EpiPen Frustration

I’m putting together my stuff for the marathon.

It’s funny:  I absolutely do not mind bringing special food.  I got my baggies ready with my race nutrition (Eload and Carbo-Pro) and put together my pre-race breakfast (special rice crispy cereal with dried fruit; I’ll buy milk and bananas there). It’s actually kind of calming. I don’t have to worry about what they do or don’t supply at the race and I’ve got my tried-and-true breakfast coming with me. I’ve also stashed a few wheat-free energy bars in my purse, just in case there’s a long layover or something, and a few with my food, just in case I want something more race morning.

What I DO mind is the EpiPen. The freaking huge EpiPen. That I absolutely should…but don’t want to…carry with me on race day.

To be honest, I have not carried it on my long runs. Yes, I’ve carried my fast-acting Benadryl and my phone; the thinking here is that I’m not working hard enough to trigger an allergic reaction considering I’ve not had any of my trigger foods and, if I were to have some reaction, the Benadryl would buy me plenty of time to make a call and get some help. Perhaps that’s making a stupid gamble but I figure if it took something like six years to have my second incident, and that was WITHOUT all the precautions I now take; I’m sure I’ve got to be at an unusually intense level of activity to trigger my condition.

I do recognize that running a marathon is a condition where I should have everything I need to be safe and healthy in an emergency. Crowd conditions would make rescue difficult and it’s a situation where I will push myself. Which means carrying the damn EpiPen. And a phone. And the Benadryl. And all my race food.

Holy crap, the amount of stuff is daunting. My days of simply showing up at a marathon and running, unencumbered, are over. I don’t want to carry a giant pack for 26.2 miles. I haven’t minded the pack I’ve carried on long runs but I just tested it and all of the stuff simply will not fit when you include the ginormous tube of epinephrine.  Perhaps I should just tie a roller bag aroung my waist and pull it along.


I think the main thing that bothers me about the EpiPen is that it represents that things can go wrong during a race, seriously wrong. And I’ve got just enough of a runner’s ego left to be bothered by the visual of me sporting a huge pack; it just screams “slow.”

And therein lies the real baggage I’m carrying:  that runner’s ego. I think that the things that have happened to me over the last few years have all been things that should teach me to check my ego at the door. I should simply be thankful that I’m able to run the things I do–how many people can do what I do?

I better go dig out that bigger pack.


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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “EpiPen Frustration

  1. Hrm. Are we talking waist pack here? And you\’re having to upgrade to a bigger waist pack? I admit I have no idea what kinda scale we\’re talking about here, as far as the stuff you need to stow, but what about a low-profile camelback with the bladder removed? Those ones meant for running that don\’t hold a ton of water seem to be really streamlined and unobtrusive. And without the bladder, it seems like they\’d hold a fair amount.

  2. If you carry it, you most likely won\’t need it. You should carry an umbrella too, so it won\’t rain 🙂 As long as you have the room in your giant pack!

  3. I just dug out some waist packs I have and I\’ll bring them tonight. If you think any of them will work better than what you already have, you\’re welcome to them!

  4. Good suggestions, and thanks

    You know, I did a CamelBak without the bladder for Pocatello. There\’s something about putting on the backpack, though. I just don\’t want to go there for a road race. I haven\’t worn a back pack in months, whereas I\’ve been wearing the waist pack since June.

    I\’m being a whiney baby. These packs are not all that huge. I think I\’m mourning the loss of the unencumbered road race more than anything.

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