Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Post-Viral Fatigue

I went to the doctor today for the third time since I got sick. Only this time, I saw my regular sports medicine doctor, who I trust a lot more than the on-call doctor I had seen the past two times.

I got a chest x-ray and he listened to my heart and lungs. Everything was normal, thankfully. The bad news is that he didn't think I would be fully recovered in time for my marathon on October 11.

He said that I had post-viral fatigue when can last for 8-12 weeks! This would explain my slightly elevated heart rate during runs, and my overall sense of tiredness that I feel throughout the day. He told me that I could probably run the marathon, but I need to not have a goal time. I also have to be prepared to walk off the course if I feel fatigued (beyond "normal" marathon fatigue). In the meantime, I should train "as tolerated".

At this point, I still plan on running Hartford. The only way I wouldn't run it would be if the majority of the runs in the two weeks leading up to the race felt crappy. Which is a real possibility. I won't have a time goal, and it will simply be another marathon to cross off my list. I know it could be worse, and I need to be thankful that my heart is healthy.

But this entire year has been a struggle for me running-wise. I love this sport so much and yet I can't seem to catch a break. Once my injuries finally went away, then I got this stupid virus. I certainly regret doing the VA Beach half marathon. The doctor said that the heat exhaustion put extra stress on my body, and is the likely culprit of the extended recovery time.

I've heard a lot of horror stories from runners this summer about their races in the heat/humidity, so I think I seriously need to consider running a race in those conditions, and I hope my readers will do the same.

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