Don’t worry, I’m not going to drop an economics lesson on you. That would just be boring. Instead I’m going to talk about my recent streak of ailments keeping me from running. Exciting! We’re talking micro as in microorganisms and macro as in macro painful. Two separate situations arose, both incapacitating me right at the peak of my training for the Chicago Marathon. One sabotaged me from the inside while the other full-on assaulted me from the outside. To add
insult to injury injury to illness, my injury waited for my illness to subside before busting onto the scene.
The first attack introduced itself in the form of a sore throat. For three days my throat was constantly on fire. The doctor told me it was a viral something or other that was only going away with rest and salt water (and contagious*). It transformed into head and chest congestion, figuratively (and very thankfully not literally) cutting me off at the legs. I did what I could to rest, but as each day went by I got more impatient. What I needed was a restful weekend to recover. What I got was a long weekend in Las Vegas full of late nights and general debauchery. I was scheduled for 20 miles while in Vegas which never happened. I was able to eek out a modest 6 miles, but certainly not the effort I needed.
By Tuesday I was feeling well enough to run and strung together a few decent days in a row, which takes us to Friday. After a 5 mile recovery and a half day at work I drove home, picked up a partner in crime (Hazel), and headed down to a new restaurant in town called Bacon. As you can imagine, it was pretty packed at lunch. I tied Haze up to a nearby bike rack and got in line (which stretched out the door onto the deck). While standing there I watched a Bacon employee walk over to Hazel with a cup of water. Hazel being her timid self wanted nothing to do with the employee and tried to escape the clutches of kindness.
Before I go any further let me be clear that no animals were injured during the remainder of this story**. As Hazel struggled to escape the impending friendliness, she slipped over the edge of the creek (who puts a bike rack next to a creek drop-off?!) and was immediately gone from sight. Without thinking (not uncommon), I ran over to the bike rack, saw Hazel was about 3 feet below my feet but hanging 6 feet above the ground. I jumped down, zero hesitation, ~9 feet to the bottom of the dry creek (thank you 86 days over 100* and no rain this year) and lifted her to give some slack to the leash. A fellow Baconite helped lift Hazel up while I made my way out of the creek. Here’s an accurate representation***.
But this isn’t a story about The Haze. When I jumped down to the rescue (my hero!) I did a number on my leg/hip. Apparently in my
jump calculated fall I softened the impact with my left side. It wasn’t until I got back in my car and the adrenaline subsided did I realize exactly how badly it hurt. I actually couldn’t step into or out of my car without crying grimacing. Ultimately I figured out it was my IT Band that suffered the worst of it with some serious inflammation. Even now, nearly two weeks later, my leg flares up on any faster runs. All that said I’m just thankful Hazy is ok and I’d do it again, no question about it.
Right now I’m in the process of reassessing my race goals. Missing two consecutive weekend long runs (a 20 miler and an 18 mile race simulation) and inconsistent weekday runs right at the peak of training is definitely having its effects on me. For now my 3:15 (7:26 min/mi) goal is out the window. I’d love to go sub-3:22 (7:42 min/mi) to set a new personal best but more realistically I should be aiming for sub-3:30 (8:00 min/mi). With just over two weeks until the race we don’t have to wait too long to see what’ll happen. Let’s do this!
*sorry to get you sick right before your birthday Ev…
***for the record, we left immediately without bacon and sat in the car for about 5 minutes before I regained control of my trembling leg so that I could control the clutch.