illnesses and endurance events

Let me preface this by saying, I hate how this makes me sound. I have a cold- a bad cold, but just a cold, and I will feel completely better in just a little while.

I have a friend who has four healthy daughters (ages 6, 8, 9, and 10) and a son, about six months old, who in his short life has never left the confines of Children’s Mercy Hospital. You want an endurance event? Try raising four amazing girls who adore their younger brother, getting them cleaned and dressed and sent to school every day with homework finished, all while taking care of your tiny son in a hospital. I don’t know how he does it.

I have a friend who has breast cancer. She and her husband are triathletes, and they have been incredibly supportive of me as a runner. They may never know what an impact they’ve had on me- I’m so thankful to know them. You want an endurance event? Try chemotherapy.

Okay? Now that we’ve got that out of the way, allow me to whine for just a moment.

This morning was Easter, and weeks ago I committed to volunteering for the tech team on Easter morning. For a few months now I have helped out behind-the-scenes, and of course I never anticipated being sick. Yesterday I tried to find someone to fill in for me, but (not surprisingly) it’s awfully difficult to find volunteers on Easter Sunday. Especially on short notice.

So this morning, I hauled myself out of bed, got dressed, and went to church. The morning had scarcely begun before I found myself repeating mantras I’ve used during my previous races. Quietly, under my breath, I found myself saying, “You are strong. You can do this.”

I made it through, with the help of a little caffeine and a lot of prayer. I am amazed how much the experience of being sick has been lot like the mental exercise of any endurance event. I am not sure how I’ll get through Rock the Parkway next week- quite frankly, I’m trying not to think about it because it’s all very overwhelming. I really don’t want to DNF, since I’ve invested so much time and money in this race, but I know it’s going to be a challenge.

Of course, this reminds me again that no two races are ever the same, and an endurance athlete must always be flexible!