I’ve been thinking I need to sit down and tell you what my training has been like over the last month because I think it might be helpful to someone out there. As you all know (at least now you will) the Pacific Northwest Marathon is coming up-in 12 days!! I have decided that I want to run the marathon and I have been training for it. Running has become second nature and enjoyable on so many levels. During my training I’ve encountered IT band issues and hip alignment issues, but nothing devastating has happened- so I did not fully appreciate how easy it was for me nor did I fully appreciate just being able to wake up each morning and run however far I needed to and know it would be fun and I would finish well. Then I got sick.
About 3 weeks ago I started coming down with this icky flu that involved chills, aches and pains and an awful, persistent cough. Suddenly I was weak and couldn’t do anything. I took a weekend break and Monday morning, in spite of feeling crummy, I decided to resume my training. That week I spent sleeping and having awful night sweats and chills but I was determined to push through. My training partner toned it down for me-she could tell I was not feeling strong, and I struggled through the week, ending that week with a 20 miler that felt like death-but with tennis shoes. I finally decided that whatever was wrong was not the flu and wasn’t going away. I went back to the doctor (the first doctor told me I just had the flu) and my doctor said “pneumonia”. Blah!!!! I decided that I had to take a week off. I didn’t want to, but all those around me who had their thinking capacity intact (unlike myself) said “rest!!-or you will just get worse.” After a long week of coughing up ‘stuff’ and finishing my antibiotics, I was able to resume my training-but in a weakened state.
It was so discouraging and terrifying to feel weak and unable to do what I could before. All I can say is that you only have two choices -are you going to put those shoes back on and move forward, or are you going to let yourself be beat and wallow in a tub of ice-cream and self pity? There is only one way to get stronger at that point-TAKE CHARGE and GET MOVING! It has been hard, I have been scared and worried about the marathon because I suddenly feel vulnerable and weaker but I am choosing to succeed. I don’t know what race day will bring but I have decided that I still have it in me, that I will love that 26.2 mile run no matter what and that the runs that are the hardest to do mean the most.
I still love running! It has been an amazing journey so far, and the longer I run the more I learn about life and myself. This time around I have learned that sometimes you do need to give your body a break and rest-IT IS IMPORTANT! And I have gained a greater appreciation for: being able to run, being able to labor in taking care of my family, and feeling strong.