Life is unexpected and sometimes things happen that our out of our control. This was one of those weeks. Last Sunday I was coming off of a great training cycle. Sure it was lower in mileage than previous training cycles (mostly averaging 55-60 mpw) but I was injury-free and I completed every workout hitting all the right training pace times. I knew I wasn’t in sub 3 condition yet but in my mind I thought a 3:05 was realistic.
Over the weekend two of my kids had a fever/ cough. Then Monday morning my husband woke up with fever and I soon followed.
|I texted this pic to my husband Monday night when my fever was at its worst.|
Tuesday I stayed home all day and rested. I was feeling better (no fever after Monday night) and I drank plenty of water. I still had a bad head cold/ congestion though so I didn’t run Tuesday or Wednesday.
Wednesday night I had a little “come to Jesus” moment. I had been obsessing and worrying about my health and wondering if I would be well enough for 26.2 on Sunday. Let me say that I know there are many more important things and concerns in this life. I have friends struggling with bigger health concerns and life issue right now (than whether or not they are going to run in a marathon this weekend) so I do see the big picture. I still like knowing that I can pray about anything- even the small things. I asked for healing and then for peace with whatever the outcome. This is always a hard prayer. I just wanted to know what to do. I really thought a head cold would be gone by Sunday morning.
Wednesday night I discovered this verse on a wall calendar in our house and it was just what I needed to hear. I decided to memorize it so anytime I caught myself worrying about the race I would say it. Needless to say I memorized it quickly…
On Thursday I ran 6 miles but I felt really sluggish and tired. I assumed it was the NyQuil I’d had the night before. I only take that stuff once or twice a year and I was wanting get sleep before the marathon. I updated my coach and told him I was able to run and was optimistic about Sunday.
Friday I was still dealing with the constant headache and head pressure. I had hoped to run a short shakeout run but was too exhausted so I told myself I’d do it Saturday.
Saturday morning I had plans to go to the Little Rock expo and work the Another Mother Runner booth from 9-10. Sarah Bowen Shea (co-author of the Another Mother Runner books) had asked me earlier in the week and I really wanted to meet her. Plus I needed to pick up my race packet. Ironically I woke up feeling worse Saturday than Thursday or Friday. Not good.
|Another Mother Runner had the cutest apparel! Of course my Abi wanted to help!|
|With Sarah from Another Mother Runner!|
I enjoyed meeting Sarah and I’m looking forward when the Another Mother Runner crew is back in Little Rock next month for the retreat. I stayed in the booth from 9-10 and then got my race packet. I ran into my good friend Beverly at the expo and she had many encouraging words and advice. Running friends are the best!
|The 26.2 that was not meant to be…|
We didn’t stay at the expo long and I was too exhausted to do any shopping. I always love race expo shopping but I was not up for anything. All I wanted to do was get home and get back in bed. John offered (and I accepted without flinching) to pull the car up to the convention center so I wouldn’t have to walk to the parking garage. The thought crossed my mind- “How am I planning to run 26.2 miles tomorrow if I have no energy to walk to the car?”
Once we were home and after a few minutes in bed I just started crying. Why? Why was this happening when I wanted it so bad? Marathons are such an emotional race. The training takes so long- weeks and months. So much time and effort is put into it. When it doesn’t work out it’s tough. I told John I thought I should go to Primecare (our local urgent care clinic). Something didn’t feel right about this cold. Was it the flu? Strep? I wanted to race but I needed to feel better ASAP.
After an expensive trip to urgent care I learned I did not have the flu or strep- just a nasty sinus infection which was causing the congestion/ headache and constant head pressure. I guess I’ve never had a sinus infection before so it never even crossed my mind that’s what it could be. (Side note: These things are awful!!) The doctor immediately gave me a shot which she said would help but she didn’t seem to think I would be feeling race ready by the morning. Then she started me on antibiotics. At this point I was still a lit bit hopeful that maybe I could run but reality was definitely setting in. Starting a Zpack 12 hours before I’m supposed to leave for a marathon is not the way to go. I was not at all focused on a race and obviously running 26.2 miles requires a lot of focus and energy.
I updated my coach who brought up many good points including that racing a full during a sinus infection could be detrimental to my spring season. How much did this race mean to me? I would recover much faster if I let my body heal.
So I made the difficult (but obvious) decision not to race. There will be other marathons and I want it to be under the right circumstances. I want to be confident in my fitness and health and know that I can do it. I want it to be right.
The person who helped me with all of this the most and who has been incredibly patient with me the entire week is my husband. We all know how obsessive and paranoid runners are during race week leading up to a marathon. You throw in an unexpected illness and trust me- it goes to a whole new level. I know I was not the easiest person to be with this week and he held it all together.
He even managed to be Abraham Lincoln this week in my daughter’s 1st grade class. He does make a great Honest Abe, if I do say so myself!
Another highlight from this week was my older three receiving their 50 and 100 mile pins on Friday. Their school has a wonderful running program where the kids have all school year to log miles. The goal is 100 but they receive incentive pins along the way at certain milestones- 10, 25, 50, 75, & 100. I’m so proud of these kids and I’m thankful for their P.E. teacher who oversees this project as well as a school that values the importance of active, healthy kids.