Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A week of ups and downs

Hey guys, I feel like so much has happened in the past week since I last wrote so I think I'll dive right in and get started.

Well, I finished out my week at the training course I was taking part in.  The class itself was really great and I met some wonderful people, but I was also really proud of myself at my commitment to running and the Runner's World run streak.  Running while traveling is usually really hard for me but I had the mind set that it wasn't an option, just something I had to do every day.

I ran some mornings before the class began (and tackled the hills.)  I ran in the evening, in the dark, and kicked butt conquering the hills and beating my time by 5 minutes (and got to see some pretty Christmas lights on the run!)

I had to sprint over to the gym to run 1 mile during lunch, clean myself up, throw my name tag back on and get back to the lunch for my meeting one day as well!  That was super nerve-racking but I knew it was possible and it was a day i just needed one mile to keep the run streak going.

And then finally, the last day of the conference, after having checked out of the hotel and before heading into New York City for the night, I ran 3 miles in the drizzly rain.  I cleaned up in a Dunkin Donuts, changed in my car, and actually threw my boots on over my black running tights and used them as part of my outfit for the night in New York.  Gross?  Maybe.  Probably.  Okay, yes.  But, hey, life as a runner, right?

So yeah, was super proud of myself for sticking with the running while away.  However, not so proud of my eating choices.  It was really, really bad you guys.  It was really upsetting me because I just felt so out of control in that aspect.  There was delicious food all around me and even though I knew that I'd feel terrible about it afterwards... I just kept eating.  Look at this example of one of the meals.  It was actually the only plated meal of the week, everything else was huge delicious buffets and crazy snacks available at all times.  But just an idea of portions... there is pretty much an entire chicken on my plate here.

I felt like I could feel myself gaining weight and that my clothing was all getting tighter by the hour.  I started trying to talk myself through each day but no matter what I said or reminded myself, I just felt so out of control.  I'm a big doodler while at meetings and work, or whenever I am thinking so I tried to focus my energy in the sessions on what I wanted to do outside of the session.  Take a look at one of my papers at the end of the day.  Although it didn't really do a lot for me, I do really like this little mantra.  Fuel the run not the fire.

So after eating huge portions at all periods of the day for a week, I went somewhere that is really good at helping to maintain health and portions... New York City.  Riiiiight.

I spent the weekend in New York and kept on track with my running on Saturday.  I had 6 miles on the agenda and since I was staying with a friend who lives right by the East River, I was able to get a beautiful run in on Saturday morning.  It was gorgeous and a great day for a run.  I exercised the panorama tool on my phone for the picture below.  Loved the run on Saturday... and being able to take a leisurely much-needed shower afterwards!!

Unfortunately, things started to go down from there.  Sometime Saturday afternoon I started to have a sore throat.  I assumed it was just from being run down, which sometimes happens to me.  But throughout the night it got worse and worse and to the point that I could feel my glands swelling.  They were massive and I just felt not good.  I slept in late on Sunday and woke up a mess.  My throat was AWFUL.  I could barely speak, I had a terrible headache, and it was excruciatingly painful to swallow.  Plus, I checked the back of my throat with a flashlight and let me just say... it was NOT pretty.  I had plans with different friends throughout the day and after running through a number of options of what to do (that may have involved some tears) I made the decision to just get in the car and go right home and directly to urgent care, as I was pretty certain I was dealing with strep throat.

I drove a painful 3 hours home to Albany, just throwing all my things in my car because I didn't have enough energy to properly pack and drove right to urgent care.  I didn't eat or drink anything all day except for a few sips of water and a few sips of a Minute Maid Orange Coolata from Dunkin Donuts because it was so hard to swallow.  I have never in my life ordered any form of coolata from Dunkin but I thought the slushy coldness would feel good on my throat but it didn't outweigh the pain so I only had a few sips of that.

After going to urgent care, they quickly (after commenting on just how nasty the back of my throat was) gave me a strep test which came back positive and sent me home with some medications and orders to rest.

Well, this might sound ridiculous to you but I still was contemplating trying to go out for a run to get my 1 mile in.  However, I think I really must have had a high fever that night to think that was possible because I was really sick.  All I managed to eat that day was a couple cups of broth and maybe another glass of water... and that along was difficult to force myself to do.  I went to bed early and just hoped my throat would feel better in the morning with the one dose of meds I had been on.

Yeah, so the one dose of penicillin didn't do a heck of a lot to make me feel better and I barely slept through the night fighting fever & sweats & just all around grossness.  The next 48 hours were much of the same... the past two nights I've sweat through so much clothing and I had to take my bed sheets off after each night.  I started wearing my sweat-wicking running clothes just to help with the laying around on the couch.  Awesomeness.

Yesterday evening I started to get a bit of energy back (like, as in, it wasn't exhausting to make myself some noodle soup) and finally, midday today I started to feel a lot better and it became bearable to swallow.  This was amazing.  This afternoon I had energy, my throat was feeling okay, and since I was already sweating I decided to try and test out what it felt like to run.  I went for a 1-mile jog around my neighborhood to test out my legs & lungs and am happy to say that I felt pretty good.

So... technically I missed 2 days on the run streak but am a little behind on marathon training.

I seriously feel so shitty about missing those 2 days of running and of work too, because there is just a lot going on and I haven't been in the office because of Thanksgiving & the course I took.  I guess it's good that this happened at the beginning of marathon training because I won't be able to get too far behind and runs are still short.  However, I just feel so bad about giving up the run streak.  That was a specific set of dates and a goal I had set for myself and I couldn't stick with it.

Hopefully, I am somehow make up or find a new goal... but I am glad I made the right choice to rest and not do something dumb like run deliriously with strep throat and a fever.  Time to start a new streak?

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