From Marathon to Pneumonia…and back?

So, I decided to sign up for the Long Island Marathon. What?! Surprised? Come on, it’s not like I ever publicly announced disinterest in running a marathon.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve changed my running habits, and took on longer runs to meet specific training goals. Once my long run got into the 10-mile range I decided that half marathon was within reach, so I ran the half at the 2012 Long Island Marathon.

Since then, the idea of taking on the full 26.2 miles has been picking up steam. Also, talking to other runners and reading running blogs, articles and discussions, the marathon comes up quite a bit, which added to my curiosity and interest.

I read Hal Higdon’s book and selected his Intermediate 1 Plan. Week 1 coincided with the first week of the year and went fine. In week 2, however, a cough and some fatigue visited me. I felt intermittently good and bad, so on the good days, I ran, and the bad days, I rested. On some good days, I figured I was probably over the illness.

Finally, on Monday, January 14th, the beginning of week 3, I felt perfectly fine in the morning and considered doing the 9-miler I postponed because it fell on a bad day, but decided to hold off one more day. This ended up being an amazingly good decision; I continued to feel great all morning, but after dinner, I was bed-ridden with a 101.1 fever. This crazy swing in wellness finally prompted me to see my doctor the following day, who diagnosed me with pneumonia.

It turns out I’ll probably only miss a week of work, and I’m hopeful I can return to some running the week after that.

The marathon? I’m hesitant to jump into an 11 or 12-mile run without the buildup from the weeks I will lose. It’s been a few months since I last broke 10 miles in a single run, so I’m not sure about jumping back into the plan at week 4 or 5. Missing a few weeks of a marathon training plan seems like a bad idea by itself much less when the reason is pneumonia.

I’m going to do some more research and see how it goes when I eventually hit the road. If it doesn’t work out, I’m looking at other marathons in the June timeframe that hopefully will not require that much travel.

Somehow, I’m now highly motivated to cover those 26.2 miles!

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