Posts Tagged ‘sick’

What Race?

Hey, I have a race coming up in less than 72 hours! How the heck did that happen???

Not for nuthin, but it does sort of feel like this race has crept up on me unawares. The 14 Mile Run loomed large for me the entire training period, and then right after that, I came down with a series of illnesses and injuries, and just getting (and staying) healthy has become my biggest focus. Race? What race? I am still hacking and coughing; thanks a lot post-nasal congestion.

What to wear? Who knows?!? Richmond is doing its normal meteorological mood swings, with today’s highs being in the low 40s, and Saturday’s highs being in the low 70’s. Getting a grip on how fast it will warm up on Saturday will play the biggest factor in my personal version of “What Not To Wear” (Half Marathon Edition). I have in fact completely changed my plan on race day clothing at 3:30 a.m., only 4 hours before a race. I am not wedded to anything until I walk out the door.

Like I opted to do in March, I am going to leave my beloved stop watch at home; it will be much better for my brain not to be processing numbers if the knee pain ramps up and the pace starts to click down. I am going to run in my old but very trusty Adrenalines. I am deciding about my fuel belt right now. On the one hand, it is darn convenient not to HAVE to slow at fuel stops, especially as it warms up. But not wearing it is very freeing and my arm movements are more natural when I am not trying to avoid smacking my forearms into my water bottles. Natural arm movements cut down on upper body muscle fatigue.

I will not check a bag this year. I understand that they have sorted out that little inconvenience this year, but honestly, it won’t be a hardship for Byram to bring me my heavy Navy hoodie along with him to Brown’s Island. That is really all I need. I had zero need for my wallet or my phone (not a smart phone so no reason to carry it) at any race I have previously run.

Friday, I took 4 vacation hours and I will go get my packet from the Expo, meander around there for a bit, and then probably swing by a GoodWill and buy the warmest clothes I can find that are half off for the week. These I will wear in that pre-race hour while I am waiting and shivering in the pre-dawn fog, to be discarded and donated to local homeless shelters right before we hit the start line. I might also try the trash bag trick, since I have heard it is effective, and the forecast is calling for fog and high humidity. Friday’s dinner needs to be a KISS meal. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Chicken. Broccoli. Rice or noodles. Lots of water. Not a massive spaghetti dinner. Not something new and unusual. Not even a trusted restaurant.

One nice thing: my lack of focus has meant that I am not in pre-race freakout mode like I normally would be. I am calm and just looking forward to the atmosphere of race day and getting this one done and on the books.

To Do:
Clean and decide about my fuel belt
Charge up iPod
Centrally locate all my technical gear and start deciding what to wear
Figure out post-race meeting spot
Locate if possible GU Salted Caramel gels (!!!)
Try to get more sleep (ha!)
Get warm donation clothes
Chill out and enjoy this race! It has been MONTHS since I raced and I am really looking forward to this one.

I probably won’t have time to write again. Check back for a post-race recap!


Dropped on My Face

So I posted about being injured and my plan to get back on the road. Modestly optimistic and all that.

The next morning, I was sitting at my desk getting my morning going when a worrisome tell-tale heat began to develop in my eyes. Isn’t that weird? That is exactly how I know when a fever is coming on though; when my eyeballs feel hotter than the skin around them. I don’t know if the sensation is unique to me, but I do know it heralds major trouble.

I was leaving work early to take Byram to a medical appointment that day anyway, so I knew I only had to hang on until his appointment was over, but I gotta tell you, I was suffering by 2pm and we were headed back to Chesterfield. I remember very little of the drive and nothing about the discussion we were having (which couldn’t have been much; my throat hurt too much to talk). We got home and I practically crawled up the stairs (my knees and back hurt so much) and crashed into bed without so much as getting out of my work clothes.

It would be 48 more hours before I dragged my sorry self to the doctor and get my diagnosis. The Flu and something so alike to strep throat that even though it didn’t pop in the petri dish, the doc decided it treat it the same.

The Flu?!? I had gotten my flu shot three weeks before to the day when the fever kicked in. The doc reminded me that it isn’t a 100% guarantee preventative measure. She knows I run half marathons and asked me if I was training. I told her about my 14 mile distance last weekend and she said the peak point in training can take a toll on runner’s immune system. Add a fragile immune system to the fact that I took my daughter to the pediatrician’s office on Monday of that week, I was set up to catch All The Things.

And so I did. I rarely get sick, but when I do, it’s kind of like the Hand of God reaches down and simply drops me on my face. Today is the first day the splitting headache has finally relented. I was able to get up and take a shower and put on a change of clothes. I foam rolled my still achy back and legs. Still no real appetite, but at least I am on the mend.

