Tomorrow is my group’s 21 miler, and I’m down for the count. What started as a slight sore throat on Wednesday afternoon at work turned into a fever of 102.1 and a throat that felt like I had swallowed broken glass. For the past day and a half I have done nothing but sleep and watch really bad daytime TV. I missed our 10 yassos workout on Wednesday night, too (though I secretly didn’t mind missing that grueling workout).
Missing our last long run before the taper is disappointing. This is when I get to see all the newbies at the end of the run, incredulous that they actually ran 21 miles. I will miss seeing the joy and satisfaction in their faces, and also the relief that we finally, finally get to start tapering.
Battling tonsillitis has felt like its own marathon. I am not the kind of person to lay around on the couch for days on end. I like to stay busy, and multi-tasking is my middle name. I hate feeling weak and helpless. This afternoon I even burst into tears because I felt like I was letting my boyfriend down when we had to cancel our Thanksgiving camping trip. Mostly, though, I cried because I just plain feel miserable.
We tell ourselves “pain is temporary” when we hit those last few miles of a marathon, so why is this any different? I think it has something to do with control. Running a marathon is voluntary; no one forces you to get out there and beat yourself up. All the aches and pains that come with fever are beyond your control, and this can be both frustrating and scary.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about things beyond our control, like my friend who has been in the hospital for the past three weeks, or another friend who was recently told that her twin brother doesn’t have much longer to live in his battle against cancer. This makes my own small fight against tonsillitis seem trivial, and I know both friends would trade places with me in an instant if they could. I suppose it’s mostly a matter of accepting things as they are, and letting go of the need to control.
I know I’ll be off the sofa and running again in a few more days. Until then, I’ll say a prayer for my friends and keep taking my penicillin.