Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Where have I been?

Unfortunately, I've been sitting on my couch since my last post. That 2 1/2 hour run I did back in October ended up being way too much for my body at the time and I started relapsing again (well, I was never really 100% when I was out there, hence my ability to relapse). I can't fully blame that run alone though; I got stupid and skied 15 times in a little over a month between mid November and mid-late December. Well, that started to do me in again. However, I finally resolved to not let this mono become a several year process. December marked a year or continual *issues* with my health and I finally admitted to myself that I have absolutely no sense of moderation, so I issued myself a declaration: I am not to attempt ANY sort of physical activities until my body is 100% better.

Mono, as I have learned, is a tricky thing. It's not technically a virus; it's a condition caused by a virus. That condition can be around a long time after the virus has dropped off in levels and it continues to stick around longer each time you set yourself back. Once you've beaten it, it's gone for good, but I just never truly beat it. I was for all purposes "cured" by Spring, but "cured" for distances runners is different from "cured" for normal people. Normal people don't push their body as hard as they can for hours at a time, so while I was so close to better that I couldn't notice any effects for awhile, I was gradually chipping away at my body with each run I did.

Back to my declaration... I haven't done anything more physical than walking since December 26th, so I've had 2 months off all physical activity now. Additionally, I have finally convinced my doctors to prescribe me an experimental drug that keeps the EBV virus low in my system. As I mentioned above, EBV is not exactly mono, but preventing any spikes in the virus is helping my body to recover (IE, it prevents any mini relapses, allowing a full and proper recovery). I've taken the drug since just before Christmas and I've been doing pretty well. Whether that's as a result of complete rest or the drug, I can't say, but whatever I'm doing is working. I can honestly say that I'm the healthiest I've been since Spring at this point. That means that I'm not better yet, but I'm on the right track. Honestly, I probably won't touch my running shoes for another 3 months at this point, which means that Miwok (which I got into via the lottery) is out. Additionally, I am feeling more and more unwilling to risk it all at Leadville since 100 miles is really hard on the body and I just don't want to have any possibility that things will go bad again whatsoever. I hate to waste $250, but I'd throw away 10 times that much money before throwing away my health and ability to run in the future. I don't think I have a whole lot of additional chances to make this right. I truly believe that if I don't get it right this time around, I will very likely never be able to regain what I had near the end of 2009, so I am determined to get this right this time. Sitting on my butt sucks; I have temporarily sacrificed that strange happiness that only putting one foot in front of the other can bring, but I have replaced it with an even stranger happiness of simply knowing that I am doing the right thing for myself at this point in life.

I will be back in 2011, but I refuse to set timelines. I sincerely hope that I will be training normally this summer, but I cannot and will not set any goals as to that nature. When I am truly convinced that I am cured as a result of my long-term rest, I will wait a few more weeks and the ease back into the high mileage training, gradually building up to a huge winter of 20-30% more miles than I've done in the past. I will use that to slingshot myself into my best ever year of running in 2012. My determination is at an all time high. Unfortunately, I just have to use that determination to force myself to sit on my butt for a little while longer. :)