training

Journey to My First Half Marathon, Weeks 3 – 4

After running 17 races last year as a complete beginner, I am now training for my first Half Marathon on the 13th May 2018.

Considering I am summing up two weeks, this will be a shorter blog post than usual, BUT with good reason. Yesterday I said to my coach, “Why aren’t things ever smooth sailing?” After two weeks of smiling workout selfies, this happened

Week 3:

Monday, 15th JanuaryOutdoors, Easy Run, 43:30 min, 5 km

The only thing I have been worried about since my training started is my niggling knee pain. But with help from other runners I realised I needed to put quite a bit of time into warming up my knee before running and then foam rolling afterwards. When I set off on my run on this particular Monday, I knew something was wrong almost immediately – my knee was okay, but my body was exhausted. In the first 200 m I was almost shuffling but I figured I was still tired from the 8 km run I had done the previous day. By the time I got to the first km I was exhausted and wanted to give up. The only thing that kept me going was the fact I had no actual pain. I was just tired. Should I stop because I am tired? I thought not – so I kept pushing, dragging my feet across that tarmac. When I got back, I checked the temperature and realised it was 37°C. Too hot and not temperatures I should be running in! I then felt better about the bad run and chalked it up to the heat.

Tuesday, 16th January:  Unplanned Rest Day

I woke up in pain – aching all over. Every muscle in my body was sore. I thought, Gosh! How unfit am I? Really, muscle pain from this very sloppy 5k run? I went into work as usual but by lunch-time I had to throw in the towel. The only way I can describe this exhaustion is the one some women experience in their first trimester of pregnancy, where you just can’t keep your eyes open. By the time evening set in, I knew something was wrong when my body temperature was 39.3°C. I had a terrible night, shivering and freezing, shaking and just aching all over.

Wednesday, 17th January: Unplanned Rest Day

I am one of those people who doesn’t like going to the Doctor’s. I haven’t had any bad experiences but I just feel there are some things the body can work through on its own. My husband was quite annoyed at my stubborn behaviour and said very clearly that in all the years he had known me (and we have been together for 15 years) he had never seen me this sick. Even brushing my girl’s hair for school was a struggle. But I still said, I’m sure it’s some 48 hour bug.

Thursday, 18th January: Unplanned Rest Day

I had no choice. I didn’t even complain as Ditiro helped me into the car and we went to the Doctor’s. Then came the most unexpected diagnosis – Malaria! Huh?? I have never had malaria before and I am very careful when visiting malaria zones but it would seem I got it when I attended my cousin’s wedding in Francistown (North-East of the country) in early December – mind you, this area has never really been considered a “malaria-area” so it was quite the shock. They started me on medication immediately which led to some awful side effects, nausea and migraines. At least the fever abated and the muscle pain subsided.

Friday, 19th JanuaryRecovering from Malaria

I couldn’t hold the medication down. I was now getting really dehydrated – so I went in for a drip and anti-nausea medication so I could at least continue with the malaria medication.

Saturday and Sunday, 20th – 21st January: Recovering from Malaria

Week 4

Monday – Sunday, 22nd – 28th JanuaryRecovering from Malaria

I had the whole week off from work – I was definitely a lot better but just extremely exhausted. The first few days I spent most of my time in bed, but by Wednesday I was actually doing work from home. I think Thursday was the first day I didn’t have to take a single nap during the day. By the time I got to the weekend, I was even able to take the kids for tennis practice and I was starting to feel my normal self again. What a debilitating illness. So… back to the business at hand! This has thrown my Half Marathon Training Plan off a bit… Coach Nicola has adjusted things a lot. I will start walking this week and then the following week I will do some run-walk intervals as I get back into things. She is confident that I will be ready for the Half Marathon – and that makes me confident too. So I am not going to allow negativity or doubts to creep in – I will do my best to stay positive and just get on with it.

Mileage last 2 weeks: 0 km

Mileage this training cycle: 30.37 km

Gym Classes last 2 weeks: 0

Grade: Ungraded. (I was going to give myself an F as nothing was done, but after lots of thought I think I am just going to settle with “Ungraded”. Fair?)

