Monday, September 29, 2008

Sick September

I'm about to throw myself a huge pity party, so get out now if you don't want to read something negative and downbeat.

I've essentially been sick all month long with some random chest virus that I got around the time of the VA Beach half marathon. Apparently, a virus can stay in your system for up to three months, and attack at anytime. So just when I thought I was getting better, I hit a relapse the weekend of the 13th. I rebounded within a few days, was able to run a 19-miler which felt decent, and a relatively fast set of intervals a few days later. And then, another relapse starting on the 26th. I had to leave work, despite having no sick time remaining, and I spent the rest of the day in bed. Saturday, Sunday and Monday have been rest days, too tired to even leave the house. Forget about running!

When you live alone, being sick means you don't interact with anyone. Thankfully, my mother came a few times, but aside from that, I've just spent way too much time alone. Which then of course leads to me "thinking" about the situation, and then my life in general, and a complete downward spiral.

I started thinking about how I'll be 30 in less than two months and I'm just not happy with how I spent my 20's. I know that you're not "supposed to" have regrets. I don't know what I would have done differently, but I just feel like my life has been going in circles and circles for the past 10 years. I'm learning a lot, and I'm growing and changing. But yet my actual lifestyle is the exact same. I want some sort of change-- I want to move. But I don't know where, when and how. I don't feel like I am maximizing my potential, and that I am far too "comfortable" in my lifestyle. Being comfortable makes it very difficult for you to want to make any dramatic changes to your life.

I run because it keeps me motivated and it gives me something to look forward to. I feel like I am working toward something every day! There are always new frontiers to reach. New races to experience, new PRs to set. When I can't do that, my whole world feels so pointless. Until I can figure out what major life change I need to make, I have running to keep me going. To keep me moving forward, when everything else in my life just goes in circles and circles.

My one goal for the year (to qualify for Boston) is now down the tubes, and the marathon itself doesn't even look possible at this point. This was the one thing that motivated me every single day-- since the day I registerd for the race back in February. Even when I was running marathons in the Spring I knew that those weren't really the "A" races. And then, just six weeks away when everything was going perfectly, I get hit with a chest virus that has now lasted a full month. Is this supposed to be the grande finale of an entire year's worth of work?

I just wish I had some answers here because I am extremely confused.


  1. Hey. I found your blog on Runner's World. I'm jbdrunner.

    I was just reading this post and throughout it I must have said "me too" about 10 times. I also live alone and hate getting sick. You still have to take care of yourself and sometimes it's just so hard to get up off the couch or out of bed to make soup or tea or whatever. My mom is 500 miles away so sometimes I just call her and cry like I was 10 years old - and I'm 26!

    Like you I also spend time thinking about where I am in my life and where I should be and I'm just never happy with where I am. I feel like everyone else my age is in a better place. Like you running is my thing that makes me feel good and gives me something look forward to. I had to do without running for a couple of months last year while I healed an injury and it was a hard couple months.

    Try to use this time to focus on all that you've accomplished in your 20's. You've run marathons for goodness sake! That's not an easy feet! You live on your own and that in itself is incredible - it takes a lot to do that.

    OK.. enough preaching. Get better soon!

  2. Thank you so much, Janette, for your thoughtful reply! I'm 29 and I've cried on the phone to my mother a lot these past few weeks. She only lives 15 minutes away, so I've been lucky to have her come over a few times to bring me food and keep me company.

    I think I am in a good spot career-wise, but in terms of relationships, I'm completely single and I haven't had much luck in that department over the past 10 years.

    When I had my knee injury last spring, I coped by swimming and weight lifting. But now that I am sick, I can do those things.

    I've accomplished a lot in my 20's, but am I truly happy? I used to equate accomplishments with happiness, but now I am not so sure.

    Thanks for all the support!