Road to 2016

A great deal has happened to me since my last update. As I was gearing up for The Great Cow Harbor 10k, I thought I was in phenomenal fitness after cruising a 5k on the roads in 14:33. But reality would soon set in that my health problems of the summer had been lingering. As I toed the line for a 5miler in Columbia, I felt horrible. Breathing was a struggle and I felt as though my body had been in a boxing match. Each mile got slower and more labored. To the point I could barely drive home after the race. Had to pull off on the highway a few times to rest up and gather myself.

Frustration over why I felt so sick this whole summer overwhelmed me and I finally confronted my doctor. I demanded blood work to be taken and to figure out why I have been constantly sick. After a few test samples of blood were taken I await my results with anticipation that maybe in was an infection and that Cow Harbor would be an amazing return to form. But dreams have not come true as of late. The doctor gave me heart wrenching news that I had mononucleosis. With how my symptoms have been all summer, he confirmed that I have most likely been struggling with the disease for some time.

I barely made it to the car before breaking down. It felt as though a lot had been stripped from me. “What am I suppose to do?” A kaleidoscope of emotions filled my heart and mind. I am grateful my parents were there to comfort me and tell me that I can rebound from this. My family has always been the center of my support group for my running. Through multiple coaches, schools, professional contracts, and everything else these years of competitive running have taken me through, they never waiver as my foundation of love and support.

With a heavy heart I contacted the the race director for Cow  Harbor and my host family to break the news. Both were supportive and graciously told me they looked forward to seeing me in 2016. Soon anger and frustration turned to motivation. I quickly emailed a guy to consider coaching me, and mapped out a 5 week plan to eat healthy, rest  as much as possible, and slowly start jogging again.

I do not recall the last time I have endured such a long period of no physical activity. Even with some of my potential career ending injuries, I was able to cross train. With mono, no such option. A ruptured spleen did not sound appealing to me. Luckily the weeks ticked by. I work part time at a running store in town (Gotta Run Spartanburg, so if you are ever in the area please come by and say hello!) and at the YMCA as the site director for the After School Program, so that consumed my time and got my mind off my personal training and racing. Also grateful for my friends Matt Elliott, Kim Ruck, Seth Proctor, Rob DelViscio, and a few other people who always positive forces to keep my mind on the end goal: that I would be back to the grind.

I have been meeting with my coach the past few weeks and this is my second week of running. Granted it is not much, but I am blessed that I am able to shuffle along again and get into a core routine. The road is going to be bump and full of struggles, doubts, and set backs. But I can tell you one thing, those are the struggles I look forward to. I definitely believe God puts us through struggles to see how strong we are. He never gives us more than we can take and also does these to let us look at the whole picture and seek him to help heal not only our body’s but our souls. I have a new mindset going back to competitive running after this: have fun, enjoy the process, and if you can take it, you can make it! I will no longer take this sport for granted.

I would like to take a moment to thank my family and friends for being there for me in this difficult time and always supporting me. And I have a long overdue thank you. This is to Maggie MacKenzie. Without her love and support, this blog would not be here. She helped me work on it tirelessly and she did a great job helping me get it up and running. Thank you Maggie.

Till next time, #findyourstrong.

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Posted on October 21, 2015, in Update and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Road to 2016.

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