Where should I begin? This is spring break for all three of my kids and I’ve been sick since last Wednesday night. We’ve done a lot of TV watching and indoor activities that don’t involve me moving around too much. Wednesday, I was just feeling more tired through the day. In the evening, I asked my husband if it was possible to get poked with a giant needle to let the pressure out of my gut. My whole trunk hurt and I couldn’t sit, stand, or lie down comfortably. A few hours after I’d finally fallen asleep, I was awoken by the urge to run to the restroom. That urge didn’t let up for the next few days. I could hardly stay awake, food made me nauseated, and I couldn’t drink enough water to prevent dehydration. I had to sit out for the weekend workout even though I was planning to run 13.1 miles in preparation for the upcoming half marathon. When I consulted my doctor’s office (he’s out on vacation for Spring Break), his nurse told me to take something for the loose bowel symptoms, avoid dairy (not a problem, I rarely eat or drink it), and go on a liquid diet until it lets up. I let my husband know I’d need his help once he was out of work for the day. He left work for his lunch and headed to the local grocery store to get all of my needs in addition to an adorable bouquet of ‘crazy daisies’. I took the medicine and within 30 minutes, my gut was full of gas again and I wanted to find a huge needle for release. I felt more nauseated than before. By the end of the day, I ate a green banana and drank a packet of electrolyte and light carbohydrate GU (tastes awful, but effective dehydration help). I didn’t get sick soon after. I slept through the night. I was hopeful that I was finally coming around. I set out my running clothes to wear that evening and took my two oldest kids to the dentist for a cleaning. I got carsick despite being the driver. I felt lightheaded when I got there and for the rest of the afternoon into the evening. Every time I tried to expend any energy, I quickly got sweaty and dizzy. For dinner, I made very lean meatballs with pasta, green beans, and a loaf of french bread (not from scratch). While I couldn’t enjoy the pasta and sauce, the rest of the food was delicious and I was happy to eat some. Yesterday, I woke up a little weak, but I ate normal all day. I even got my favorite burrito and chips. It was hearty, but it was also tasty and not bad for me considering the ingredients I chose. I finally spent a day mostly upright, ate real food, and did housework. I was sick for nearly the entire week. I might have been a daredevil when I was a kid and prone to emergency hospital visits for injuries, but I was not sickly by any means. This was, by far, the most sick I’ve ever been that I can recall.
The running streak ended at 76 days. I was finding it hard to make it up and down the stairs inside of my house. It wasn’t plausible to try to make it a mile. I plan to resume the streak and attempt to finish out the year. The streak helps keep me active. It would be easy to just give it up and leave it behind now that I’ve broken it, but it would also be easy to resume and accomplish the goal of one full year. Even if that year starts and ends in April, it is a year.
I’m anxious about the 10k this weekend. I have been working with people in the training group for 10 weeks before missing week 11. They’re like my team to run the race with. I want to be able to run with and support them. I hope that my running will be up to par by race day and I haven’t lost too much to the week I took off. I also hope that I can run the half marathon without too much trouble next weekend. I ran 11 miles on March 10th, but that is the most miles I’ve done since the last half I did months ago. I just hope its enough with the taper runs in the coming week.
Through it all, my husband took care of me and of things I normally am responsible for around the house. He faced the laundry monster and the dishwasher. He fed and clothed the kids. He made sure I was comfortable and brought me fresh water and snacks when I needed them. Even if the snacks were sometimes just decorations on my nightstand because I didn’t actually eat them, he got them for me and came to take away any empty cups I had. He snuggled me while I cried about feeling hopeless and helpless. I’m blessed to have him.
All things considered, I’m glad it is over with. I lost 10 pounds over the first few days of being sick, but not the healthy or good way. I’m not used to sitting or laying around all day. I don’t like feeling that I can’t take care of the things I normally do. I don’t like not enjoying cooking or eating food that tastes good. I wanted to be able to get up and run around the house with the kids instead of watching from the couch. I wanted to join my group for running and see it through until the goal race. Feeling helpless against my body and not being able to run or even walk only solidified what I already knew:
I run because I can and there are people who cannot.
Now I just have to get out there and run again. I’ve got quite a few races to look forward to this year.
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