So here we are, the last week before my first marathon, and frankly, I am not excited…I’m just tired. I have read many others’ accounts of their emotional state at this point, and so I think I know what I should be feeling, but mostly I am just weary to the bone and ready for it to be over. A great deal of that, I am sure, comes from spending the last week as the “walking wounded”: going to work in the cold, dreary weather, in spite of the lingering illness I am still struggling with; trying to be productive through a fog of medication, while dealing with the sudden responsibility for a project that I am learning was not being properly managed; all while maintaining my duties at home, and my training for three upcoming races. It was all just too much…something had to give…turns out, it was my body. Read on, and let’s watch the cookie crumble:
Sunday 1-5: Rest day – walked 1 mile, 15:47 As I said last week, the early stages of illness were upon me – I had a restless night, waking at midnight drenched in sweat. A quick shower refreshed me some, and I was able to sleep a few good hours, but when morning came I began revising my schedule for the day. I still had errands to run, and chores to attend, but doing any serious running had to be crossed off the list. By noon I was home, and worn out, and still had not done a workout. I napped briefly, waking up to a body stiff and creaky and not at all interested in exercise. I drove myself out the door with the idea that moving the blood around would help purge the toxins and stretch out the stiffness; I set a brisk walking pace and got my mile done…but it cost me: I was badly out of breath and lightheaded by the time I got home…not a good sign of things to come.
Monday 1-6: Rest day – walked 1 mile, 15:25 Back to work, despite feeling like something the dog ate and then heaved back up – in my new role, I do not actually DO much work, I manage others; this makes it possible for me to be there when I am not at my best, and still get things done, and today I was grateful for that. It was a day filled with walking, touring the entire jobsite and detailing what has been done and what needs to be done, in order to give a status update to my superiors. I don’t count what I do at work as part of my training, but maybe I should…we are roughing in the lower eight floors of a 21-story high rise apartment complex, while the structure of the tower is being completed; I walked at least 10 miles today, up and down stairs and around every floor! I really didn’t feel like going out and doing anything else after I got home, but the idea of breaking my streak made me so angry that I went and “power-walked” a mile just to get it done…but anger is very expensive fuel to burn, and I was wiped out afterwards; I passed out without even eating dinner – now you KNOW I was feeling sick!
Tuesday 1-7: Rest day – no activity Another day much as before, except I was already running 102 fever by the time I got home, and didn’t even kid myself – the #ncrstreak was broken, and I simply went to bed – I might be slow, but I know when I’m beaten.
Wednesday 1-8: Rest day – no activity Rinse and repeat from yesterday. A smarter man would have stayed home from work to get rested and healthy again; I am not that man, I guess. My supervisor was expecting my status report on the job today; he didn’t tell me that he also expected me to deliver that report at the office to the project manager, the production manager, the department manager, and the vice-president! I wish he had – I probably would not have taken those NyQuil Liqi-gels right before we went to the meeting 😦 Oh well, I finally made it home, and fell into bed…going out to walk or run never even crossed my drug-addled mind.
Thursday 1-9: Rest day – no activity This was probably the worst day of the whole week. I woke up feeling pretty good, and hoped I had turned the corner, and might actually feel like running at Bandera on Saturday. (I had gotten though the whole week by holding this carrot in front of my face: “Just make it to Friday, you can rest on the way to the race!”) But as the day wore on, my energy level dropped, the body aches returned full-force, and my focus dwindled to just getting home. My body hurt worse than after any training run, ever. Small wonder – when I took my temperature, I was running 103.9! I was very glad I had scheduled the next day off from work – I only hoped I wouldn’t be spending it in the hospital instead.
Friday 1-10: Rest day – no activity I woke up feeling like I had been dipped in something gross and left to dry…and knowing that I was not going to be racing this weekend. I called my buddy Rob Goyen (pres. of the HATR running club) and told him I was dropping out because I was sick; he expressed his sympathy and agreed it was for the best. I spent the entire day in bed, wrapped in my own personal cocoon woven of misery and self-pity – is THIS what I spent a year working so hard for? How am I ever going to complete 26.2 miles when I can’t even walk to the back door to let my dog outside without getting dizzy? (I believe this is why they say that men are such wusses when we get sick – I stand guilty as charged.)
Saturday 1-11: Rest day – no activity Today was supposed to be a great day for me – my first ever 25K trail race…instead, it’s my second DNS…not the accomplishment I was hoping for. Instead, I am spending the day resting, alternating between reading and sitting at my computer, because I just don’t have the energy to do much else. The fever is gone, but the stuffy head and nagging cough are still with me; I may go out later and walk a bit to relieve the stiffness and the blah – the weather has cleared up wonderfully, it’s sunny and in the low 70’s today (you gotta love the Gulf Coast weather!) so at least it will be pleasant to be outdoors. I will be checking the results page from Bandera later on, to see how my friends’ racing went; it’s too early yet, as they are doing 100K and should only be at the second checkpoint as I am writing this – how I wish I was there! But I’ll get another chance in April, or perhaps sooner, if things turn out well…first I have to make it through today!
Total for this week: 2 runs, 2 miles
Total for January: 6 runs, 14.2 miles; #runthisyear goal 1.1% (22.7/2014 km)
#ncrstreak: 40 days, 191 miles; broken by illness
Living Water fundraising to date: $24.00
I can only hope that a weekend of real rest will make the difference, and I can shake off being sick and get a couple of runs in this week. I will pick up my Houston Marathon Ambassador gear on Sunday – shoes, shirt, etc. all supplied by Skechers Performance, a new corporate sponsor of the race, and I would like a chance to break it in a little before running the 5K next Saturday. Only time will tell how it goes, I suppose. Maybe this is why events have happened the way they have; I have already become comfortable with revising my goals for these two races, from setting PR’s to simply finishing; I can’t imagine how devastated I would be if I had to come to that decision point today instead of 6 weeks ago. God has all things in His sight, and knows the end from the beginning; we just have to trust that He really is in control, and make the choices we believe serve Him best, even when we don’t understand it all…one of my favorite verses of Scripture is Isaiah 55:8-9, because I feel it lets me off the hook: I’m not supposed to understand it all, it’s not even possible to do so, so why worry about it? I have more than enough to deal with right here in front of me as it is!
One other note: I met this week with someone from Living Water, and we talked about my fundraising plan. He was enthusiastic about it, and agreed to assist me in promoting my efforts, and also promised to send me more information and contacts to help me along. I also received permission to use their logo on my blog; clicking on it will take you directly to my donation page. I have condensed the story somewhat and created a permanent page for it; please check it out and feel free to share the link with others you believe would be interested in helping, because everyone has the power to make a difference! Last week I received my first direct donation, and I must admit: when the notification came in, it brought tears to my eyes – knowing that my words produced a positive response, touched someone and prompted them to give…that makes everything worthwhile!
Have you ever help raise funds or awareness for a charity?
What advice could you share about your experience?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!