Why I'm Bailing on Ventura, Three Months Out

I think I can say that this is the sickest I've been in my life (I'm leaving out appendicitis in this comparison because that isn't a cold/flu; and appendicitis is life threatening, so it trumps everything thus far). I've had more acute illnesses where a single day felt worse. Like when I had the flu in 2004 and sat on the floor in front of the TV shivering under a pile of blankets. But in a few days I was almost back to normal. Today is day 17 of walking pneumonia. Seven-fucking-teen.

About 10 days before the day this saga began, my husband and I split the day to stay home with Elise who had come down with a cold. No fever, just lots of nasal gunk and whininess/fitful sleep because she didn't feel good. The next day she was mostly better and continued to have a minor cough. I didn't think anything of it and after a week where I didn't have any symptoms, I thought I had dodged a bullet! Yeah, fat chance. After 2 days of 101.5F fever, I went to a Minute Clinic; she checked me out and told me a I had pneumonia, but seemed to think it was minor. I came home with an inhaler and 5-day Azithromycin pack (z-pak). By day 3 of the meds, I was feeling pretty good! Day 4, I took a slow recovery pace run that felt fine. No coughing fits, etc. I continued doing just easy paced runs for another week, and 12 days after I got sick did 10 miler with some steady state work. I was still feeling mostly OK until two days later. Got home from work Friday night and the fever was back. Got as high as 101F before decided to I take an ibuprofen. The next morning I went to Scripps Urgent Care since I figured going to an urgent care that was attached to a hospital was about as legit as urgent care was going to get.

I had a lung x-ray done and it was clear, though there was one spot on the image obscured by my heart that seemed like it might have some fluid (and that is also where I sometimes feel a twinge of pain when I have a coughing fit with this latest relapse). The diagnosis is walking pneumonia (which I guess is the same as two weeks ago except she didn't use the "walking" term). It has an incubation period of 10-14 days which lines right up with the timeline of when Elise got sick. But she didn't get knocked on her ass like I did. He explained that some people get it and are totally asymptomatic, some just get a minor cough for 6-8 weeks (Elise), and some are like me and get their asses kicked with fever and the works. I explained how I had gone back to running and maybe that's why it relapsed, he said that didn't cause it. Apparently this same thing had happened to him and his wife when his kids were little. After a z-pak, his wife got sick again. It just wasn't enough antibiotics to fully kill everything off. When I told him I was going to take a full week off of running, he seemed to think that was unnecessary, though if I did activity, to keep is very low aerobic effort and avoid doing it in heat.

Still, I am taking a week off. This resurrection of the bacteria has given me a cough that is the gnarliest I've had in years. Like 30 years. The round of treatment I'm on now is 9 days of Azithromycin with the first two days of 500 mg, followed by 7 days of 250mg. Before I had 500mg on day 1, then 250mg for 4 more days. After 3 days, I'm feeling like maybe 60% better. On the first z-pak I felt about 80% better on day 3. I sure hope this works because I am tired of this thing. I feel like I'll be lucky at this point if I'm feeling good by next week. And I don't think I'll be 100% next week. I'm just hoping to be 80-90% and not coughing like a life-long smoker every morning. Or having a coughing fit where I almost puke.

I also miss beer and wine. The first week I didn't care too much. And I don't necessarily want to drink at this point (and now I definitely shouldn't because I've been prescribed codeine cough syrup - woo hoo, controlled substance! Actually, it freaked me out and I googled it a bunch before I took the first dose. Apparently it's an opiate, but it's gotta be pretty low dosage because I don't feel much of anything when I take it), but I miss just having a meal with a glass of wine. Just normal shit. I miss just having a normal day.

OK, OK, But What About Running?

I've been averaging in the 20s for weekly mileage the last 5 weeks. And it's going to stay this way for another 2 weeks if I'm lucky. If I'm not lucky, it'll be longer. So, I've given up on Ventura. It is 15 weeks out from the Ventura Marathon (October 22). I don't think  12-13 weeks is an adequate build up. Sure, I could probably have a decent race, but I'm not interested in half-assing marathons, especially ones that require travel. The recovery time from marathons is long. It leaves me with no time to attempt another until Boston. If I have only once chance before Boston 2018, then I want to set myself up a little better than 12 weeks to build up from 25 mpw. On Friday night, after seeing 101F pop up on the thermometer, I knew I was done. So I checked on CIM and saw that it was still open! Part of me is annoyed I didn't re-up at the $99 price they offered the 2016 finishers the week after race day but hindsight is 20-20.


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