So no mileage this week. I am not sure I would have the stamina even today to log a single mile. I have to grocery shop in a little while, and I anticipate landing on the couch for the rest of the afternoon after that. I am hoping that maybe by Tuesday or Wednesday I will be able to run a little. I know I will have to take it easy, but I have to get back on my feet and get moving.

Race day is coming. I suffered some set backs this week, but they aren’t going to stop me or hold me back. I was searching my jewelry box for a gold dollar coin (Grace lost her first baby tooth this morning) and while I didn’t find a coin, I did find my drawer full of race medallions. I am not the type to display my medals, but coming across them was a great motivator and brought a smile to my face. I can’t wait to add a new one to the drawer.

Struck Out and Then Struck Down

No updates all week because…well, I guess I’ll tell you why.

I did go run my 11 miles last Saturday, and…well…this is hard to admit out loud, but I will. I didn’t love it. I hated it. Those last two miles were hell. I discovered what the “wall” is. I didn’t think you could hit “the wall” on such short distances, but when I found myself unable to even barely lift my feet to trudge up the last hill, tearful, sick in my heart and my stomach, I was pretty sure that was the Wall.

I tried a new fueling plan last week. I started out with a GU while still in the truck, a few minutes before taking off. I don’t eat breakfast before these long runs and for such a long run, I thought it would be good to have something in the tank before even starting out. And I think that was a success; I felt great for the first 7 or 8 miles. However, I was significantly more thirsty than usual. I had already gotten into my water bottle on my fuel belt by the time I hit 2 and a quarter miles, where my training team had set of a SAG stop (I am assuming SAG stands for “stop and go” but I have never asked to be sure), and so I topped it off there at the SAG. Then we had about 7.5 miles to run before getting back to the SAG, and I was completely out of water only 5 miles into that distance. I drank something like 20 ounces of water in 6 miles. I think that was too much.

I took my second GU around mile 6 or so. I had a third one packed but it was not a GU, it was a ClifShot, and I had been wary of it since I had never tried one before. Anyway, by the time I hit the SAG on the way back, with only 2.25 miles to go, I was terribly thirsty, and wearing down.

I wasn’t thinking especially clearly by that point, I just wanted it to be over. But in not thinking clearly and having run out of water, I chose not to take that third energy gel. That was a mistake. The only bright spot in the last 2 miles was when I had stopped to walk along Cary Street, and a guy said to me “Pick it up, slack ass.” I wasn’t even offended (too tired to be offended), I just replied “Slack ass indeed,” (too tired to come up with a witty answer). He laughed out loud and said “You aren’t a slack ass! I’m standing here smoking a cigarette. I should know better, but then, I am a Marine!” I laughed; the whole exchange felt surreal, but it brought a smile to my face, and put a little bit of spring back in my step, for a little ways, but I was really done by that point.

I drug myself back to my truck, feeling ashamed (irrationally so), embarrassed that the parking lot had mostly emptied out, or people were standing around chatting, stretching, looking happy, flushed, and great, where I looked and felt like death could have taken me at that moment, and I would have been fine with that.

Worst of all, my total time was 2:20. I was crushed. Even though the route turned out to be closer to 12 miles than 11, I felt like my hopes of running a 2:30 half marathon (particularly on a trail, not a road race) were completely shattered.

I went home, heartsick, ashamed, and completely deflated and depressed. I didn’t even really talk to my family about how it went.

The next day, I could hardly move. I was in a lot of pain, all over and in general; I had the added misery of hormone poisoning setting in. This just made me feel that much worse about my performance and my potential to do well on race day. I stayed in my pajamas all day, watched too much t.v., ate crap for food, and moped.

And then Monday came, and with it, came a day-long fever, chills, headache, sneezing, and all the miseries associated with a nasty head cold.

Well, that helped give me some perspective on Saturday’s run. I fueled poorly throughout the run itself (I really needed to take that third energy gel), I was either more dehydrated at the start than I felt, or I was over-hydrating along the way, the aforementioned hormone poisoning ALWAYS drains me of some energy, and I had no idea at the time I was coming down with a bug.

Training-wise, this week has been a complete wash, which is sad because I was really looking forward to trying out and breaking in my brand new Brooks Adrenaline 12 GTS shoes I got last Friday. Monday, I was too sick to get out of bed. Tuesday, I stayed home from work, to worn down to do much of anything, though better than Monday. Yesterday and today have been continued recovery days, but with no extra energy to devote to even a short run.

I am planning on packing gear to run tomorrow, a short run, maybe 3 miles, maybe the fun new 2.5 mile route I ran last week. I don’t know.

Saturday is a drop back run, and we are doing 8 miles, which I am thankful for. If it was the 12 mile week, I am not sure that I would be up for that quite yet.

