Here is my running nightmare: I train and train and train for months for a specific race, and then race day comes and I’m unable to run. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. Missing the race doesn’t upset me as much as the thought of training and not running does. 😥
I can only think of two things that could prevent me from running a race from start to finish – an injury or an illness. Last summer I experienced my first run-preventing injury when I stepped on a seed pod and sprained my right ankle. Thankfully, I didn’t have any upcoming races and I had plenty of time to heal, but the experience made me completely nervous whenever I ran for months afterward. Even now, almost a year later, I still watch the ground more carefully when I run – especially since the odd misstep still sends a slight bit of pain through my foot.
Now for Part 2 for my nightmare. If you’ve been following my training calendar at all, you might have noticed that I’ve hardly done any running since Christmas. Well, that’s because I’ve been sick since the day after. Yup. And, as I’ve mentioned before, as soon as I’m sick my lungs get really weak, making it impossible to do anything that requires heavy breathing. Running is completely out of the question. So I waited. I gave myself a week to heal up, which timed out perfectly with Jay leaving town for a few days. This gave me a bit more time to rest and get better, and by January 7th I felt ready to run again.
I started out slow, and decided to just do 2 miles since I was also pushing Julia in the stroller. I was getting tired a little over halfway in, but it was a beautiful day and we were near a playground so I stopped to let Julia run around a bit while I caught my breath. After about 15 minutes we started out again, and I ended up running a quarter mile further than I’d planned.
The next day the temperature dropped dramatically and I woke up without a voice. I’m not sure if I wasn’t well enough and the running did me in or if the change in the weather did it, but losing my voice came hand-in-hand with a deep cough. Stupid lungs. I’d felt fine after my short run the day before, and I’d been looking forward to going for a 10-mile run that weekend, but there’s no way that was going to happen.
So here I am again, on the couch and trying not to over-exert myself. My half-marathon is two weeks from today, and I’m having a hard time not stressing about whether I’m going to be able to run the whole race or not. I’d fallen off track of my monthly running goals, but I’d given myself almost the entire month of January just in case I needed more time to build up my milage. My current plan now is to try to run 10 or 11 miles on the 17th, and maybe one or two shorter runs the week leading up to the half-marathon. The most I’d ever run before my last half-marathon was 11 miles, so I’m confident that as long as I run that before the half I’ll be fine. The question is whether or not I’ll be coughing the whole run.
But I’m doing this half, one way or another. If I have to walk a bit, I’ll walk, but the thought of spending all this time training to run it knowing that I might not be able to just breaks my heart. Either way, though, I’m going to get that medal! 😀