A Pneumonia Anniversary

One year ago today, I was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Why mark this anniversary? It ended my first bid to run a marathon pretty early into the training program. After spending many years as a runner with little interest in marathoning, I had somehow come around was very excited about finishing a 26.2-mile race.

I was pretty surprised by the diagnosis since I didn’t really feel that bad and although I figured it meant the end of marathon training, I thought quite a bit about how to salvage it. I did quite a few web searches looking for success stories. After all, I had only begun week 3 of 18 (using a Hal Higdon┬átraining plan) if I got back to running within a week or two, could I pick up where I left off?

Recovery took much longer than a week or two. I did not run for 29 days and when I did, it was pretty much a disaster. I felt good at first, but it became very difficult. I held off another two weeks before resuming a semi-regular schedule and the loss of fitness had become apparent.

Missing all those weeks and jumping it when the mileage was getting high would have been pretty reckless despite how badly I wanted to do it. Add in recovery from a pretty major illness such as pneumonia, and resuming the attempt would have been a disaster.

So, I mark the anniversary this year by counting my blessings and celebrating good health. I’m in week 3 and I’m once again very excited about crossing that finish line on May 4th at the Long Island Marathon.

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