Gulf Coast Mandeville Half Marathon 2012


Last year I had a blast running this race with Team in Training, and this year I had a sssllliiggghhttlllyyy different experience. In order to really get the story, I have to back up a bit, so stay with me, and see how I ended up at Urgent Care after the race.

Ok, so we signed up for this race a long time ago. It’s in my hometown, it’s flat, and I had a good time last year. Then recently I was given the opportunity to go on a VERY cheap/discounted cruise that I couldn’t pass up. The only problem is the race was the day after we got off the boat. No worries! I was sure I could handle it, even after stuffing my face for eight days with cruise food. Oh how naïve.


So, we ate, we enjoyed ourselves, we only ran four miles in the nine days leading up to the race. I wore a sea sickness patch called Transderm Scop while I was on the ship. I have worn it before but only for 3-4 days. I took the patch off the morning we docked, we got off the ship and started the six hour drive back to Louisiana. A couple hours into the drive home I started to get nauseated. I get car sick, so I thought it was just that and ignored it the best I could. However, it got worse and worse, and around Baton Rouge we had to pull over at a Wendy’s because I thought I was going to throw up, and I thought stopping the motion of the car for a few minutes would help the nausea. I was also dizzy, had blurred vision and it felt like the ground was moving, so basically I felt sea sick on land. So I had the bright idea to take a Dramamine. This actually helped, and we were able to make it home with no vomiting, but I felt pretty bad. When we got out of the car and I could rest, I felt better until the Dramamine wore off. I took some more and went to bed.

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We woke up for the race at 5:00, and I felt bad again so I took a Dramamine. We drove to the start and I still felt woozie, so I took a half of another pill. Keep in mind Dramamine puts me to sleep!

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Don’t mine me…I just took 1.5 Dramamine pills….I’m awake, I promise…yeah.

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Why is it whenever I ask some random person to take our photo with a cell phone it comes out blurry?

We nearly missed the start of the race and just jumped into the very back corral and took off. Almost immediately, I realized this was going to be a BAD race. As I am running, bouncing up and down, the road is shifting in front of me, left to right, and I go dizzy and very nauseated. This feeling continued the WHOLE RACE. So imagine running 13.1 miles being very sea sick. I can attest that it is not pleasant. Throw in temps in the upper 70’s and high humidity and it was a recipe for disaster.

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Jumping into the back right before the gun went off

Bobby ran with me, we didn’t want me passing out or getting really sick by myself, and I don’t know if I would have finished the race without him. I kept telling myself “just keep moving, every step is closer to the finish”. The only way to keep the road shifting to a minimum was to not look around and just stare at the ground a few feet in front of me, which I did for pretty much the whole race. I tried to smile for the cameras/photographers, but I wasn’t really happy! The miles seemed to tick by very slowly, and we didn’t talk much. Bobby kept encouraging me, and I just wanted it to be over, and I kept wanting to go to sleep. Surprisingly, we only walked through the water stops and one or two times just for a few seconds, but our pace was slow. We made it to mile twelve and I knew I could hang on, I was so close and I wasn’t quitting. We crossed the finish line in 2:27, and to compare, I ran Disneyland faster than that, and we were goofing off and taking photos the whole time during that race! I am so so proud that I finished, I truly earned that medal. Plus, you know I truly wasn’t feeling good due to the fact that I took zero photos during the race. It was bad enough running after eating all that junky food (which I take total responsibility for!) but throw in the land sickness and it was the longest 13.1 miles ever.

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I ate a banana because I was cramping up really badly, and drank some water.

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I tried to look around for some of my friends, but I felt so bad I just needed to lie down so we drove back to my parents house. I showered, put on compression socks, and sat on the couch, and a huge wave of nausea hit me, and my arms felt really heavy and tingly, which really freaked me out. I couldn’t shake the nausea, and felt like I was dying (I know a little dramatic, but to me nausea is the worst feeling ever and I wanted it to stop, and it wasn’t going anywhere). My mom asked if I needed to go to Urgent Care and I said YES!!!

So Bobby drove me over and we waited in the waiting room about 15 minutes, then again in the room in the back about 15 minutes (by the way I HATE that doctors do this.) I was so nauseated at this point I started shaking and sweating and crying. The doctor finally came in and gave me Zofran, which started helping a few minutes later. He did a urine test, looked in my ears, listened to my heart, checked my reflexes, and said I seemed very healthy, and we conclude it was most likely land sickness, which could be made worse due to my patch. he gave me a prescription for a Meclizine to help with the dizziness and nausea.

Funny side note, I had on my blue race shirt, gold athletic shorts, and purple compression socks with hearts on the sides. I absolutely didn’t care at the time of course, but those people must have thought I had some crazy fashion sense!

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Apparently a band was playing after the race….I was completely oblivious to this fact.

We drove home to Mississippi, where I did a lot of research on this Transderm patch, and turns out a lot of people suffer from withdrawal symptoms lasting from a couple days to weeks to YEARS! I had all the same symptoms as these people, and it was good to know what the problem was, but crazy that this patch is still on the market after adversely affecting so many people. I realize that not everyone has these problems, but trust me once you feel like this you would say the same thing.  If you want to check out some of the stories/symptoms/problems people have had check out this site I found. I wish I knew about this before or I never would have worn the dumb thing. Looking back I have NO CLUE how I was able to run the race in that condition, and even now, five days after getting off the boat I am still slightly nauseated and dizzy with some blurry vision. it’s getting better, but not gone, and i have no idea when it will go away.

