This past Saturday is entirely my fault. But the next several days that followed it were a result of crummy luck.
It all started Saturday when I didn’t leave for my long run until closer to 11. I know runners are supposed to get up with the Amish and have a million miles completed by nine am, in time for a buttload of pancakes with the nurses getting off the graveyard shift and hungover college kids. And one day I’ll get back to being that woman.
But frankly, I’m tired and last week put me through the wringer at work. So I decided to move at the speed of smell and run whenever I get to it. A later run is better than none at all, right? I ate some melon and yogurt that morning, filled up my fuel belt bottles with Gatorade and went to work. Literally – I can park in the garage at work, so that’s what I did.
The plan was to run 12 miles, and I did as an out-and-back jaunt. The first half, running north on the Olentangy trail through Ohio State’s campus and Whetstone Park, was wonderful. I felt alive like I did the weekend prior and ran strong, reminding myself that it’s only over when I’m dead and since I’m still upright, I’m not doing too badly.
Then came Mile 10.
I was drinking my Gatorade throughout the run, since it was humid and I didn’t want to risk heat stroke. Mile 10 was between 1 and 1:30, or maybe closer to 2. Either way, once Mile 10 hit, my body told me enough was enough. I felt extremely nauseous, which I attributed to my late start, and I had to walk the last two miles. A part of me wanted to feel disappointed, but I wasn’t really in the mood to dwell on misery.
Then I got to the stoplight at Third and Olentangy River Road. While waiting for the walk sign to kick on, I was hit with a sudden dizziness. I’ve only been dizzy like that once before, when I was 12. That moment has always stayed with me because 1.) I’d never fainted before and 2.) I’ve never fainted again, and I’ve also never forgotten the lightheadness, when everything around me faded to white and I collapsed in the bathroom at home.
Almost 20 years later, that same white light was coming back to me. My head and body was feeling lighter, like I was about to levitate before descending into a numb place. I was panicking at the cross walk, begging God and the universe that if I was going to faint, let me get across the street first. Olentangy River Road is busy and I couldn’t imagine collapsing in the middle of the road, right as the lights turn green. I have zero faith that someone wouldn’t have run over me. If I was going to have an emergency, I asked whoever was listening to at least let me get to the fire station on Third, so the life squad could get me to safety and help me.
I made it to my car and after taking some time to sit in the air conditioning and get my bearings straight, I got home in one piece. My shower felt awesome, although the nausea feeling and migraine didn’t go away.
Sunday was supposed to be a lazy day, with the only thing going on being my facial at 1. The facial was awesome, but unfortunately the nausea didn’t go away. I woke up feeling terrible, went back to sleep for a bit, then pulled myself together for the afternoon to go to my appointment.
Then when I came home I took a turn for the worse. At this point I was still assuming that my humid run on Saturday took more out of me than I realized. Then by mid-afternoon, it all came back up. I’ll spare you all the details, but I will say that the way I got sick is pretty rare. At this point I figured it wasn’t just the run, and started recounting everything I had eaten before – maybe I had given myself food poisoning?
At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday I didn’t know what I had gotten into. But at 1:20 and 1:40 a.m. on Monday, when I was back in the bathroom one arm wrapped around the toilet and the other on my phone looking up if cantaloupe can go bad, Dr. Google and I determined that I must have given myself food poisoning from a cantaloupe I had a little too long.
Monday was a half day at work. I wasn’t functional and decided to take the afternoon off to go see a nurse at urgent care, then go home to sleep whatever I had off. As a precaution I took a Covid exam, which came back negative. I gotta say, if you ever have a booger that’s stuck up there and driving you crazy, a Covid nose swab is an incredibly effective – albeit uncomfortable – way to get completely cleaned out.
The nurse ruled out food poisoning, since there was too much time between Round One and the Early Morning Adventure and one of the staples of food poisoning is constant vomiting in a 24-hour period. “You have a viral infection, and all you can do is rest, take some Motrin and give it time to pass through,” she advised.
Before you all think this is a gross post about body functions, I can promise there is an observation worth posting online. I came home and wound up taking a nap for about an hour, and I slept hard to the point of where the only thing that woke me up was my mom calling me to check in. After talking to my family and getting dinner, I fell asleep at 7:30. My normal wake up time is at 5 a.m., so I set my alarm for then, curled up on my side with Marina, and cuddled her until we both fell asleep.
I haven’t slept ten hours in forever, and when I woke up Tuesday morning – although I still had an inflamed esophagus and wasn’t completely out of the woods – I felt like a brand new person. In spite of the virus, I had my energy back and felt better than I had in a long time.
Who would have thought getting sick would be the event that would prompt me to actually rest up?
Actually, how many of us could honestly say we’d dedicate some time to resting if it weren’t for illness or injury forcing it?
My crazy Sagittarius energy doesn’t do well with resting. My body gets tired all the time, but my brain is always thinking of something to do. Hell, even when I was laying in bed on Sunday morning feeling like death warmed over, I found myself looking around my bedroom at the medal display, thinking that I needed to clean that up once I was back from my facial. My brain was dancing with images of storage containers and the before ‘n after text I’d shoot Mom.
But Monday wasn’t going to be one of those crazy brain days. I had my apartment completely closed up and got out my eye mask to make sure there was no chance of light creeping in. I needed to rest and I was going to sleep come hell or high water.
So it’s now Wednesday. I feel better and stronger than I did this past weekend. I’m still following the BRAT diet as a just in case and have been eating my body weight in banana popsicles. And most importantly, I’m making myself sleep a good eight hours each night. I have runner things to do, and I’m not going to be able to do them if I’ve still got a virus lingering in me. So rest I must and rest I will.
Crazy Sagittarius energy can use this time to retreat, reload and come out a-blazing for the next run.
I hope you all enjoy this post. May your night be as relaxing as a banana popsicle.
Yours in writing and running,