Thursday, 5 September 2013

A bad month, a rough year, and my Marathon struggle

Remember way back in January when I wrote a hopeful post about how fabulous this year was sure to be, including all the races I was going to run and all of the shiny new PRs I was going to get? That feels like a lifetime ago now. And I don’t feel nearly as bright and hopeful.

Life has had other plans for me this year, none of which have matched my fabulous expectations. This year was supposed to be easier than last year. It had to be. I really needed it to be. But it was not.

I have tried really hard, I mean really hard, to bounce back. But things have not been clicking. And life has not been cooperating.

The surgery was my first setback. I had worked really hard to get my body back into shape following my last trip to the OR, so going back under the knife just 11 months later was devastating. I knew my body wasn’t ready to do that all over again. I knew recovery would be hard. And I was right. My body has been struggling ever since.

The drugs they use and the trauma that these surgeries cause to the body is difficult to explain. I spent months trying to heal, and then many more months trying rebuild. A task I am confident isn’t yet complete. My left side is still weak. I have yet to regain full range of motion through my chest and shoulder. And it is that same side that always fatigues on my long run – seizing and cramping as the miles creep up.

My tummy troubles have been an accidental side-effect of all of this. Every trip to the OR means a regular dose of anesthetic, antibiotics, and pain meds – all of which do a number on your GI system. Combine a weaken GI system with a whole lot of anxiety about how all of these setbacks will affect your education, your career, your financial situation, your relationships, and your family – and you have got yourself a recipe for an ulcer.

My surgery was 7 months ago, but I am just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dealing with my stomach problems. It has been difficult to diagnose and it has been very difficult to treat. I am taking conventional ant-acid medication and currently waiting to meet with a GI specialist for a scope. But my appointment is not until December (<--- yeah you read that right). So in the meantime, after meeting with a holistic nutritionist and a month on an elimination diet, I have decided to continue to eliminate… Gluten, Diary, Processed Sugar, and Red Meat. I am also taking Glutamine, Probiotics, and Licorice Root in the form of supplements. 

Healing takes time and consistency. It probably also requires some rest and less stress – but sleep and serenity have been elusive since I lost my Dad. My world has been turned upside. And some days my grief simply overwhelms me.

All of this is to say…this year is unlikely to be my year in any sense. I am 9 weeks away from my Marathon, and with each passing day I feel my perfect sub 4:30 goal time slipping farther and farther away. I have trained hard. And I have tried really hard to stick to my schedule, but this month has been a complete write off and many weeks have been hit or miss. I don’t think this is going to be my race.

It hurts to write this, and tears are in my eyes as I hit publish, but I am trying to be realistic. I will continue to train hard for the next 9 weeks, and I will race on November 3rd. I will give that marathon my all - heart and soul - but I think there is a good chance I will fall short of my initial time goal. I will keep keeping on, it is what I do. But I think my perfect marathon will likely have to wait for another year.

Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,