So, that’s my half marathon and urgent care story. So another race in the books, and hopefully never one feeling that badly ever again, and praying I am back to normal soon.

QOTD: Do you get motion sickness? Have you ever worn the patch?

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22 Responses to Gulf Coast Mandeville Half Marathon 2012

  1. 1

    […] Comments 0   Last year I had a blast running this race with Team in Training, and this year I had a sssllliiggghhttlllyyy different experience. In order to really get the story, I have to back up a bit, so stay with … Continue reading → …read more […]

  2. 2

    Oh that sounds horrible! I do get motion sickness but have never tried the patch. Don’t think I want to now…

  3. 3
    Pam says:

    I used the patch only once during a trip to Antarctica where you cross the Drake Passage, one of the roughest seas in the world. I hated the patch, it just made me feel wierd alot of the time, kind of hard to describe. Luckily, I did not have post symptoms from it. However, one of the ship’s staff said they had a guest on it that roamed the halls at night, and one side affect is hallucinating. I now use the Relief Band for motion sickness on all cruises and air travel (if needed). So glad you are feeling better.

  4. 4
    Sandy says:

    Doctor prescribed me the patch before my last cruise, but after I read the side effects I was too scared to use it. Glad I didn’t!!!! Hope you feel better soon!!!!

  5. 5
    Anne says:

    I just started following your blog- my husband, sister and I ran Sunday in Mandeville as well. I’m so sorry you were sick for the race- that heat and humidity was rough esp at the end! Glad you seem to be feeling better. My husband actually dehydrated and was sick after the race, I had to pull over after we got out of the park so he could be sick. He’ll drink more water next time for sure! Anyways I love your blog!

  6. 6

    Yikes! That’s terrible. I’m sorry that happened to you, but I’m glad you saw a doc. You never know with that kind of thing!

  7. 7

    Oh Heather!!! I hate that you were and still are feeling so bad! I am amazed you were able to run and finish the race! I really hope you start feeling better soon and it doesn’t last long for you. I’ve never worn any type of patch on cruises…I just wore those acupuncture type bands around my wrist and they seemed to help me.

  8. 8

    *Raises Hand* I’m one of those that has the side effects for Transderm. My first cruise was only 3 days, I used a patch, and by day 3 I couldn’t see for anything! My vision was so blurred I thought I was going blind. VERY frustrating….and scary. Since then I refuse to use the patch. Props to you for persevering and making this race happen. Hope your body is on the mend!

  9. 9
    Lesley says:

    Yikes! Hope you feel better quickly! Luckily I don’t get sea sick, but my dad does. We did a family cruise in 2005 and he brought the wrist bands, but didn’t need them. He said the ship was so big he didn’t feel the movement of the ocean.

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  11. 11
    Kierston says:

    So sorry, that sounds terrible!

    I do get motion sickness…it’s no fun at all!

  12. 12
    Karen :0) says:

    So glad you are feeling better!! That was such a crazy race! I agree…that medal was definitely well earned! :0)

  13. 13

    I get motion sick, but have never worn a patch. I usually just deal with it and take dramamine if it gets worse. Not smart of me to wait, I’m just not a fan of meds.

    I’m sorry that happened to you! That’s awesome that you still ran 13.1 miles though while experiencing that!

  14. 14

    OMG! This one could go down into the annals of great stories of horrible race experiences. I just can’t imagine finishing the race under those conditions. I probably wouldn’t have even started!

    I’m glad you’re feeling better, and I hope that the rest of the symptoms go away soon. I’ve never worn a patch, but then I haven’t been on a cruise for years. Now I know that I never will (wear a patch that is, I may go on a cruise :-)).

  15. 15
    Jenna says:

    Oh my goodness!!I haven’t heard of motion sickness patch side effects like that before! How scary! I jut got back from a cruise Monday and I wore the motion bracelets which really helped!! I’ll def be sure never to use those patches! I’m very glad that you’re ok now though! Spa love!

  16. 16
    Emily says:

    Wow, nausea is a horrible feeling. I am impressed you were able to get through the race!! You definitely earned that medal. Glad you are at least starting to feel better.

  17. 17
    Kate says:

    Whoa! I am so, so impressed that you got through the race. I feel like I would have called it quits before I got out of bed! You are right to be proud of that finish.

    I hope you feel better soon – what a horrible situation to be in.

  18. 18

    Your running clothes always makes you look fast! Like a FASTinista!

    Congrats on the finish, that is what counts. And those medals rock, and they are useful.

  19. 19
    lindsay says:

    oh man, i would have passed out if i had dramamine. Way to finish woman, so impressed.

  20. 20

    Oh no! That is rough. I couldn’t imagine pushing through a run feeling that way. Wow. Hope that sensation stops plaguing you soon.

  21. 21
    Karen says:

    Sounds like Mal de Debarquement syndrome. You may want to see a Physical Therapist who specializes in vestibular disorders to help speed the recovery (I know what I’m talking about, I am one of those people) if this doesn’t start easing off in the next few weeks.

    • 21.1
      Heather says:

      I actually looked into that. However this was my 7th cruise but the first time I have had problems and first time I’ve worn the patch that long. I am slowly getting better, and I did look up some vestibular exercises/balance activities and have been doing them a few times a day. If I don’t get 100% in the next couple weeks that’s def my next move, you are right!!

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