Writing a blog post after a month of zero blogging is a bit daunting. The truth is that I’m not sure what I would have written about over the past month since I took most of March off from running for rest and relaxation.
Haha. I wish. The truth is that work kind of blew up at the beginning of the month. I finally got a bit more on track with running in the third week of March and even managed a 12-miler, which was good since I was signed up for the 10 mile Austin 10/20 race on the 29th. Originally I thought I had a shot at besting my PR from last year (1:17:07) but then after a few weeks of crappy training I decided to just shoot for sub-1:20:00.
However, if you take a closer look at the graph, you may notice that there aren’t any miles logged on 3/29. So: let’s discuss.
My mom was visiting from 3/25-3/28. I got in an easy 7-mile run on 3/26 (Thursday) and planned for an easy 5 on Friday. This was all on top of several miles of walking each day with my mom, who lives in the Northeast and wanted to spend all her time in Austin outside where there is grass that’s not covered in snow. I felt a little iffy on Friday morning– tired, sniffly, some coughing. Nothing too concerning but I decided not to run in the interest of getting rid of my cold before the race.
I barely slept on Friday night due to coughing all night. Then I had to drive my mom to the airport at 6AM. I tried to get a little more sleep when I got home but I just felt awful. I took my temperature and the thermometer said I had a mild fever. I decided to try to see a doctor since I was concerned I might have the flu or strep throat or tonsillitis. I managed to get an afternoon appointment at Austin Regional Clinic and got a ride from the Gentleman. My tests came back negative for strep and the flu, which indicated that I had another annoying virus like what I had last December. The doctor advised me to rest and take over the counter cold medication. I asked him how bad it would be to run a 10 mile race the next morning and he said that it would probably be very uncomfortable.
Maybe running a 10 mile race while dealing with a nasty virus would have made a nice blog post. Dare I say a blog post detailing such bad assery could have gone viral?
Sorry, but this is not that blog post. I’ve raced before with mild cold and allergy symptoms and been fine but I prefer to stay on my couch or in bed if I really feel sick. I would have felt miserable if I’d tried to run that race, and I told the Gentleman on the car ride home that I’d be skipping it, so no need to drive me to packet pickup. (Also, it’s not like I really trained for it…).
And now, instead of reading a recap about how I overcame adversity and bravely finished a 10 mile race despite crippling illness, here’s a recap of my time in the ER!
I began to feel nauseated on our drive home from the clinic. I was also starting to have a headache behind the right side of my forehead. Realizing that I might have some stomach issues in addition to the cough and runny nose, I sent the Gentleman out to get some ginger ale and saltines and some chicken pho (and some dinner for himself). When he came home I realized the chicken pho would have to wait a day because I was still really nauseated. Since I’d barely eaten all day I tried to force down some saltines, which I then threw up about 30 minutes later. Same thing happened a little while later with the water I’d been trying to drink.
At this point I thought I might have a migraine in addition to the lovely virus that was keeping me up all night coughing. I’d had a few migraines before but generally just ones with light or sound sensitivity– never with nausea and vomiting. The nausea and vomiting with pain in my head were concerning because it was similar to how I felt back in 2008 when I had a cerebral hemorrhage (which is a long story for another time). I called the after hours line for ARC and spoke with a nurse who was like “Yeah, sounds like a migraine but given your history, you should go to the ER.”
So we went off to the ER where I proceeded to act all weird due to the bright fluorescent lights in the lobby that were bothering me. I think I had to cover my eyes while I was giving the guy at the front desk a run down of my history and symptoms. Maybe that got them to triage me as very urgent, which was good because the sound from the TV in the waiting area was killing my head and the smell coming from a kid eating McDonald’s was making me want to hurl even though there was nothing left in my stomach.
Eventually I got a CT scan (which was clean, yay!) and an IV with some fluids and anti-nausea medication. The doctor seemed like she really wanted to give me prescription pain medication but I know from my brain surgery in 2008 and delightful experience with tramadol last December that I can’t handle the fun stuff, so we settled on Excedrin plus a prescription for ondansetron.
We got home around 1 AM. I managed to sleep until around 7:30 and then spent the rest of the day either asleep or in bed with the blinds shut because the light was still painful. I think at the time the 10/20 race started I was on the couch checking my email in the dark with the brightness on the screen turned all the way down. In case you were concerned, I was finally able to eat my chicken pho that evening and yes, it was delicious. I was still a little off on Monday– had to dim the monitor on my work computer and turn off the fluorescent lights in my office and tell many people that no, I was not hungover– but I got back to running on Tuesday with an easy 4 miles in the morning. My next race is the Statesman 10K on the 12th and while I’m definitely not in PR shape right now, I hope I can put forth a decent effort or at the very least have an actual race recap to write.