From the moment my friend picked me up at the airport, I felt “off”. A canker sore in the back of my mouth was making it difficult to eat besides I wasn’t hungry. I ran my last 4 miles of the week that night with numerous breaks. How can I be this tired with only 4 miles? I wondered. Jetlag, yes, must be jetlag. The glass of wine sat at the table untouched as I retrieved to my room at 7 p.m.
My tiredness and lack of energy grew more as did the pain in my throat. I kept trying to determine if it was a sore throat or a canker sore causing the soreness. I had made up my mind; if fever is detected I would not run the California International Marathon. No fever, but my energy was totally drained out of me.
The forecast got worse by the hour, torrential rains, flood watch, winds advisory. In the big scheme of things, that did not matter. Perfect conditions would not return my energy.
We woke up at 4 a.m. to catch the 5 a.m. bus. My voice now hoarse, chest tight, excruciating sore throat and of course, no energy. Unsure if I could run the entire distance I decided to keep my phone to call my friend if need be. The heavy rains forced me to leave it behind.
The gun went off. Each mile was agonizing. The winds blew with 40 mph gusts. Plastic bags discarded by runners flew aimlessly and some wrapped around my feet. Miles came slowly; the flooded roads made us squeeze through 2 feet wide sidewalks at some spots. I jogged and walked. At 16, I pulled over to the side of the road and threw up. A medical staff asked if I was okay “Do I look okay?” I wanted to say. I said yes, and continued, too late to pull out of the race now.
Miraculously after I threw up I felt better and was able to run at a slow pace for the next 3 or 4 miles. After that, the fatigue returned, plus I was now tired from the distance and the time on my feet, far longer than I had ever been. The sun came out at 4 ½ hours into the race and I crossed the finish line in 5 hours with beautiful sunny skies.
My friend picked me up, we had a light lunch and I slept 12 hours. I called the doctor in the morning. Now I can get better.
After I crossed the finish line, I realized for the first time in my running career I did not time a single mile of my run. Something is to be said about running with only one expectation, to finish and that I did.