Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marathon: Almost Stopped Before I Started

So June 1st I signed up for the marathon lottery. We found the Couch to 5K program and decided to start training using it on June 6th, the upcoming Monday. My biggest obstacle in all of this hit on June 2nd, before I could take a single step in training.

After a long day at work where I had not eaten very much I was starving. I got home made some spaghetti and wolfed it down. Still my stomach did not feel right. This was because a few short hours later I would experiencing one of the nastiest 24 hour stomach bugs of my life. I didn't sleep the entire night. I couldn't keep anything down. Tired and dehydrated I rolled into the weekend. A weekend I had intended on resting and recovering before realizing I had made prior commitments to help out my wife's company in the Galveston sandcastle competition they participate in every year. So I went, I tried to stay out of the sun. I tried to drink a lot water and stay hydrated. But it was at the beach, in Texas. Neither of these things were really possible. 

The day was cut short however when my wife came down with the very same bug. So we went home (between stops along the side of the highway to allow for purging). I took care of her and we shared another restless night. 

So Monday rolls around. Time to start training. Not well rested, probably not hydrated all that well, we go run our first little bit of Couch to 5K. It is not a lot of running. In fact it is some running and a lot of walking. My ankle hurt, it was somewhere in the 90's, humid, bad air. Not fun. But I did it. And this went on for a week, everything going as it should. Then the real problem reared its head. The following Monday I ran again. I felt more tired then usual. The following day it was worse. At work I felt out of it, dazed. I kept drinking water thinking I was just dehydrated. It seemed to help at first, but as I was driving home I knew I had a bigger problem.

By the time I made it home it was clear I was feverish. Not just feverish but pushing a 103 degree fever. Not exactly a good state to be in. For a couple of days I just took advil and hoped it would pass. On the third day of it I finally went to the doctor. I had started training while warn out from a previous illness, in conditions that were not ideal in the least, and consequently I now had pneumonia (and possibly bronchitis). My running days were done for a while.

I was put on a 10 day antibiotic regimen and told not to run for about 10 days following the last medication. So pretty much all of my pre-training time was gone. About 15 days in I did start to workout again to try and get as ready as I could. Push-ups, sit-ups, dumbbell squats, anything I could do to try and get back in shape without stressing my lungs too much. But when 20 days expired, I had one week to get ready for the my official training schedule.

During this time, I was able to find out whether or not I made the lottery cut. I was honestly hoping at this point to not make it in so I could switch to a smaller marathon (Austin, San Antonio) that were about a month after Houston's date. This would allow me to make up the month of time I lost. But Alas, Houston it was.

I received the congratulatory email, my credit card was charged for the race, there was no turning back.  

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