Texas Hill Country
October 12, 2020
Pre Austin Marathon
Exactly one week before the Austin Marathon, I woke up with a sore throat. Took my temperature. No fever. Had a cough and a sore throat off and on for the next few days, but nothing more. Not nearly as bad as whatever I had before and during the Decker Challenge. OK, fine. Better that I get it now so I can get well before the race.
By Thursday, I had a fever, a headache, and I was coughing up green crud. Why now?? It didn’t seem fair. After the work I’ve put in for the past six months, I have to be sick for two of the five races in the Austin Distance Challenge, including the longest one. Sick for more than half the combined distance.
The silver lining was being sick helped me drop the last 2 kg I’d been trying to shed for a few weeks. Not the best way to do it, and the lack of energy from being sick far outweighs the benefit of being a little lighter. But I’m trying to look on the bright side.
As usual, I obsessed over the weather forecast in the week leading up to the race, checking online probably a dozen times a day. At one point, it looked like near-ideal conditions: cloudy, dry, roughly 10 C. Then the forecast got warmer. And warmer. Until it was looking like 15 C at gun time, 20 C by the time I’d finish. That’s comfortable for standing around, but in a marathon, that’s way too warm. Combined with being under the weather, it was shaping up to be a rough day. But at least the warm weather would make it equally difficult for everyone.
Two weeks out from the Austin Marathon, the weather turned unseasonably warm and humid, to the point I considered skipping a few runs. They weren’t going to be the least bit pleasant, and with only two weeks to go, might it be a greater benefit to get some rest?
Knowing the conditions during the race might be warm, I pressed through it and got my standard runs in. Now that a warm race is assured, I’m glad I did. While other runners might’ve taken the day off, I took the only opportunity we’ve had in months to condition for warmth and humidity. Might make a difference.