Monday, January 27, 2014

A dark place

I wanted to share this brief commercial because I was so powerful and moving. I saw it for the first time last week and it literally brought tears to my eyes. Part of that was clearly the content matter of the commercial, but there was more to it than that.

I cried because I'm in a dark place.

There. I said it.

And seeing those words on the blank screen in front of me make me sad too. Because I've tried so long to keep my chin up and put on that happy face and pretend that everything is ok. When in reality, everything wasn't ok and I was finding comfort in denial.

I've been fighting this foot issue for so long that when the doctor said I had to be laid up from the time I finished the Space Coast Half Marathon to at least the middle of January, I wasn't overly surprised. I backed out of the Live Ultimate South Beach Half Marathon and the Palm Beaches Half Marathon and was horribly upset that I was going to take a DNS (Did not start) at both of these events. For me, I've always heard that DL (deadlast) >NDF (did not finish) >DNS, and for me, this was one of the worst things that I could have done.

I've since gotten past that and realized that a DNS isn't that big of a deal when not starting comes from an injury and a desire to get better so that I can participate in many races down the line, but at the time, it was rough going.

But then I had to back out of my first (and only) full marathon experience. I still went to the event and cheered my dear friends on, and laughed and cried. And it was still a good experience. But to a certain extent it was tempered by the fact that a couple of days later I would be returning to my foot specialist and (hopefully) be cleared to start running again.

And thankfully that happened. I was cleared to ease my way back into running. I was cleared to start (slowly) working toward getting ready for the Miami Half Marathon (which would be my first race back at it and probably my all time favorite race in my short running career), and given strict rules to follow to keep my foot in good shape.

But the night that I was cleared was the beginning of a cold snap, and with temps dipping to the 40s, I said I would start running the next day instead. One more day off wont hurt me.

And when I woke up the next day, I realized that I had finally succumbed to the horribly icky sickies that I had been having an ultimate fight championship with since Marathon Weekend.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time in bed and drank probably my own weight in orange juice and whiskey. I was popping pills like crazy to clear my sinuses, make my teeth stop feeling like I wanted to wrench them out with a crowbar, stop the vicegrip on my head, and to stop the chills and the shakes. And when I felt that I had finally gotten past it, I went to bed one night last week and thought tomorrow is the day, I am going to get out there and get a nice 5 mile run in.

Except I woke up in the middle of the night with a coughing fit that wouldn't subside. And I realized that my illness wasn't going away, it was just packing up and moving. Now instead of being in my head and sinuses, It was in my throat and upper respiratory tract. And for someone who has battled respiratory issues their whole life and who can get bronchitis and pneumonia at the drop of a hat, this can be a very scary realization.

I self treated for 2 days before finally forcing myself to go to urgent care due to a really bad coughing spell, and was given a round of antibiotics, codeine cough liquid, decongestants and asthma medications. And I finally started to feel better.

And for the past 3 days, I've gone to bed feeling great, saying tomorrow is the day, I am going to get out there and get a nice 5 mile run in.

And every night I have woken up feeling like death warmed over.

So now, It is January 27th, almost 2 months since I have run, And I still haven't been for a stroll around the block. When I started running, it was AWFUL. I couldn't really even go a tenth of a mile (hence the name of this blog) without feeling like my lungs were going to explode. I took a brief hiatus that year when we bought a house and moved, and at that point, I had to return to the Couch to 5K program to just go a tenth of a mile without losing my breath.

And now, here I am, in the same situation. I can only imaging how torturous it will be to get running again. The pain in my lungs and my chest, and my legs and back... Do I really want to go through that again? Is that something I really want to do?

Obviously the answer should be no. Because who in their right mind wants  to experience pain and shortness of breath and all the other awfulness that goes along with getting out there and hitting the pavement.

But I guess I am not really in my right mind. Afterall, when I'm not running, I'm kind of like the guy in the snickers commercial. I'm just not me. Something feels off. I feel irritable, and frustrated, and hurt, and upset, and overall I succumb to that dark place.

And I dislike that dark place far more than I dislike the thought of pain.


  1. Amy you got this. You will get back to where you were in time. You my FRIEND are not a quitter. You of all people I know do not give up without a fight. If you need a person to talk to you can call me anytime.

    1. Thanks so much Vikki. I know i will get back out there. just feeling kind of blah with all this darkness.

  2. So sorry Amy! I know you fear it's going to be hard like it was, but I don't think 2 months off will put you all the way back. I had to stop running in 2012 for TEN months b/c of horrible PF. I had really only gotten myself up to 3 solid mile runs before it hit but even after 10 months off, when I started back up it was never as hard as when I first began. I hope you feel well soon and I hope that first run proves to you that you haven't lost all your stamina!

    1. I hope you are right. gonna figure it out soon enough though. I have a half coming up this weekend!

  3. Sorry Amy! I can honestly say I feel your pain, because I have been where you are for a year now. I have my dark moments too, fall marathon season was a tough one for me, and I expect spring marathon season will be just as hard. All I can say is, do what the Dr's suggest so you can get back to running again! It's not easy, I say this as I am icing my own injury right now. But resting and doing the right thing, will give you the opportunity to run again, and that alone is positive and hopeful!
    As I've been laid up, I have sat back and looked at my life a lot, and those in it. I have a few friends who cannot run, and would love to, but it's not ever going to be a possibility for them. So when I think along those lines, it makes me realize it could be worse.
    I know that doesn't help much, but its helped me a little so I thought I would share. If you ever need someone to talk to, reach out to me! I'd be more than willing, because like I said I totally understand how you feel!!! You'll get through this dark time, and be even better for having to go through the trial!

    1. your comment here actually helped. thank you. I just might take you up on that chat sometime soon.

  4. I'm so sorry you are going through this, no doubt it is really hard to deal with. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts!

  5. Starting over again is hard. It always is. But your body remembers and it does get back to fitness faster (as long as you don't take years off!). And, honestly, a little extra rest is probably really good for your injuries to let them fully heal. Just adjust your expectations for yourself, and start back slowly. Don't compare yourself to where you were before you got injured and sick! Just focus on going a little further OR a little faster every week. You've been fighting your foot injury so long, I think you might be surprised at how much you enjoy running when you're not injured, if you give yourself the time and permission to build back up at a slow pace! Big hugs, it stinks to be in a funk and being sick is AWFUL!