The Time I Ran A Half Marathon With The Flu

Well… to be fair… I thought I had a cold.

Sunday was race day. I had trained hard and after a year of subpar racing, I was confident I was going to finally get my PR.

Well… long story short…

I didn’t get my PR. Because sometimes life throws you curve balls that you can’t control. Like the flu.

Now here’s the long story…

The Time I Ran A Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Sick

Last week, Dan came down with a cold. Originally, he thought it could be allergies but I immediately started taking Vitamin C just in case.

(I’ve now decided that’s bogus and helps with nothing.)

On Friday morning, I began to feel a tickle in my throat.

On Saturday, it was still there but not terrible. We were able to go play putt-putt and relax before race day.

puttputt

On Saturday night, my cough began to pick up and on Sunday morning, I woke up realizing I wasn’t going to dodge this bug.

I contemplated not running but decided I wasn’t “that bad” and we had driven 2 hours, paid 2 nights in a hotel, and spent money eating out. I didn’t want our trip to be for nothing, so I decided I could push hard for 1.45 and see if I could push hard regardless of this bug.

I decided, I would take control of my body for the race!

Myrtle Beach Half Marathon

I met up with my friend Erica at the starting line. She’s super fast and had the intention of pacing me. We started off and for first 2.xx miles we stuck together.

Finally, I looked at Erica and told her to go on. I needed to find the port-a-potty asap and didn’t want to hold her back. This was the first time I have ever stopped during a race for a bathroom emergency and I hated it. I did however glance at my watch to see we were averaging a 7.40 pace!

I continued on, just trying to get from one mile to the next. Never “in the zone” and just trying to get to the finish line. I did well staying on goal pace (7.50-8.00) for the first 7 miles.

runningmyrtlebeachsick

Then, I hit a wall. My muscles were tired, achy and my chest wouldn’t take air in. I called Dan at mile 9 (while still running) for a pep talk.

I told him I felt like a loser, once again not hitting my goal.

His response?

“You can’t help you’re sick. That’s out of your control. Just make it back here, treat it like a leisurely jog and finish this. This isn’t going to be your last road half. We’ll find another one soon!”

So that’s what I did. I just focused on finishing.

Seeing the finish line was bitter sweet.

finishline-myrtle

I was so happy to be done… But not proud of the time: 1.51.17.

medalmyrtle

Don’t get me wrong, I know that is an acceptable time for a half. But I had trained for a 1.45. And to know you have the power to accomplish it and that your control was taken away… really sucks.

After the race, I cleaned up and we quickly headed home. Once back, I stuck a thermometer in my mouth which beeped 101.2… “oh shit. Maybe it’s not just a cold.”

I also felt a little better about my time!

sickness

At around 6pm, Dan looked at me and said, “um, you don’t look so good.” Ummm… thanks? Lol.

Luckily, after about 12 hours of sleep, I am feeling human again. I’m not sure if I’m sore from the race or sore from all the coughing. I think a little of both.

Anyways… That’s what I got going on. And no, this will not be my last road race. I’m racing a half in December!

Thank you to everyone who left the nicest comments on my IG and Facebook! I felt the love.

When’s the last time you worked hard for something and then elements you couldn’t control messed up your plans?

Comments:

  • “When’s the last time you worked hard for something and then elements you couldn’t control messed up your plans?”

    Saturday. It was Saturday.

    And yes, the worst part is when a race doesn’t work out but you still run a “good” time, and the time is arbitrary when it doesn’t reflect your hard work and training.

    I’m really sorry that you have the flu. This is the first case of the flu I’ve heard about and so early in the season. Fortunately you’re feeling better now, so maybe it was a very mild case or something? I had the flu a few years ago and cannot imagine running at all during it, much less a half. Glad you were able to finish the race and good luck at Kiawah!

    • Thanks for the wise words! Getting a little better every day but man, this cough! Sorry your race didn’t go as planned either, but like you said before you race a lot and there will be plenty more! We can’t kill them all, right?! Are you doing Sweet Tea?

      • I’m not planning to do Sweet Tea. It’s expensive, and the Facebook photo cover of the ditch and overpass hasn’t sold me on the race. I may just go to the Sweet Tea festival.

        I’m guessing you got Tamiflu (which was most likely in stock since it’s so early in the flu season- it can be hard to find in February-ish). It made a world of difference for me. Granted, it still took me a good 48 hours to rejoin the land of the living, much less run. The flu can be very serious….

  • itzyskitchen

    MAJOR HUGS!!!! You are a serious rock star for finishing! <3 <3 You will conquer Kiawah!!

    • Hugs back! Thanks for being amazing! Did you decide yay or nay for a full?

  • I’m so sorry you got sick! That’s such a hard curve ball to encounter after training hard! But I love Dan’s words of encouragement. I think that’s one of the hardest parts of racing for me – training so hard but not always knowing how race day can go. Trying to focus on other positives from training – like the strength and speed I’ve gained – helps 🙂

    • Thanks Danielle! Dan can sometimes say just what I need. Race day can really throw some curve balls at you, can’t it!

  • alexander graf

    Get well again first! Mental strength means knowing when body says NO!!

    • Yea, still a constant battle on that one. lol

  • Gianna Alvino

    Sickness is definitely something you cannot help and you ran an awesome race in awful conditions! Come December you’ll grab that PR.
    I ran the NYC marathon a couple years back full on sick. I ran the 5K the day before it and almost fainted after but figured sleep and I would be totally fine to run 26.2 the next day…I eeked in and finished in 4:29 but man did I pay for that race!
    Also having to race through Crohn’s flares I’ve learned to accept what my body is capable of giving on any given day. If you know you put forth the best effort on that day – that is something to be content with.

    • Oh man Gianna, way to go for pushing through everything you’ve had to struggle with. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to run with flare ups. Inspiration indeed. For sure, sometimes its being content with the day and the elements instead of the EXPECTED outcomes. <3

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