Sunday, June 07, 2009

Picking Up the Pieces

I think I'm getting better (fingers crossed). As I came down with my "plague", I was devastated, at first, that I couldn't do the marathon. Then, I didn't care anymore. I just wanted to get better, get back to training. Then, I just wanted to be able to leave the house, the bedroom, the bed, have some semblance of a life again. Then, all emotions vanished, and I was simply existing. After 2 weeks of the most wicked, diabolical sinus infection ever concocted (except for the one I had 2 years ago, only because it lasted 8 weeks instead of 2), I seem to be doing better (please let this be true), thanks to 10 days of Cipro (at a whopping dose of 1 gram a day) and Prednisone (that's right, folks; I'm on the 'roids).

On missing the marathon:
I had done all the training. All of it. I was completely devastated. I kept thinking up until Friday night (for a Sunday marathon) that there was still a chance I could do it. Nevermind I hadn't slept in a week because of the cement truck dumping yellow gunk in my sinuses. Nevermind I had lost 8 lbs because I couldn't taste or smell and thought I was going to choke every time I swallowed. I was in denial. When Brent told me I shouldn't do it, anger followed (more like rage--tears, throwing stuff, the works). Then--bargaining: "Please, God, just let me be well enough to jog it slowly. Run-walk. I just want to participate." And of course, depression; that was Sunday, the day of the marathon. Acceptance came pretty quickly after that when I realized, in the bigger scheme of things, I just wanted my health; marathon be damned.

A year ago, I would have done the marathon. Or, started it and then get carted to the ER on a gurney. I've come a long way since then. Some days, you have to admit defeat. So you can come back another day to fight again. For the Rock 'n Roll Marathon, I knew it was time to fold 'em. And I'm so thankful I did.

On the Other Side:
Now that I'm starting to feel better again, I'm shaking off the cobwebs. Tomorrow is my last day of the 'roids and antibiotics. I can't wait. The side effects were just as bad as the infection (extreme fatigue, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, dizziness, jitteriness, insomnia, stomach cramps and GI upset--I could barely get out of bed). I tried to go for a run the other day but it was too soon. The first 2 miles were great, and then the stomach cramps, muscle cramps, and extreme muscle weakness (I felt like my legs were going to give out) kicked in. It was a dreary walk home. Afterwhich, I flopped onto the bed and promptly passed out, sweaty running clothes and all. However, as disastrous as that run was, it still felt great to get outside and pump the blood through my veins again. At least I got my fix.

Today was the first day I felt like me again. High energy, enthusiastic, happy, full of life. Brent, Alec, and I had a blast: we went out to breakfast, checked out a festival in Solana Beach, dipped our toes in the water at the beach, went to Alec's soccer game, went out to lunch, I went on a bike ride, we went to the pool, and we ended it with a pizza dinner at sunset outside to a live band (Alec and I boogied down after eating our pizza). It was a fantastic day. In addition, I squeezed in an hour bike ride on the bike path. More like a test ride. I'm still fighting my stomach, muscle weakness and muscle cramps but overall, I felt pretty good. I know all those side effects will subside once I'm off the drugs. I just hope my infection is gone for good.

I hope I feel as good tomorrow as I do today. My high energy level is the quality I value most about myself. It's my life force; I just can't do without it. I hope I can get back to normal this week. I'm a little freaked about missing 2 weeks of training. Ironman Canada is right around the corner. But, maybe this is a good thing? Maybe I would have been too overtrained and burnt out to hit my key workouts (which always happens when training for an Ironman). Maybe this illness will actually make me stronger. Maybe, just maybe, it gave me the forced rest I needed. Now, I can ease back into training and come back even stronger than before. At least, that's my hope. But in all honesty? I really just want to be healthy (#1). And number 2? I really want to do Ironman Canada--just do it and have fun with the experience. I don't really care how well I perform. It would be nice but that's just the icing on the cake. Here's (glasses raised) to racing just to finish, and finishing with a smile on my face!


bunnygirl said...

I've been on vacation, so I wasn't aware of your illness, but I'm glad you're on the mend. I had to do the Cipro-Prednisone thing once, for a case of bronchitis. I swear, I think not breathing is better than being on that crap. Talk about the cure being as bad as the disease!

Stay well! There will be a lot of marathons in your future.

Grey Beard said...

Welcome back Rachel. My event is coming up this weekend, and I am erring on the side of rest. A number of friends here have missed their events due to illness, and I suspect it is due to the events being this late in the year.

Most of us have been training all winter with few breaks. I need to learn more about periodization, because this deep in the year, fatigue seems to be a factor.

God's speed on your complete recovery.

Diana said...

OMG, you sounded so miserable. Nothing like a whomping sinus infection to bring the entire body down. Then to take Cipro....I'd be totally curled up in the fetal position with my IBS issues! That's heavy duty stuff. Then the "roids"...did you enjoy the great dreams you get while on that stuff?! Did you start to eat everything in site?!
Glad to hear all is better and I'd go with the sense that is was meant to happen to get a needed rest for the IM Canada!

untpawgal02 said...

Sorry to hear of your illness... but glad you are getting back at it :)

Wes said...

well, that sucks, chica... but you made the right decision. All this training is just what you need for your IM, and the next marathon will be a better time for you :-) Chin up!!

Leah said...

Glad you are better! Sometimes you just have to give into it. But two whole weeks! Ugh. Torture.

beth said...

i am so bummed you had to miss the marathon :) you have such a great attitude about it- very impressed with your style. you're right- probably a great thing for canada- avoid overtraining and burnout!

LG said...

there will be plenty of marathons in your future...starting with IM Canada...glad to see you have such a healthy (no pun intended) perspective on it!

Kate said...

That sucks! Thanks to Brent for helping you see sense :)

Benson said...

Whoa, I didn't know it was that bad.
Glad to hear your better now and your positive attitude is right on.