No long running this weekend
After I returned from a meeting in Las Vegas last week, I developed a severe sore throat. I had fevers and chills and felt so sick that I took off work Monday.
I promptly had my throat swabbed on Tuesday morning. That tells you how sick I felt; I have a very sensitive gag reflex and hate throat swabs. I almost lost my breakfast when they did it.
However, the rapid strep swab was negative. I was told that it was just a virus and I'd have to tough it out.
I had never had a throat so sore and painful before. I could only swallow chicken broth- but just barely. I lost 2 lbs in three days because of simply not eating due to the pain. I don't recommend a chicken broth diet due to a sore throat as a weight loss plan.
One night I awoke suddenly choking on something stuck in the back of my throat. I couldn't cough it up so I had to swallow- hard- to get it down. It felt like it ws still there so got up to look in the bathroom mirror to see what it was. It turned out to be my uvula (little fleshy thingy that hangs down in the middle of your throat). It was swollen several times normal size.
What could I do other than gargle with salt wate and suffer? I had just a virus, right?
Thursday was excrutiating. My job involves mostly speaking to patients and other people, often an hour or more at a time. I gargled with salt water between every patient to keep the swelling down just so I could talk. By the end of the day, I noted a few drops of blood in my gargle water. (More than you wanted to know).
In order to cope, I told myself to think of this as just another kind of ultramarathon. When your feet are blistered, it hurts but it won't kill you, even if they bleed. My throat was the same.
I told myself: "Just keep going, dig deep and don't give up- the pain will end- eventually."
I was called Friday morning- although my rapid strep swab was negative- the culture was positive. I had strep throat! Duh! No wonder I'd suffered all week long!
Although I felt better only 24 hours after my first dose of antibiotic (amazing how well they work), I was still tired and weak. It completely disrupted my training.
Before getting sick, I had planned to do a weekend of three long days in a row to get ready for the up coming 3 days of Syllamo: I wanted to do 25-30 miles on Friday, 20 or so miles on Saturday and then 10 miles on Sunday. However, it took everything I had to get just under 10 miles done over the entire weekend.
So much for three long training days in a row as I planned….
That said, I'm feeling much better. I booked my flights today. Although I haven't put as much mileage in as I'd have liked (do we ultramarathoners ever feel we put in enough?) I guess it will have to be enough. I'm looking at Syllamo as one heck of a training run intead of a main event anyway.
No matter how it goes…. Syllamo will be great training.
Haliku and John my friend/co-worker can't go, so it looks like I'll be doing Syllamo alone. I will definitely miss them but it'll be fine. I've met many new friends at ultras I went to alone (Javelina Jundred, Antelope Island and others). I'm sure this will be the same.
Honestly, I wouldn't have seen them during the actual race anyway since they're both fast and I'm slow- even for an ultrarunner.
This weekend I'll be in San Francisco for another meeting. I'll bring my running shoes to explore town but I won't be doing any 20 or 30 milers this weekend. Now it is too close to do any more really long runs before the event anyway. Nevertheless, I'll keep doing some double-day AM and PM runs to keep up my weekly mileage.
Did this training cycle go as well as planned? Did I do as many miles as I had hoped? Not really.
But then it's hard to keep up the mileage and hours of running when it seems I haven't run during daylight for months and months. Throw in a virus or two and strep and it is impossible. I don't mind running in the dark with a headlamp but by February and March, it gets old, even for me.
Now if only I can keep from getting sick again between now and race day! I am SO ready for the sunny warm days of spring!!!
Take care, stay well and run on!