To keep myself accountable I am linking up with the lovely Courtney from Eat Pray Run and as usual with the inspirational Holly from HoHo Runs and fabulous Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home! Be sure to check out their blogs (as well as others on the link-up) – you always walk away with a lot of knowledge.

37 thoughts on “Journey to My First Half Marathon, Weeks 3 – 4

  1. Wow, I’m sorry you were so sick and I’m glad you are feeling better! It’s great that you are working with a coach who can adjust your training. Just focus on getting healthy and the running and training will come along just fine.

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  2. Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your knee and the malaria! I am glad that you went to the doctor. Continue to rest up and take care of your health. I agree with your coach – you will be ready for that half marathon, but you have to get healthy first!

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    1. I really need to manage my knee and not be lazy about stretching it/ warming it up before each run and of course foam rolling. The malaria on the other hand was a complete surprise. I am already feeling tonnes better and I’m glad I have a coach who can guide me as needed. Without her, I think I would just have panicked but she has kept me quite calm and positive!

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  3. I’m reading this and thinking, oh, she has the flu…Malaria never crossed my mind, because we don’t see it here–much. I had a patient a few months ago who looked so sick, I almost called an ambulance to my clinic. I thought he had meningitis. He ended up in ICU and had malaria! Yikes. I have no experience with malaria, but now that we are such an international society, I need to keep it in the back of my mind. ANYWAYS…I hope you are on the mend and that the meds (I know they are icky) kick in quickly and you are back to yourself soon. Sending hugs!

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  4. Definitely don’t fail yourself when something is outside of your control like that. Having the flu is bad enough – sorry that you had to deal with malaria! You’ll get back up to speed again, just give yourself some grace to catch back up.

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  5. Malaria! you couldn’t have done any exercises to prevent that! I’m so sorry!

    try to remember too that when you are well enough to train, the journey is part of the race itself. trust the training and you will be fine! if your knees hurt try to do squats and lunges in between your trainings. this will help your knees become stronger!

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  6. Oh no, that’s horrible! I’m glad it got diagnosed fairly quickly and you’re being treated. Definitely don’t be hard on yourself and let yourself get the recovery you need. It sounds like the revamped training plan from your coach will still get you ready for the half 🙂

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  7. Wow! I can only imagine the shock of that diagnosis! Is your hubby and children having to take any anti malaria meds as a precaution? Glad you are beginning to feel a little better and don’t worry about that training plan …they usually have a little cushion built in for ‘life happenings’ and you will be back on track in no time!!

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    1. So grateful for that cushion right now, but hope I don’t have too many more life happenings from here until May! Luckily, kids and hubby are as healthy as can be, but I am keeping a really close eye on them. I’m feeling so much better and have survived a work trip too! Hard to believe that it was only this time last week that I was still struggling.

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  8. I’ve heard of malaria but would not have known the symptoms. It sounds very serious. I’m glad you are feeling better now. I’m sure your coach will get you back on track in time for your half marathon. Thanks for linking!

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    1. It was awful! I am feeling tonnes better now and am actually resting “guilt-free” – thought I would be stressed about not running but strangely I feel okay. But it did feel good to get in some walks this week, so I think I am soon ready to get out there again! Glad you’ve got your training link-up back!

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  9. I’m so glad that your husband convinced you to go to the doctor! I’m the same way and feel like I can take on illness on my own, but sometimes we have to listen to our loved ones who know us best! Glad the meds have you feeling better and you can start training again soon.

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  10. I think you are being way too hard on yourself. Giving your body the time it needs to recover is important. I am so sorry! Everywhere here they are talking about flu, so that was what i was thinking. Malaria sounds so much worse. 😦

    To your continued good health now!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Definitely leaving it ungraded is fair! Malaria sounds so horrifying. You need to be smart about recovery and slowly get back to training. So happy that you finally went to the doctor and are starting to feel on the mend now.

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