This December’s Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon would have been my 8th race with Team Challenge.
Yes, “would have been.” I’ve just made the extremely difficult decision to not run 13.1 miles in Vegas on December 2, 2012.1
Not an ideal way to start a “Year of Living Awesomely,” I realize. Ironically, a few hours after I posted that Awesome Living article back on September 4, I was admitted to the hospital with a temperature of 103‐degrees Fahrenheit and dangerously low blood pressure.2
I’ve had numerous health setbacks while training for many of my previous seven half marathons and none of those ever stopped me. Heck, I even had a joke about an individual PR3 — my ever shortening “PR for Shortest Time between Surgery and completing a Half Marathon.” So why is this time different?
This time my body is fighting a particularly nasty bacterial infection in my bloodstream.4 It’s been six weeks since the onset of the infection and I am no better today than I was on the first day. These have been six weeks without training, six weeks of getting winded every time I walked the short distance between classes, six weeks of expecting to feel better tomorrow (and then not). Ultimately for the sake of my health, I need to pull the plug on running this particular race.
So for the short term, I am focusing on overcoming this infection and finishing the fall semester, which means putting many other things — including the Vegas half marathon — on hold. And although my Crohn’s might occasionally (like right at this moment) seem to get the upper hand, in the long run5 I always come back and accomplish my goals.
As most marathon runners can tell you, going the distance means knowing when to temporarily slow down and give your body a chance to recover. There will be other half marathons, but there’s only one shot at the race of life.
- I also thought very seriously about not publishing this article, since this isn’t exactly the public image of myself I prefer to project while trying to date, win new business clients, etc. But when I went public with my Crohn’s disease in 2007 and began writing about life with a chronic illness, one of my main goals was to present a complete picture, both good times and bad. [↩]
- And yes, that day was also my birthday. [↩]
- In runners’ lingo, PR is shorthand for Personal Record...usually a personal best time for running a particular distance. [↩]
- As part of the treatment for my Crohn’s disease, I have a permanently implanted IV line to receive electrolytes and nutrients my digestive system no longer absorbs. One major risk associated with such IV lines is that of infection. [↩]
- Pun intended! [↩]