I haven’t been entirely truthful about what’s been going on with me, but since it nearly had me on the verge of tears a couple of times, it’s probably important.
It started with some shin splint-type pain in my left leg shortly after the Women’s Half Marathon. I immediately freaked out knowing that I had the Middle Half coming up. I rested but not really. I took Advil. I iced and foam-rolled. It got better enough that I ran 7 miles the Monday of Middle Half without too much pain, and I made it through the race with minimal discomfort. However, I could tell that my right leg was overcompensating.
Then I developed a hacking cough. First it was only in the morning and at night. Then I started coughing during the day. Then I bruised a rib (right side this time), which was also aggravated by the Middle Half. Don’t I look like I’m having fun?
The Sunday after the Middle Half, I treated myself to a pedicure, and I got some of the extras including the sea salt scrub. The guy doing the pedicure was scrubbing the heck out of my legs but in a hurt-so-good way, that I didn’t really think about it. That night, I slept in my Zensah calf sleeves. When I woke up on Monday morning, my lower legs were red & itchy. It turned out that I had quite the case of folliculitis. I will definitely spare you all pictures, but my legs were hideous. Even more than a week later, I still look like I had a bad bout of poison ivy.
Later on Monday I was at work (where two other staff members had called in), and I started feeling clammy and feverish and completely lost my appetite. With no one else around, I tried to push through the rest of the day. On my way home, I stopped by Walgreens to get some Benadryl, took some, and promptly changed into my pajamas and went to bed. Of course, my doctor husband was out of town. I woke up at 9 pm feeling horrible, drank some Gatorade, talked to my mom and my husband, and went back to sleep. I made it through a presentation the next morning but left work that afternoon. I had a 102-degree fever for a few days, and I rarely get sick. Fortunately, the antibiotics I got seemed to work their magic quickly, and I was okay to return to work on Thursday. But I have rarely been taken out that thoroughly by an illness.
Thursday was my first run since Middle Half, and I did 4 miles around the greenway at about an 11-minute pace, though my heart rate was so high, you would’ve thought I was racing it. Slowly but surely, I’ve been recuperating. I’ve diagnosed my shin issue as being related to my weak hips that are allowing my left leg to overpronate. Between rolling out my calves with The Stick (thanks Abby!), taking Advil, and doing some hip strengthening exercises, I’m almost as good as new.
It’s been hard for me to ACTUALLY listen to my body and be patient with it as I recover from sickness and injury. I want my body to do what I want it to do rather than what it is capable of at this time. It’s also disrupted my enjoyment of running. When running is painful, it’s incredibly frustrating and saddening. I was feeling really burned out. So I’m shelving speedwork and tempo runs for a while and am just going to run fun miles with my mom or my husband or by myself. And I’m going to try not to care if those miles are slower than I would like. By the end of October, I’m hoping to have run 850 miles this year, which means November and December will be 75 mile months, and that is totally doable to reach my 1000 miles for the year.