Anise’s Training Log – 10.01.17: Chicago Taper

It’s week one of my taper into the Chicago Marathon. Chicago is the last race I really have “unfinished business” with — it’s the only race where I have a start with no finish (DNF). People ask if I’ve run Chicago before and it’s like “um, the first 25K in 2015.” After that I had to go back to my sport dietitian to figure out where I failed. (As it turns out, I was doomed from the start line — I hadn’t eaten enough the two days before.)

Week of 9/25 — 10/1

It’s only been since the end of triathlon season that I have been running on Mondays. It still feels a little weird, but I’m getting used to it. Soon enough Monday will be swim day again. I’m still on pool ban from my great chafing incident anyway (when I ran 20 miles and chafed my arms so badly it was considered a second-degree burn), and I ran a half marathon in hot and humid conditions Saturday. Ran four miles basically after dark and it was still 85 degrees at the start. While the pace was even, it felt better as the run went on, which was nice.

Tuesday I ran with Personal Best Training even though I was not running the workout. I felt like I was in workout prison because I just had easy miles on the calendar. I even checked with coach if I was being punished. But since it was 90 degrees and they were doing 800s on the hill circuit, I was fine not doing that one. Instead I ran over to the circuit and ran a different part of it than they were using, two loops, at easy run pace. 5.5 miles, nothing too exciting.

Wednesday is where the week got a little more interesting. I almost always have some form of taper drama for my fall marathon. Nothing suggested that it would be this day that the drama happened. I worked a booth at a local conference from 7 AM to 2 PM and then I went for a ride. I was not even three miles from home and something hot and “pinched” my chest, right where my jersey was unzipped a little. A few seconds later a second “pinch” on my gut. I tugged at my jersey and something fell out. Both spots still felt weird, but I kept riding because it was only an hour ride and I didn’t really know what had happened (spoiler alert: it was a wasp). About a quarter of the way through the ride I was crying angry tears and feeling like I just wanted to train until I wasn’t fat anymore, until I felt worthy. I had no idea what was going on…(later Dr. Google said that intense paranoia was a symptom of wasp stings). When I got home I changed out of my wet clothes and noticed I was REALLY RED. And started itching. I took some Benedryl and let a friend know to check on me because Mr. Anise was working a 16 hour day out of town. I decided to shower to see if that helped, but it kept getting worse. I texted my friend to see if she would come get me and take me to the ER…she said she was on her way.  From downtown. During rush hour. The longest 8 miles ever. By the time we got to the ER my chest was starting to tighten, but I was still breathing fine. They got me in a room pretty quick. My blood pressure was pretty high from the allergic reaction and when she put in the needle I bled all over creation. They decided not to use epi and adreneline and chose to go the predinsone, pepcid, and more Benedryl through the IV route. It started working pretty quickly and my blood pressure stabilized well.  But it was more than 4 hours before I was paroled. Other friends came and drove me home because the mister was still en route. I ate dinner because I was STARVING. It was nearly 10 PM and I hadn’t eaten anything since 2 PM. I don’t often play that game. I tried to sleep and failed hard. But my Training Peaks is green because I got my 15 mile ride in!

Thursday was when the fun of being on steroids with diabetes kicks in. Crazy high blood sugar. Dr. Google confirms this is normal. Between the no sleep and the prednisone hangover, I needed two cups of coffee before my 8 AM coffee meeting. Decided to take a sick day and stay close to home in case the crash came. It never did. I was headed out to a group run and checked my sugar — yep, crazy high. I had another easy run on the calendar but coach said to call it at the first sign of fatigue or problems with my blood sugar. I ran very easy with lower HR. Came home and tested my blood sugar and it was 50 points lower. Progress. Four miles in the bank.

Friday I got back in the pool for the first time since the great chafing incident of three weeks ago. Nothing special, 1,000 yards.

Saturday — FINALLY great fall temperatures for a long run. I was supposed to be running 10 at marathon goal pace without looking at my watch. Well, the first few were slower than goal pace, but in the ballpark. Then I was able to run negative splits (rare for me) and finish with an overall time for 10 miles that was just a bit quicker than goal pace would have been — calling it good. It felt good.

Sunday I met with my new swim coach to be evaluated and learn his drills and technique preferences. A mix of “I’m not hopeless” and “everything you know is wrong” — but it will be good. Ride through the city with Mr. Anise, and then some Yin Yoga to end the day.

swim 5.55 miles
bike 127 miles
run 127 miles

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  1. HOLY cow, that wasp story is intense!! I’m so glad you went to the ER, what a rough time though. Looking forward to your Chicago race report- I mean, after this week it’ll probably feel..well, I won’t say easy, because a marathon will never feel easy, but maybe better?

    1. It’s about par for the course with my taper drama of recent years, and thankfully because my friend was able to help and I didn’t go into anaphalaxis it wasn’t as scary as it could have been, but not needed/fun. I reserve judgement on marathons until they are over…so many opportunities for so many outcomes.