Race high/Rash low

This one is long overdue.  I first want to say that I have an awesome sister and an awesome girlfriend.  After sorting out my PICC line mess, my insurance confusion and getting through the first few days of exhaustion caused by the antibiotics being pumped into my veins, I ran a 10k in Central Park.

Last Saturday was the Boomer Esiason Run To Breathe in Central Park to raise money for CF.  I had signed up long ago and was determined to participate despite my calf injury and a PICC line in my arm.  My training as you know has been hampered by injury and health so it had been very minimal leading up to the race.  I had never run 6 miles before and wasn’t sure if I was even capable.  My sister came down from Massachusetts to run the race with me and I warned her that it might be a slow go.  That there might be more walking than actual running happening.  She assured me that it was OK and she would be there in support.  I still felt a little bad that she might be coming all the way to NY just to walk around Central Park.

She brought a foam roller as a gift in aiding in my training and she brought GU for energy on race day.  Those were super cool of her to bring but the best thing she brought was T-shirts she had made up that say CF Sucks on the back with my blog address.  So awesome!  My sister Susan, my girlfriend Katie and I were team CF Sucks!  We looked sweet.  We got quite a few compliments out there on the course.  Actually one of my friends who I didn’t know was running said he saw me from a distance.  “I think I saw you from a distance. You were wearing a T-shirt that said CF Sucks on the back?”  Was the message I received on Facebook.  How awesome is that?

Anyway, I was definitely nervous for the race considering what happened last race and how unprepared I was feeling for this race.  We started out (in our sweet team shirts) and about 10 strides in my calf tightened up.  I said something to Katie and she told me to push through and maybe it would loosen up.  Thank God she did.  I may have stopped right there if she hadn’t.  It never fully loosened up but it didn’t get any worse and I ended up not stopping once to walk.  I ran the whole 6.2 miles!  Farthest distance I have run to date.  I finished in a respectable 1:14:04.  An 11:57 average mile.  I am very pleased with that time considering everything else going on.   After a few days on IV my lungs felt clear and I barely coughed out there at all.  My breathing was labored only when it should have been- running up hills.  There were points in the race that really stuck out to me.  The first was running up the huge hill at the top of Central Park.  This hill seems to go on forever and I thought for sure I would need to walk most of it.  Yet I didn’t stop once.  Going up the hill Katie went slightly in front and Susan stayed by my side. I think this helped me to keep going and push through the doubt and fear that I was having.  Watching Katies back and having Susan staying with me did two things.  Katie going in front gave me something to chase and Susan staying by my side gave me an obligation to someone else to keep going.  Once I made the top of the hill I had a feeling that it was possible I was going to make it all the way around without stopping.   Another point during the race that sticks out to me was between mile 4 and 5 near the Delacorte Theatre.  There was a woman and her husband with no one else around them standing along the race course cheering everyone on.  The woman was yelling words of encouragement to everyone that passed.  She put a huge smile on my face and I thought to myself ‘If one woman cheering makes me smile so much what will the marathon be like when thousands are cheering me on?’  It got me excited for the marathon I’ll tell you that.  Actually this whole race got me excited for the marathon. It was a huge confidence boost for me. Last but not least the finish line sticks out.  I had a huge smile on my face from the sense of accomplishment I was feeling.  I was definitely on a runners high for the rest of the day.  I had been having doubts lately about the reality of being able to do the training and actually run the marathon.  This race showed me it is possible in a big way.

That was Saturday morning.  That night I started to get very itchy around the dressing over my PICC.  The rest of the weekend was totally uncomfortable.  I equate it to having a cast and it getting itchy underneath.  Except with the Picc I can’t stick something under and scratch it.  The plastic cant move.  Well thats not true, the plastic moved because the rash turned all blistery and began oozing so the glue started to unstick.  After calling the home care company first thing Monday morning the nurse came to change the dressing.  It was shocking how nasty the rash looked when she took it off.  Like bad poison ivy.  No wonder I had been waking up in the middle of the night itching the area all around the plastic.  We have been trying ways of drying it out but it is hard when the area needs to be covered in plastic.  No air is able to get at it.  Lesson learned, when you have a PICC in don’t run a race when there is 98% humidity and you are going to sweat like crazy.  If you do, make sure you get the dressing changed right afterwards.  Hopefully only 5 more days of the PICC and I can get back to normal again and the rash can heal.  In the meantime I will roll my muscles out on my sweet new foam roller.  Thanks Sue!  I’ve attached some pictures of me in my post race glow.

To donate to Team Boomer, fight Cystic Fibrosis and help me make my fundraising goal you can go to  http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/kevindwyer/2011INGNYCMarathon

Thanks for reading.

CF Sucks!

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4 Responses to Race high/Rash low

  1. Wendy says:

    That post rocked! So glad you had that great experience from running out of obligation to Sue, chasing Katie, pushing through out-of-the-gate calf pain, not to mention the PICC and the weather…
    We are truly amazing creatures at times and it sounds like you had a great event!
    Pulling and pushing for you!! Keep up the good work, it’s about the journey.

  2. Terry Ahearn says:

    In alot of ways you have already conquered or learned to conquer the biggest obstacle of endurance sports – mentally overcoming the pain and suffering. You have had a bigger dose of it than most in your lifetime. You have accomplished alot more physically demanding feats in your lifetime than your disease dictates. You have reached pinnacles that even people with fully functioning lungs never reach. And you had to do it in the face of severe physical constraints. So, at this point, it is really about adding the miles and preparing your body for the long haul from SI to Manhattan just like everyone else. Actually, I’d say you have an advantage, not a disadvantage at this point.

  3. bobbyd says:

    Amen to the praise of Susan and katie!!

  4. Sister Sue says:

    Kevin was an inspiration to me. Especially when he ate his GU on the run while I walked through a water stop to take my GU. The worst part was I missed some of the highlights from my two tour guides because they ran on while I strolled along eating my GU. The healthy sister who has run several 5K and 5 milers as well as finishing the Tough Mudder VT had to walk while the CF brother with a PICC ran the entire 6.2 miles. Kevin rocks!

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