Let’s begin with a quick refresher for those that do not know my past. Just over 4 years ago I traded a life full of heavy drinking and smoking for running. It was just that easy and it wasn’t just that easy. I told myself I would use running to help relieve the stress of not smoking, turns out it also helps relieve the stress for a great many other things. In a short time I found myself completing marathons. Although I wasn’t a speedster at it, I did cover the ground at the pace my body would let me.
That pace was around 5 hours. I went from couch to marathon in 200 days, so I figured fitness might have something to do with it. Press on, train harder and things should improve. I did just that and things didn’t improve, not for not training that’s for sure! I’d read much material via the internet and the trusty Runner’s World. There is an abundance of information for the novice to acquire. I did on occasion suffer an injury or two from running and would sit out the prescribed time for the injury to heal. When in the down mode, I’d read and learn more about running.
After two and half years and 6 marathons I was still not improving. At that point I decided to change up training as well as trying to not run a marathon for a while. I’d figured at this point that maybe I’d bitten off more than my body could handle. I whoa-ed up on the marathons and was trying to keep my base at half marathon distance. All was proceeding as planned in my maintaining base and not running marathons. I did however run a half marathon a month for 6 months and then started my full training. Now I have to state that I’d started running well more walking than running, but still I was covering a 5k loop in my neighborhood. As I gained strength with that I just widened the circle to increase miles. With that said, I’d figured in this training I’d slowly build up to some 20 milers and get stronger at those distances. 20 miles is where I’d been having all my troubles in marathons, so this type of training should help. As the training progressed I slowly noticed I was having trouble with breathing and heart rate during my runs. I chalked it up to pushing the body and creating a new endurance level.
Fatigue was becoming a player as well, again at the level that I was training I thought nothing of it. It wasn’t that fatigue was hitting me everyday, it would show up in training when normally I should have started feeling stronger. I altered the schedule to now only have one 20 miler. That in itself was struggle. The first attempt was just down right brutal, a tired I’d never experienced hit me during the run. I lost control of my breathing and the heart was racing uncontrollably. I gave credit to the warm summer day that happened upon my run, shake it off and try again. I did try again with not much success as the first time, I did however start earlier in the morning, but still lost control of breathing and the heart rate. Next up was my marathon.
2 weeks prior to the marathon I started not feeling well. Dr gave me meds to fight a sinus infection, not good news 2 weeks out. I’d also lost a lot of weight during the taper, not common in my past marathons. There was a lot going on, but not running the marathon wasn’t an idea. I ran the marathon weak and out of gas. It was a miserable grind that allowed me to get a severe case of bronchitis. More meds and more doctors. Things just continued spiral out of control. I did keep running throughout all of this, maybe not as much but did keep running.
While fighting what seemed to an endless supply sickness I kept training. I’d go to the doctor and I’d get diagnosed with something, handed meds and go on about my business. Problem was, I wasn’t getting better. Running was becoming more and more of a grind. Recovery days were not enough. I adjusted my schedule so I could continue to run by dropping my cross training activities. I would often think I was dieing of some sort of illness that was flying just under the doctors radar and wouldn’t be discovered until after my death.
Death, although I thought I heard it knock, never did make appearance. After 11 months of misdiagnosis there seems to be a valid diagnosis of Grave’s disease. Hyperactive thyroid for the most part. A new journey begins within my new journey. This thing could have been popping up its head off and on through out the last 7 or 8 years of my life and I just didn’t know it. When I was drinking and hungover I would have never considered this bad feeling to be anything but a hangover. I then quit smoking and started running. The thought of when the bad feeling did show up was, its either from transition to this new active life or just muscle ache and bad feeling from marathon training. Only until it got completely out of hand did it get the attention it needed.
I still run and its not comfortable like it once was or that I know it to be, but I do run. I’m hoping with treatment that my running will once again be pleasant and productive. This revitalization of my blog will be a chronicling of this new adventure within my new adventure. Even though at times I felt I could not physically go on, some how I’ve managed to continue. Must be the marathoner in me. No matter how bad the pain or suck, if you just keep moving it will get better.