faster. The kids did great with the change of plans and we were off to Kansas City.
The lowest point of the entire trip was shortly after that at a truck stop in Limon, CO. I had had 2-3 dry heave episodes in the car before that point, violently trying to void my entire body of everything inside it. In Limon, we had stopped to use the bathroom. I came back out of that station and the car was locked and the others were still inside. An episode hit me right then in the parking lot, in the ice rain. I collapsed to the ground and spent the next 10 minutes uncontrollably dry heaving. Drenched from the cold rain and a serious cold sweats I laid there on the cement and asked God for the answers. I prayed like I've never prayed before for it to stop, to know why I was going through this, for any answers, again for it to stop, again for clarity. Finally I got myself up and went back inside and laid in the hallway and waited till I could get back up and we could get back on the road.
We started back down the interstate, all of us sleep derived, exhausted and worn down. My stomach muscles were sore as can be from all the work of retching over and over. It wasn't another half an hour on the road and I had another spell. This was the point where we decided to go to the ER in Colby, KS. We dropped the kids & my mom off at a hotel around 1:00 and Suzi & I went over to the hospital. We walked up to the door, rang the call bell and explained as best we could what was going on. Soon after getting a room I was down on the floor dry heaving until I laid there in a cold sweet. The nurse was in the room and got to witness this episode. The PA came in shortly after and kept trying different solutions to get it to stop & to get the pain to go away. After 4 hours, numerous pills, some morphine and huge shot in my hip we all decided a cat-scan to get a better idea of what was going on was best. The cat scan revealed my stomach had stop processing anything in it; it had shut down, no clue as to why or when it would start again. I was instructed to not eat for 48 hours because it would not process it, so I got a few prescriptions to help with the pain and nauseousness and we hit the road again.....6 hours from KC.
With only a few more episodes we got to KC with under an hour to get through security and get on the plane. Luckily we had no issues with that and we were in the air heading to Chicago and then Boston. We landed in Boston and got to our hotel around 11 o'clock Saturday night and crashed!!!
Sunday was suppose to be exploring and seeing the city but I missed out on most of that with my stomach issues. I did get my packet picked up, checked out the expo, got to meet Scott Jurek & got to hang with the Clif Bar people who made this whole journey possible. We all went to the spaghetti feed that night and I ate for the first time since Friday lunch, I had a little pasta and a little salad. Sunday night I went to bed early and hoped Monday morning would bring relief.
My mom & I walked down to the buses early Monday morning and we parted & I headed to Hopkinton. Athlete's Village was one of the coolest sunrises ever, I knew in that moment that I was where I was suppose to be. Everything it took to get here was worth it; this is Boston and it is worthy of my everything. Ever since the tragedies of 2013 I've wanted to stand at this start line for this city, this country and this running community. I felt so many things, I started calling them the BosFeels. I felt emotional, I felt worthy, I felt pride and pain. I felt anticipation and pure bliss in the moment. This is Boston!
We walked for about a mile from the village to the official start line, we were in groups by our qualifying times so I was in Wave 1, Corral 6. The start of the race most my pain faded away in my stomach and we ran in a group for the first mile or 2. My adrenaline carried me though many of these first miles. I was loving every minute of this. I spent many miles waving my arms to get the crowd even louder and high fiving everyone I could. I held my hand to my ear in my best Ryan Hall impersonation through the Wellesley scream tunnel. All the cheers made this run so much pure fun. I finally cramped up around mile 16, I knew this was coming because I hadn't eaten or drank almost anything in the last 48 hours, I was just so ecstatic that it waited this long and I was able to enjoy my first Boston Marathon so much.
I truly did not expect to fall so hard for a race as I have for Boston. I normally prefer trails and mountains but I have a strong pull to come back and stand at that start line year after year and embrace the journey to qualify, tackle any hurdles to get here and then take in all the BosFeels.