The demise of my running career was registering for the 5/3 Riverbank Run. I’m quite sure of it.
Last year, I registered to run the 25k race and had just begun my training when I realized that the race and Emma’s competition were on the same day & time, different cities. There just wasn’t a way around it. Since I had already registered for it, I still got my bag of goodies which included the shirt. Every time I wore it, Dan liked to tease me that I was a fraud. My shirt was giving the impression that I had accomplished this feat when in fact, I had not. “I will” I always told him, “You’ll see”
This year before I registered for the race, I found out when Emma’s competition would be. As luck would have it, it was still the same day. But since she’d been moved up from Level 1 to Level 2, her start time would be 11am. AND the competition would not only in the same city but about 10min from each other. I decided to go for it! I could go and do my race and as long as I finished in 2.5 hours, I wouldn’t miss her performance. Perfect!
Now, I’ve mentioned before in previous posts about training for this race in the last couple months. It was a seemless transition from Insanity to my training schedule. Even facing the all the frustration of training alone and dealing with running outside in the brrrr cold, things were going well. Training meant, at the very minimum, maintaining the speed I had gained from the half if not actually getting faster. And my long runs were indicative of the fact that I was on track to a 2.5 hour time frame come race day. Then the time came for me to finally register. I had held off and held off as long as I could. Call it a superstition, call it being a chicken… honestly, I don’t know what it was. But I was nervous about the actual registration, the commitment. Now, I see why.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a jinx upon me and this race. Maybe a hex, possibly a curse or perhaps some bad ju ju. But shortly after registering (like within a week) I came down with a nasty bug. I did what I assume most uninsured people do and ignored it to the best of my abilities. I tried to power through with my life and every afternoon, I’d find myself on the couch. Everyday, my fever returned and everyday I felt worse and worse.
Five days into it, I started waking up with my eyes congealed shut with the drainage that had come out during the night. I would blindly shuffle down the hallway to the bathroom to soak my eyes with a washcloth and once I could pry them open, I would see the red covering the once whites of my eyes. My throat hurt from the front all the way around to the back and the pain had now spread into my ears. I could feel the pressure inside my sinuses all the time that no Sudafed could touch. Last but not least, my throat and chest burned with an icy hot sensation. Not all the time but often enough to give me concern. But the complete lack of energy was the worst of all. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t strength train… I couldn’t do much but lay on the couch and sleep.
As the days passed and Dan watched me spend more and more time layed out on the couch, it was determined that I should go to the dr. I went and while he couldn’t hear anything in my lungs, he wanted me to get a chest x-ray. He would be writing a prescription as well for antibiotics but he’d like for me to go and make sure it wasn’t pneumonia. Not wanting to pay for the x-ray if the disease inside me was really just a sinus infection gone horribly wrong, I asked the doctor if I could start with just the prescription. He agreed with the instructions that if I started to feel bad, I’d need to go for the x-ray.
Well, another week has come and gone. This one filled with antibiotics. At first, they helped immensely. I even attempted to go out for a run after the 5th day. That turned out to be a horrible disaster. 3 miles felt like a half marathon. Phlegm nearly killed me as I choked and gagged on it. I spent at least half the time coughing and shallow breathing left me with a stitch in my side the majority of the run. I felt worse that night and the weekend brought more misery. Monday brought another call to the dr… could I maybe just need some stronger antibiotics? I didn’t want to go for the x-ray, didn’t want to pay for it and didn’t want to have pneumonia. He told me I needed to go. I conceded and I went.
Now… I wait. Apparently, results take a couple of days to get and so I wait. Not getting better, not working out, not running. The Riverbank is just not going to happen. Ten days away and I can’t even run to my mailbox. So, another year that I’ll pick up my packet & wear a shirt I didn’t earn. Another year of explaining to folks of why I wasn’t there and why I didn’t run. Another year to be annoyed.
Hopefully tomorrow, they’ll call me with the results. At this point, I’m hoping they do tell me I have pneumonia. If I have to pay for that damn x-ray, miss my race & still not be feeling better, there had better be a damn good reason for it. Other than the curse of the Riverbank run.