I desperately need a good run. One of those where you smile the whole way. Saturday’s run was so demoralizing that even with the justification that came afterwards, I still find myself wondering if maybe I didn’t bark up the wrong tree with this whole half marathon business. I know in my head that isn’t the case, but my heart is beating out a message of “You really suck at this. Why did you ever think this was a good idea???”

Screw that.

I have always been more of a Head Over Heart kind of girl anyway.

Rough Week

After a 3 mile run on Sunday and 2 miles on Monday, I was laid low by GI troubles and a severe lack of energy. The GI troubles remain. Stress-related IBS is the likely culprit (which I also suffered the LAST time I autocratted Sapphire Joust). I guess between now and the end of May, every day might have to be “play it by ear” (or intestines, as it were) based on how much jostling my guts can take.

So after being off three days, I took advantage of the first of 8 “free” visits I have to the Downtown YMCA. I put my butt on a treadmill for the first time in a year.

3 miles. 31 minutes.
6.5 miles per hour for a while there.
I absolutely loved it. Still wouldn’t face a mirror, but I could see my reflection in the window I was looking out of.

It was really cool to see the muscles in my quads and shins. Might even have the courage to run in front of a mirror in the future.

I really hope we can get a gym membership again in the relatively near future.

Minus 11 Days

Went for my longest run ever today, going all the way past the quarry on Belle Isle. Did a little less than 3.5 miles in 35:40. My time would have been faster, I think, but I was struck quite seriously by the dreaded “runner’s plague.” I haven’t suffered from that since my early days of Couch to 5K training last Spring. I blame the high fiber black bean soup I had yesterday, plus 20 ounces of coffee at breakfast and 32 ounces of water in the hour before my run. That was miserable and something I will go out of my way to avoid next Saturday.

A pace of 11:13 and average speed of 5.3 MPH is…well, it is what it is. It certainly is not the 9:59 pace I was hoping for, but I am not devastated by that pace either given the long distance (for me) and the intestinal distress I suffered causing me to slow (and even consider stopping when I got back by the Blackfin and using their facilities) down quite a bit.

I am anxious about the rest of the week and my ability to train. Tomorrow I have a dentist’s appointment that I presume will be a quite evaluation, ending with “Yup, you need a root canal. Come see me again on Friday.” Thursday, I have the day off to watch Grace. Maybe my in-laws will visit and I can use the time to hit the trail at HGD Park. Friday will be spent potentially in the dentist’s chair undergoing a root canal and then travelling south to Mebane, NC. I think that will have to be my rest day; I just cannot see pounding the pavement after a root canal.

This weekend will be spent at an SCA event. The hotel we are in has a fitness center which I hope to take advantage of at least on Saturday evening, and maybe again on Sunday morning before we leave.

I am thrilled to say we hit our fundraising goal and then some thanks to the enormous generosity of our friends and my coworkers. I never expected that we could actually raise $200 but we did and then some. I am humbled by it all and it makes me want to work that much harder to run a race worthy of their generosity.


At least, I think it is minus 247 days to race day.

I have lost a little time in the past 48 hours or so. I was S. I. C. K. sick on Tuesday and into yesterday. Fever of 102.5 and lots of sleep.

Obviously, this was not the time for training, so I have rested. Even though I am back at work today, I am not yet ready to return to aerobic conditioning just due to the congestion and asthma symptoms, but if I have the energy tonight, I hope to do a very short strength training work out.

I hope to be 100% next week and ready to kick my training back into high gear then.


Did my 20 minute strength training workout last night, despite the fact that I have a massive sinus and ear infection, and some sort of lung issue, whether it is asthma, an upper respiratory infection, or early asthmatic bronchitis, it wasn’t very clear, but I have the biggest antibiotics I have ever seen, as well as an albuterol inhaler, and instructions to do what I felt comfortable with, and to keep that inhaler with me when I run.

I am extremely unhappy that my lungs sounded crappy, especially given that until this weekend, I was not having any symptoms of this being anything other than an ear and sinus issue. On my really cold run on Friday, I did have a breathing spell that was bad enough that I became very dizzy and had to stop and lean against a railing by the River briefly. At the time, I assumed that was related to 6 weeks out of my shoes. Dr. said possibly, but given the sound of my lungs, she thought it was a bigger issue than that, especially since I did not have any such problems on my first run back when it was 55 degrees last Wednesday.

I am not sure how to approach my training for this week, as a result. Breathing today has been something of a chore, and the cough has really kicked up. The various running websites suggest holding off on training whenever you have symptoms “below the neck,” which, today, I definitely do. But I do not want to fall behind on my running.

Maybe more weight lifting and the exercise bike instead? Then I can be indoors, without cold dry air to flare my lungs up. Or maybe I just need to rest? The Doc did not have a lot of guidance on this either way.