I should be in pain today.
Not “Oh Crap, My Ankle Is Twice Its Normal Size” pain, or “It Feels Like I’m Being Stabbed In The Knee” pain. More like that delicious, all over soreness that comes 24 hours after a long run. The kind that lets you know that you pushed yourself beyond your limits and survived it.
But, nope. My 16 mile run didn’t happen yesterday because I caught a cold. A cold? No serious (or even semi-serious) runner would let a stupid cold keep her from an important long run, right? Right. But I have asthma. So a simple little cold isn’t always quite that simple.
It wasn’t even a bad cold. Just a sore throat and a stuffy nose. I was a little achy and tired, but I’m a bit of a kvetch, so that’s nothing out of the ordinary. I started to feel a little tightness in my chest Thursday night, but I still planned to run. Even mid-day Friday, I was making plans for the run with my friend Kristie. I thought I could tough it out. And then it came on very quickly. I became hoarse. My chest got tight. I developed a dry cough and had trouble catching my breath afterwards. Ugh. By Friday evening, I knew that running 16 miles just wasn’t an option any longer.
So I skipped it. And while I’d like to tell you that I’m approaching this disappointment with optimism and grace, the truth is that it SUCKS. I’ve been looking forward to this run for weeks – the route is absolutely gorgeous and it was my favorite run of last season. But more than that, I’m afraid that my marathon training won’t recover sufficiently from this setback. Last season, I think I attended 95% of the Saturday group runs, and I never missed a long run. But this year, I’ve already missed 3 long runs with my group – 8 miles, 12 miles, and now 16 miles. Granted, I did do the 8 and 12 mile runs with other groups. But I’ve missed more than half of the runs with MY group. And as I’ve written before, being part of a group is an essential part of my training, both physically and mentally.
My group leaders and more experienced running friends are assuring me that this is not the end of the world or my training – that I can get back on track in time to be prepared for my February marathon goal. I’m going to trust them. But I’m going to need some help getting there. I’m not quite sure where to go from here.
Meanwhile, I went to Urgent Care yesterday and got my usual course of meds. I’m already feeling quite a lot better than I did Friday night, although running still may not be an option for another couple of days. If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll at least go to yoga in the morning. Maybe I’ll walk on the treadmill. I’m really anxious to get back on track, and I’m afraid to let too much time go by before hitting the pavement.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever had a setback in your training plan? How have you gotten yourself back on track after missing a crucial long run?