It took nearly a full week, but I finally feel fully recovered from the awful stomach flu that struck about nine days ago. I had started running again within about four days, but I didn’t really start feeling like myself again until about Sunday morning. M. and I were able to run some mile repeats on the border levee, staying at just above our tempo pace.
After our experience at the Mexico City Marathon in August, we took some time off to recuperate and ride out the last few weeks of the summer heat with slow, easy two- and three- mile runs a few times a week. I felt miserable doing that; it was the least active I had been in quite a long time… years, in fact, my last period of so much inactivity having been when I spent most of 2008 recovering from knee surgery.
In October, we decided that it was time our break be over, and we registered to run the Austin Marathon on February 16, 2014. Since the race is no longer sponsored by Livestrong, I decided that we could run it in good conscience. It would give us a good goal to work towards this winter, when running weather should be at its prime in Matamoros, and best of all, it is an excuse to visit my dear friend Katy, the amazing Triple Crown swimmer for whom I crewed when she completed her incredible swim across the English Channel last year.
Registering for another marathon and wanting to run it well requires, of course, training. A lot of training. I have run Austin once before, in 2006, and recall it being a great race, though I think the course has changed since then. February’s marathon, barring any injury or other catastrophe, will be my fifteenth, and, if all goes well, hopefully one of my best, if not the best.
We have started training again and are currently focusing heavily on building speed… something we were not really able to do while training for Mexico City, because the temperatures outside were simply too oppressive. Now, by contrast, the weather is great and we’ve begun a regular regimen of interval and tempo workouts.
This morning, I paid a visit to one of my favorite places… a place that exists only in my mind and heart: Anaerobia. In Anaerobia, I can feel the wind blowing against wisps of hair that can’t seem to decide whether to stick to my sweaty face or not, and I catch whiffs of dirt, sweat, sunshine, and general hard work that bring me back to high school spring track practice. In Anaerobia, my heart threatens to beat out of my chest and my eyes begin to play tricks on me. In Anaerobia, dry heaving is inevitable. Anaerobia will kick your ass if you let it.
I cranked out my 800 meter repeats this morning along the dirt path that lines the border between the U.S. and Mexico, one after the other. We don’t have access to a track, so the dirt road is the next best thing. I hit my target pace on each one- a real feat for me, because as my legs get tired, my mind quickly follows and all I can think about is how to get out of Anaerobia. I stuck with it, though, and completed my workout on the highest of highs, feeling confident and excited about the prospect of something really great happening on February 16th.
I’m back in the saddle.
Thank you for reading!
Note: If you’d like to read my original post on Anaerobia, please click here.