Last Friday I put in some hard time at the gym. I really pushed it. Back at home, I felt a little weak and merely thought I was low on calories from my workout. After a glass of carrot juice and some Campbell’s soup, I felt worse. That was the beginning of the end.
I suffered with the stomach flu for more than three days (thankfully, our youngest son only suffered less than 12 hours – that got me optimistic, but no such luck for me). I was weak, lacking calories (as anything that went in came out, so I gave up on calories early on). My muscles ached, I shivered with chills, I burned up with fever. I slept. My stomach was so torn up, I agonized in pain. My legs throbbed, I mean throbbed similar to contractions when I birthed our first son. My calves felt like frozen stone, like if you were to take a board to them they would shatter to pieces.
Did I mention that I was miserable?
Yet each night I hoped by morning I’d feel good enough to run.
Monday came along, and I felt much, much better. Lacking calories for so long, I drank a glass of carrot juice and then the big mistake, a glass of orange juice. Talk about pain. I refrained from food the remainder of the day with hopes of running dashed upon the rocks. By Monday afternoon, I felt much better. But my temperament hadn’t returned (that is my calm, patient self – ha, ha). And when our middle son “threw a fit” after school on the playgrounds and ran off, I let him get a good distance, then took off at my fastest speed and ran him down. Yes, I caught him, but I was breathless. And as he tried to squirm away from me, I gripped his arm while chatting with a girlfriend and stood on his foot. Well, he squirmed out of his shoe and I about lost my mind. Like a child, I picked up his shoe, threw it across the schoolyard and walked away and chatted with my friend until my husband arrived.
A PAINFUL RELAPSE (that I probably well deserved) attacked as I drove off to an afternoon sub-position. The evening was practically unbearable. Though I smiled. Really, I did. When I arrived home I went straight to bed, shameful over my lack of patience with my son and moping over the fact that I was still ill.
This morning I woke pretty much pain free. I had no fever and I was careful what I consumed. With one piece of toast and a glass of carrot juice I got the boys off to school with much patience, and packed for a run. When my oldest saw me packing, he exclaimed, “Oh My G**!! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE RUNNING WHEN YOU’RE SICK.”
“I’m not sick,” I insisted as he ran off hollering, “Dad! Dad! MOM’S RUNNING!”
I tell no lie.
Thankfully, my husband is very good to never stand in my way. He’ll give me his advice, but he never forbids his wife anything. With worry in his voice, he said, “Please don’t over do it.”
So, today, glory be to God, I finally hit the trails!!! I tired easily however, I was unsure whether it was the illness or the fact that I hadn’t run since Thanksgiving. I decided on a “shorter” loop than usual, but still wanted a climb to Top of the World. I chose Meadows Trail.
Sweating more than usual, I gave myself permission to rest when I felt like it, that is STOP and rest. Still, I found it difficult to do. I did stop and rest twice on the way up Meadows Trail. I honestly can’t tell you if I was sick, but in my heart I knew that I probably should have rested in bed today. I can also honestly say that I didn’t care. I wanted to run!
By the time I reached the top of Meadows, I felt pretty dang warm. It was time to layer down. I needed to make my decision now. If I was sick, I needed to turn around, make this run an out-and-back for about six miles total. If I was well, I would continue on for a nine plus mile run.
Honestly, I couldn’t truly tell. I wasn’t sick-sick. But I was more tired than I would have normally been after such a trek. And so, I continued onward to TOP OF THE WORLD.
In the park at Top of the World, I took out my phone to check for messages and noticed the time was one hour later than I thought. That’s when it dawned on me that TODAY WAS LATE-IN DAY FOR MY OLDEST SON. I dropped him off an hour later than usual, which meant that I hit the trails an hour later than I thought, which meant that I had only an hour to make it from Top of the World to my car. I had never done that. I have never even made it from Mathis (a good mile away) to my car in an hour.
Last thing I wanted to do was cause any trouble over this run. I didn’t want to arrive late picking up our youngest sons. I didn’t want to phone my husband or anyone else for help. And so I ran my butt off. On the day that I really shouldn’t have pushed, I PUSHED the last 4 1/2 miles.
And then toward the very end, I saw this and I had to stop to take a photo (a blue heron on Aliso Creek Trail):
I was so wiped out, I thought to myself that I’d just drive like a mad woman to make it in time to pick up the boys. Turns out, surprise of all surprises, I made it in less than an hour to my truck. I ran from Top of the World to my truck in about 52 minutes. And after working this afternoon, I still feel pretty good. Not perfectly well. But I can eat and I don’t ache.
All is well in the world right now for this trail runner, because today, she finally got to run!