12 ill miles down

I’m super proud/happy that I got in my 12 miler on Sunday. This wasn’t the furthest I’ve ever run (although that would be doubly sweet) with my previous half marathons I’ve done a handful of 14’s. But I was especially sick last week. On Thursday after staying in ALL day I cracked open the Z-pak because I was feeling a double ear infection. On Friday I woke up feeling a smidge better.  Woke up Saturday feeling the same as Friday.  Despite not leaving the house for 3 solid days I was not feeling great.

Saturday night I over researched “should you run if you’re sick” on google. I didn’t want to make my disease worse…but I had missed a full week of running (4 runs) and hadn’t run in 9 full days. I had to get this long run in.  I had to.  12199145326_f2b0c9e68a_z

So I decided I was going to go for it and set my alarm. I was really happy when I woke upon Sunday morning and did feel better than the previous days. Was I 100% healthy? Not even close, but I felt so much better. So I started prepping for the run. Drank a cup of coffee, had two oranges, had some porridge, drank a liter of water, drank my special B-12-cranberry juice-lemon-apple cider vinegar “cocktail” and had a banana. I stretched and rolled out a little. I packed up loads of Kleenex, my water, and some energy gel and was on my way. E and Stella were left sleeping in bed.

The group I run with is from my Jog Scotland group on Thursday nights. One of the gals is running a marathon the same weekend as me (different marathon though). Her plan is different, but basically we both need to run for long periods of time on the weekend so it works out. There are 4-6 other people who have been going on the long runs with us who aren’t training for anything. This is only my second time running with them. The first time (2 weeks ago) we did a 10-mile trail run, which is what both I and the other marathoner needed. This past weekend I needed 12 and she only needed 10- and it seems the general theme is people going on long runs that aren’t training for anything- stop at 10.

So to get my 2 extra miles in- I ran to where we were meeting (1 mile away) and I’d run home. Running there was excruciating. Instead of my legs being fresh- they were just dead. They had comfortably turned back into couch potato legs. And for some weird reason my right calf was all cramped up and hurty. I couldn’t breathe. I had gone through 2 Kleenexes already on my way there. It was straight uphill the entire mile. I stopped to walk like 3 times. It wasn’t going well.  I really wanted to throw in the towel.

Thank god I forced myself upon this group of runners. I know beyond a doubt I would not have gotten the run in if I weren’t in a group. I tried to stretch out and explain that I was ill to everyone in case I needed to bail and we headed out. Most of the whole first half was on a slight decline- as we were headed to the port/beach so that was good. It was a rough run with the abundance of snot I had, the fact I couldn’t hear out of my right ear, and the calf pain. But worse- the blisters I was previously nurturing into calluses had gone back 4 steps in my running break and were burning and I could tell filling with ooze.

This is what I had when I got home:

This is pretty gross, eh?

This is pretty gross, eh?



But I made it!  I stuck with and somehow managed not only to NOT get dropped behind, but when we ran past my house I didn’t turn in early.  I ran to the starting point and then back to our house to get in my other extra mile.  I didn’t even take a nap after the run but I did sleep like the dead last night. And am happy to report I woke up this morning feeling another smidge better, not worse! And after draining the blisters my feet are looking a lot better. Now I just need to roll out my calf. But my biggest worry about marathon training in Scotland was not having a group to train with like CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) but I knew I couldn’t get long runs in by myself all the time. I’m really glad to have gotten out of my comfort zone and try group running for the first time and push myself into being more outgoing.

Does anyone marathon train on their own?  How do you stay motivated?  Or at what point in sickness do you cancel your run?


  1. Gareth Cordiner

    great blog note. I always remember reading an article which said, Never judge your run by the first 2 miles. It is so true. Glad you fought through!

    I train mainly on my own but try to get a partner for most of my long runs however when it gets past 10, you are right – people drop off. So, I try to arrange the first 6miles or so as a loop that friends can join me! BUT, I like to go my own pace so they all know before turning up what the pace aim is!

    Long runs are also good though on your own, as I find them a good simulator of being alone during the marathon!

    Happy running.

  2. Stan

    Just catching up- must be easy to iron “E”‘s shirts- what with the short arms and all.


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