Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sicky icky icky

Ah, the New Year.  Full of hope, unknown wonderment, and endless possibilities.  This is gonna be a great year, I can feel it in my bones.  I'm going to finish my MBA degree (thank sweet baby Jesus), I'm going on an awesome all-expenses-paid trip to Japan, I get to run with the big dogs (elites) at the Boston Marathon, and I started my very own blog (welcome to the 20th century; yes 20th, because I am so far behind the times)!  How exciting!  The world is beautiful...

It started out innocently enough.  I spent a full day speaking to high school students (that's my job), but throughout the day I could feel my energy level dropping and a curious kind of ache creeping into my body.  By Tuesday morning (12 hours later), I was done for.  Sick.  No work, no running, no nothing other than holding down the couch for the day.  I knew a nasty strain of the flu was floating around (even killing a few people), so I decided to call for a doctor's appointment right away.  I was set to see the doc at noon the next day.  I spent a miserable day in pain (terrible body aches) and alternating between freezing and burning up.  After a night spent sweating buckets due to a fever, I opted to forgo my noon appointment and head to Urgent Care first thing Wednesday morning.  The visit is a hazy memory, but I do recall the diagnosis:  Influenza A and a "suspicious" chest x-ray.  The doc gave me a medicine that was supposed to suppress the spread of the influenza virus (really just a band-aid solution).  She wasn't sure about the chest x-ray, possibly pneumonia.  She'd have the radiologist call me back if I indeed had bacteria in my lungs.  Sure enough the phone rang a few hours later:  pneumonia confirmed.

Now, I won't bore you with the details of my misery (it was baaaaad stuff, let me tell you), but I will say that when preparing to run a marathon, regardless what your goal finish time is, having the flu and pneumonia is not an ideal situation.  I was bummed out, but figured I would kick this crap in a few days and be up and running by the weekend.  HA!  Fast forward TWO WEEKS and I'm just starting to make my come back (knock on wood).

I ran for the first time in 12 days this past Sunday and it was an eye-opener!  My legs and lungs felt like they had never run a day in their lives!  I kid you not.  I squeaked out a 3 miler in roughly 30 minutes and felt like I had just run a marathon.  My quads were trashed and felt like jell-o.  I was coughing and wheezing, and I could could feel crap/mucous rattling around in my lungs.

I have approximately 20 days before I leave for Japan, and 25 days until I need to run a marathon.  WHAT?!  Right now, I can hardly run 4 miles at 8:00/mile pace.  Honestly, I'm just hoping I don't relapse and get sick again.  This situation has really put things in perspective.  I HATED being a prisoner on my couch and having no energy.  I can't stand how miserable it feels to run right now...is this why other people don't like running?!  I feel like I've appreciated my good health and fitness in the past, but I have an entirely new appreciation for it after this whole episode.

So, my dreams for killing it at Boston (in April) are likely going to be put on hold for this year.  I'll still run and compete to the best of my ability, but I feel like I'm starting from scratch.  I dropped so low on the wellness scale, that coming back from this is going to be a process of forced patience. 

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