A jinx … and a change of focus

Last week I wrote about cold and flu season peaking along with my weekly mileage

— and jinxed myself.

As you read this I’m suffering from an ear infection and upper respiratory infection.

My husband, kids and I all caught the same cold, but they’re recovered or recovering

and I’m sitting here miserable. But it’s my own fault; I was sick and ran my last long

run before the marathon — 20 miles — on Saturday anyway.

The 9-minute-mile-pace run included plenty of hacking, spitting, praying and snotty

tissues. It was not pretty, but I got it done.

Now that I’m resting (and medicating), the race-day worries are already creeping up

on me. I’m worried about race-day weather, my race-day outfit, my race-day fuel…

the day-before-race-day meal, the day-before-race-day hydration, and the night-

before-race-day sleep.

Most of all I’m worried about my pace. I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon so

badly that it has turned me into a crazy person. Only crazy people run 20 miles with

upper respiratory infections. (Or dumb ones, but I wouldn’t call a running buddy

“dumb” so I won’t call myself that either.)

Although I’m on antibiotics, I’m still going to run the quick Run For Your Life 5K on

Saturday at Home Grown Cellars in Madera to kick off the Pomegranate Festival

— again, another thing a crazy person does — and then I’m taking it easy till race

day.

I’ve been training so hard for the Two Cities Marathon in hopes of running the race

in less than 3 hours and 35 minutes, but all of this craziness has reminded me that

for once I need to stop looking ahead and look at the “right now.”

Right now I’m sick. Right now I need rest. Right now my kids need their momma to

cuddle with them, watch movies with them, and make homemade chicken noodle

soup and fresh-squeezed juice for them until we all get well.

The day-before-race-day, race day, and Boston should be the furthest things from

my mind.

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. I should’ve increased my vitamin C and zinc intake

during my final weeks of training. I should’ve washed my hands more often. I

should’ve rested and slept more instead of always being on-the-go.

But I can’t change any of that now, so the next best thing is to focus on today, not

two weeks from now. I need to get the race jitters out of my head, because if I don’t

get well first, there won’t be a race. (Wait, who am I kidding? I ran my first marathon

with a sinus infection, the day after an evil stomach virus left me puking my guts out

and unable to hydrate. No ear or respiratory infection is going to keep me from Two

Cities.)

For writing a health and fitness column, I’m not setting a very good example of

staying healthy. Fit and active people need rest, and lots of it. We need to take care

of our bodies, maybe even more so than couch potatoes, because we are asking our

bodies to do so much more.

Fitness goals can’t be maintained without a healthy diet and plenty of restful sleep

each night. Skimping on either one will eventually hurt us.

Now I’m going to go practice what I preach.

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