The past six weeks have been unkind to me. My laryngitis turned into a nasty case of bronchitis that hit me harder than I realized. I finally saw the doctor after 4 weeks of coughing and misery and she was quite dismayed by my lungs. I started antibiotics, plus a ton of other stuff, dialed back my running a bit and just tried to maintain. I still attempted my long runs but the 17 and 18 milers were pretty much horror shows for the last quarter of each one. My pace was WAY off and I kept pulling the muscles in my stomach from coughing while trying to run. It didn’t help that I was a snotty mess, too. Real pleasant!
I’ve been using the treadmill quite a bit, due to the unrelenting humidity. Bonus, from Wednesday through Saturday, my stomach was rocking and rolling and making things even more unpleasant (thank you, Zpak 😦 ). Saturday had me down for 8 miles. I was going to meet one of the groups from my MRTT chapter but decided not to because of my stomach. I finally got on the treadmill and could hardly do 4 miles! That short time included 2 bathroom breaks, many coughing fits, and a complete breakdown that had me sitting and crying. I had 20 miles on Sunday! And company coming this weekend. And a half marathon the next two weekends. Gah!
To say I was feeling pretty low on Saturday was an understatement. I had planned to run the Revenge of the Penguins 20 mile race/training run along the C&O Canal. I did it in 2013 and it was not my favorite run but I liked the option of not having to think up a course and having a lot of support. I told my MRTT family late that I was doing it. I knew there would be a ton of them there but I felt like hiding in my cave.
One of my long-run buddies texted me late and asked if she could run with me. I tried to demure but she said her knee was bothering her so she was okay slowing down if we needed to. I decided to give it a shot.
I’m SO GLAD that I did! We had a great run! The splits were nice and even. The weather was decent. My stomach didn’t revolt. My lungs behaved. I took 40 minutes off from my 2013 time!
An event that I was sure would be a miserable walk actually turned out to be awesome!
One of my big problems is last 10K of the marathon. I feel like I do okay until mile 20 and then I check out and/or start verbally abusing myself. My goal this year always is to NOT DO THAT! I am now actively planning to be smart the first 20 miles (don’t go out to fast, fuel properly, fuel early (!), etc.) and keep my wits together for the end. After Sunday, I think I can actually do it this year! I’m feeling more positive about this marathon than I have for some time now.