Every Runner’s Nightmare: Let’s Talk About The ‘D’ Word

October and November were rough months.  Just as I got over my October cold I was hit with a horrible case of bronchitis.  I was completely incapacitated for a few days and then it took an additional week and a half for my cough to die down enough before I could run again.

My first run back brought me to the realization that I had missed too many very important long runs.  After many days without running those 4 miles felt like a 10 mile run.  It was brutal and my lungs burned.  In fact, weeks later and my lungs are still feeling the pain.

In the wake of my illness we were also met with a variety of unexpected financial burdens and just before Thanksgiving I came to the saddened realization that I might be facing my first race deferral.

The “D” word that every runner dreads.

FOX TV / Via degrassi.wikia.com

I just couldn’t fathom scraping close to $2K together for the trip to Disney to run in a marathon that I now felt I would be undertrained for.  It was a very tough realization to accept, but this week’s happenings have made the blow a little less harsh.  We were faced with yet another jab to the gut.  This past Monday we hit a deer and it did substantial damage to our vehicle.  This means we’re hemorrhaging money right now and had I bought plane tickets a couple of weeks ago we would be facing the same rough decision to cancel the trip.

I was excited to see that RunDisney does offer a deferral option, but bummed to see that a fee would be involved.  I would have to pay an additional $75 just so I could race again next year?!  Talk about frustration!  It would be nice if Disney allowed for bib transfers, but nope!  What’s worse is that I was fully ready to pay the deferral fee until today when I hopped on over to their website to find that the deferral slots had already been filled.

It looks like my big “D” is no longer going to be a deferral, but rather a DNS (did not start).  Talk about devastation!  Months of training down the drain.

Yet, I remain optimistic.  I WILL run another marathon in 2015!  I will even try to sign up for a few spring halfs to keep myself on track.  It’s not always an easy journey as an athlete, but it will be worth it in the long run. My training isn’t for nothing, it’s made me stronger and faster and increased my endurance.  In the end it’s not the race the makes me a runner, it’s my ability to run despite the races (or lack thereof).

Sickness and the Bitter Cold

I’ve been MIA on here for the past month and that’s mostly because my running has slacked.  I logged a meager 13.1 miles last month.  I was a tad burnt out with running post marathon, but I definitely didn’t imagine myself taking such a long break.  It was not my intention AT ALL.

Post Disney I did get back out there right away and tried my best to stay on track, but then I got sick.  I had a horrible upper respiratory infection and didn’t do much of anything physical for a week.  It worked out fairly well because it was ridiculously cold out here and no one wants to run in that.

After a week of feeling miserable I was on the upswing.  I took a few extra days to feel well and then decided to give it a go.  The weather had warmed a touch and the sun was shining.  It was a great day to put in an easy 3 miler. I felt like I was ready to get back on track with my 3-4 runs per week.  NOPE. My body had other things in mind.

I woke up the next day feeling quite miserable and just like that I was sick again.  This time I didn’t do any running or major cardio for a full week and a half.  By the time I felt fully recovered it felt like a month had passed.  Back to back sicknesses are the worst!

I’m finally back on track though!  I’ve only put in 7.7 miles so far this month, but the numbers will start to climb before the week is up.  I’m even contemplating braving another half marathon on April 6th.  It might be a little bit much, but I think I still have enough of my training endurance left from the marathon so I think I should be able to handle it.  It won’t be a PR race or anything, but it’ll be something to help get me back into the spirit of running.  I do also have the option of a 10K if I find the task too extreme.  I’ll see how I feel in a few weeks.

Training Run: 23 miles cut down to 17

This past weekend I was initially scheduled to run 26 miles for my last long run.  However, due to missing my 23 mile run after thanksgiving, I decided to cut it down to 23 miles instead.  This 23 mile run should have been enough to push me through the finish come marathon day (many training plans don’t take you to the full distance).  I had already hit the 20 mile mark on November 10th and felt like I had more life in me, so 23 miles shouldn’t have been too much of a jump for me.

What I didn’t account for was the toothache from hell.  On Friday (after 3 days of pain), I finally made the decision to get to the dentist. It turns out that a tooth I had broken 8 years ago (and had fixed) was not in good shape.  I will be needing a root canal and crown, but it’s not scheduled until this coming Thursday–Merry Christmas to me!  Anyhow, long story short, I was forced to try my best to complete a 23 mile run while hopped up on pain pills and antibiotics.

The weather was a perfect 55 degrees (in December, in CNY!), a runner’s dream!  Despite the beautiful weather, I was hesitant to lace up my running shoes.  I had spent a good part of the night before vomiting (due to my drug cocktail) and I wasn’t feeling 100%.  BUT, I sucked it up, this was my last long run and I was going to try my best to complete it, I had to.

I was careful to pace myself and take it easy and with every 5 miles I gained a sense of owning the run.  I truly felt like I had it in the bag and that I would be able to finish the planned 23 miles and maybe more.  I felt this way until mile 16–at that point the pain meds and antibiotics were kicking my ass.  A sense of nausea and light-headedness began to creep in.  I managed to press on for another mile before I made the decision to call my husband.  Once I began to feel faint I knew it would have been stupid to continue on.

I felt so defeated, but accomplished at the same time.  I was proud of myself for attempting a 23 mile run in the miserable state that I was in.  I only missed the mark by 6 miles and I know my body would have carried me through if it hadn’t been for the medications.  I am hopeful that this will be enough to carry me over the finish line.  I know my body and mind are ready, but I can’t help but be nervous.  What if I didn’t train enough?

I have faith that I can do it, but only time will tell.