Exactly 29 days ago, I ran a terrific workout that proved to me that I was quickly getting into the best shape of my life. After jogging to a local high school track, I did 4x 2 miles with 3 minutes rest, averaging 5:40 pace. The pace came to me easily and effortlessly, and I honestly felt like I could have done another repeat without much strain. Since it was still somewhat early in my season, though, I opted to play it safe and stop after four.
The next day, I felt extremely fatigued, and experienced strange shooting pains in my legs. I only ran 8 miles that day, and actually took the next day off. I also developed an extremely sore throat. On Sunday, I participated in the Seneca 7, a 77.7-mile, 7-person relay race around Seneca Lake. My team completed it “green,” meaning we used bicycles to get from checkpoint to checkpoint, instead of using an automobile like most teams. Given my complete and utter lack of biking since I was about 14, I was understandably destroyed after the relay. I could barely get out of bed the next day, and my throat felt like I had gargled broken glass. When I tried to speak, a barely discernible rasp emanated from my larynx. I took the next week easy, but then ran the Flower City Half Marathon the following Sunday.
I knew that since I was sick and still recovering from the Seneca 7 that I wouldn’t be able to race it, so I decided to run it at my goal Marathon Pace (5:55-6:05). I was able to do so for about 5 miles, but then felt so bad that I was barely able to jog in the last 8 miles. It was not pretty.
I took a few days easy, but still felt extremely fatigued and sore, even after only running 4 miles. I eventually went to my doctor and had some blood work done. Everything came back negative, but he prescribed me some antibiotics and a corticosteroid. After only running 19 miles the week before and having missed three whole weeks of training, I gave them a doubtful try.
Just 8 hours after taking my first dose, I went for a 4-mile run, and was astounded to realize that I was running sub-7:00 pace feeling great. This feeling continued all week, and I was actually able to run 60 miles that week! Even after using up the medicine, I still feel back to normal and have resumed normal training. Obviously, I lost some fitness, but I am just glad to be able to run 6 miles and not feel like I raced a marathon the next day!
However, the fact remains that I did miss four whole weeks of workouts for Grandma’s marathon. Whereas I was feeling very confident about my ability to run under 2:40 there, now I am not so sure. I have one month left, and I hope I can regain all of the fitness that left me in the past month. It just goes to show you that no matter how great your training plain is, there is always the chance that life will throw a monkey wrench in the mix. I hope that I will be able to recover and adapt to this, and be able to write about running under 2:40 in June, but that remains to be seen.
Eric Kelly · March 4, 2014 at 8:26 pm
Funny how just about the same thing has happened to me this past couple of weeks. Started off the week (Last week) feeling really strong and then all of a sudden I have this terrible sore throat. My running performance suffered tremendously. I went from being able to crank out 8X800's @5:30 – 5:45 mile pace with 2:30 min recovery to struggling to run under 7:00 a mile for 4 short miles.. I think I'm beginning to get over whatever it was that has been zapping my energy finally. Today I ran an easy 4 miles @6:55 pace and it felt a lot more comfortable vs. a few days back. I guess my immune system was compromised somehow. Maybe it has something to do with doing harder interval training after a long time off. Body needs more rest I guess.