Members of Team SJS just minutes before the start of the 2010 Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Mike and I ran the Menasha Otto Grunski 10k this morning. I had never run a race longer than a 5k before, so I had been looking forward to giving this one a whirl. The weather was pretty good at the start with cloudy skies and a tad lower temperature than we've had for several weeks, however, the humidity was still pretty high.

As you probably know from previous posts, I have had weeks of intestinal issues on my longer or more intense training runs. I have tried everything I can think of to eat and drink the right things in order to make that problem go away. I have been sick for afternoons as well as for the entire next day. It has been not only frustrating, but has taken a chunk out of my self-confidence. It seems all I do now is dread the long runs and question my ability to do the 13.1 miles.

Today's run was no different, unfortunately. I spent my entire day yesterday avoiding dairy, measuring ounces of water, and running to the bathroom hoping my bladder wouldn't burst. I got up early this morning and drank even more water and ate half a bagel with peanut butter. Thinking that all of these things would make a difference in today's run. It did, I guess, until well into the third mile when I started feeling a little nauseated. Halfway through mile 4, my bladder had decided it had had enough. And let me tell you, trying to find a wooded area in town while being followed by other runners and walkers is quite the feat (notice I didn't admit to how many runners and walkers were behind me)!

So, although I finished the race and did so at approximately the time I had hoped to finish it, I have spent the rest of my day on the couch or in the bathroom. And I must say that I am happy with the remodeling job Mike and I did in that room approximately 4 years ago! Like I said, I've spent a lot of time in that room over the past several weeks.

So I guess the thing that I am learning through all of this is that I must have patience for this too. My recovery from SJS has been a test of that patience for the past two years. Whether it be the healing of my skin, yet another surgery, waiting in doctor's offices for hours, traveling across the country in order to see better, or just the time it has taken me to realize that I have actually fought this battle and won, it has all taken patience. A virtue I have not been accused of having...ever.

I am pretty emotional about the run. I get nervous when I remember that it's only 35 days from today. I get jittery when I think about whether or not I can go the distance. And I dread the thought that I will finish 13.1 miles and then be unable to enjoy the high from doing so because I will be all alone in the watercloset! Not exactly my idea of a celebration for the months of training and the sheer number of people we made wonder "What the hell is SJS, anyway?"

I guess we will see what happens the morning of September 19th. Time to reevaluate my goals for that day. Is it really all about running the half marathon or is it celebrating life with my fellow SJS peeps going the extra mile with me? Or the thousands of people that we may bring to light on the subject? The possible lives we may save or affect that day? Sometimes I think it's good to take that one step back!

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