The Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon was my first half marathon and it’s my current PR course (from 2017). With Grandma’s Marathon on the schedule for June, the late-April race was a good fit for a tune-up and check-in.
I was training pretty well all spring, not setting any workout records but building back up after a crappy fall season. My mileage and paces were more “normal” (these things, of course, being relative) and I was feeling pretty good. Maybe not quite PR shape, but at least faster than the mediocre halves I ran in the fall.
A couple weeks before the race I headed to Chicago for work, just for an overnight; up Thursday afternoon, to return the next night. Friday I woke up early to squeeze in a run and didn’t feel great, but I had been out until 1, had a few drinks, didn’t sleep well because of noisy neighbors (my boss called security three times) … all that jazz. I thought the easy run would help, but a headache persisted all day. As our flight got delayed three times for a total of three hours—bumping our 5:15 p.m. arrival to 8:30—I grew more and more irritable and tired. I just wanted to go home.
The next day, I postponed my long run, still not feeling great. I was developing a little bit of a cough, but didn’t think much of it. The cough was worse on Sunday and I still didn’t get my long run in, but the next day was Marathon Monday and I had taken off work to watch the race and thought maybe I could do it then.
As it turned out, dear readers, I did not. By Monday afternoon I was diagnosed with Flu A. I laid on the couch for most of the day because I wanted to watch the race, alternating between sweating and shivering and groaning from joint pain. Monday was really bad, Tuesday wasn’t great, but I was able to run again Wednesday (probably shouldn’t have).
Crap, I thought, I do not have time for this.