Can’t Breathe, Can’t Move, Can’t Race…

Yesterday I should have been a few miles east of Hull making my ultra marathon debut at the Meridian 50km race, instead I was sat on the sofa being a patient in a game where my daughter Charlotte was a nurse. She’s been learning about Florence Nightingale and I had a bad ear infection, which would mean I would be in hospital for 70 weeks. Good job the NHS is still free.

I hadn’t moved much at all in the last three weeks, two of which I was signed off from work and on a various cocktail of drugs to try and battle a horrible chest infection. It started with a cold  and I felt pretty rough but I figured it would be fine to continue running, it was in my head and hadn’t gone to my chest.

Saturday came around and I trotted off to parkrun, well trotted is an exaggeration, I headed for parkrun like a sloth on a promise. It was a huge mistake as it had moved to my chest and I seriously considered dropping out at the top of the first hill.  I was struggling to breathe and many many people were passing me like I was standing still. Reality was it was a slow death by parkrun. My friend Niamh took this photo of me finishing, there have been some shockers of me over the years but when I saw this I knew I was in trouble. I’m a ghost of the man I usually am. Running on empty and about to grind to a halt.

dying a very slow death at Lancaster parkrun

Monday morning I was at the doctors, a chest infection was diagnosed, coupled with a bad secondary infection. I was given strong drugs, ones that could cause tendonitis ( and warned they have been know to snap Achilles in runners ). These would attack the secondary infection and hopefully the chest one too. I was warned not to run for at least 3 weeks. I’m not ashamed that as I struggled back to my car in the car park I burst into tears. I felt like shit and now the race I had spent the best part of 8 months preparing for had been taken away from me. I didn’t realise I had invested in it so heavily emotionally but obviously I had. Gutted doesn’t even come close.

I now feel like I am ready to go for a jog this week, a mix of nervous energy, pent up frustration and anticipation, fuelled with a desire to come back stronger means I need to be careful not to overdo it because I really don’t want to experience another situation where I can’t breathe, can’t move and can’t race.

 

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6 responses to “Can’t Breathe, Can’t Move, Can’t Race…

  1. I feel you pain but know that you will come back fighting for that finish line again

    Recover and plan your next challenges

  2. Go carefully Andy- still think it’s all a bit of an extreme excuse to get out of open water swimming! Seriously take care 😳👍🏼X

  3. Always another race. Sort your health and you’ll be back big man. Did Outlaw Full 2015 and not run since due to foot injury. Feel you’re pain.

  4. Hope you’re feeling better mate. I can relate as I prepped for one of my first half marathons a couple of years ago, the Great North Run on a sponsorship entry via my wife’s work. After a month of a chest inflection and knowing I couldn’t back out I towed the start line. Finishing 3 hours later after one of the worst days I can remember having nearly keeled over twice I wondered what had possessed me to carry on. I was diagnosed with pneumonia the week after which has had lasting effects. Chest infections now last three times as long….🙁

    We are blokes and we don’t learn by hints….🙄

  5. Great honest write up Andy. It may feel like one step forward an two steps back at the moment. But you know that if you keep the dream alive, eventually the tide will turn and all the steps will be forward. Keep believing my friend.

  6. Hofmeister Bear

    Chin up! There’s plenty of Pirates and other delusional people doing the Country to Capital Ultra in January if you’re up for it. Looks like it should drop right… so it was meant to be, so let it happen.

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