They often say that getting to the starting line of the marathon is more difficult than the marathon itself. Training is intense and there's always a chance something can go wrong or you can get hurt and miss out on the big day. Each person has his or her journey to get to the starting line. This is mine.
Training started out pretty normally. July and August went by as planned and I was pretty happy with how I was progressing. September came around and things continued according to plan. I had signed up for two half-marathons in order to get myself in the race environment and to gauge how my training was going. I ran the first half-marathon on September 17th and finished with a new personal best, 1 hour and 36 minutes. A week later, I ran the second half-marathon and things didn't go as I'd hoped. I couldn't run more than a quarter mile without coughing. I was bringing up more mucus than I had in the recent past. I couldn't take a deep breath or catch my breath. In the span of a week I'd gone from running my fastest half-marathon to picking up a pretty nasty lung infection and not being able to breath and run and function the way I wanted.
After talking with my doctor we decided to go straight to IVs to just take care of what was going on in my lungs. And yes, some of you may be thinking why don't I just skip this marathon and take care of myself. Well, quite honestly that wasn’t an option and didn’t even come up in conversation. My doctor, nurses, family and friends all know how important running is to me and that it would take a small army to keep me off Staten Island the first Sunday in November.
I spent the first three weeks of October with a PICC line in my arm with the objective of getting healthy so I could go back to living the life I’m used to living. I took a week off work and 10 days or so off from training, did the IVs, slept, increased my treatments and got the rest I needed physically and mentally in order to get myself back to where I need to be.
As for now, my lungs are working, I can breathe easily and I'm healthy. I am four days away from running my 5th full-marathon. I feel lucky and fortunate that I get to experience all the it has to offer. The energy, the crowd, and the emotions you feel the days leading up to the race, the race itself and the jubilation of crossing the finish line. Each marathon is truly an amazing experience in it's own and I can't wait to see what Sunday has to bring.