I think I’m getting sick again.

I was completely fine near the beginning of this week so I went back to my regular activities. But ever since my swimming class on Monday night I’ve started getting all my cold symptoms back. I did a bit of research and learned that in some people, chlorine (particularly elevated chlorine levels) will induce cold symptoms (particularly nasal congestion).

I don’t know if that’s the case for me or if it’s just a coincidence, but I don’t have another swimming class until after my marathon and maybe that’s a good thing. I’m starting to get nervous about staying healthy for my race (only 10 days away!) so I’m really going to try to focus all my energy on getting well and staying well. Lots of rest and lots of water.

My stress levels are also higher these days, further taxing my immune system. So I need to relax. And I have to say – the running articles popping up these days on RW or on my FB page aren’t particularly helping. There are about a gazillion headlines like:

Avoid these pre-race blunders!

Five race day preparations!

11 major marathon mistakes!

Don’t blow your next race!

Of course, I have to read them all because – who wants to screw up at the last minute?? But a lot of them imply changes that should have been made months ago – marathon TRAINING mistakes that are impossible to correct in 10 days. So instead of helping, they’re making me second-guess my entire training process and just generally freaking me out.

I’m worried about my pacing. During my training, I didn’t worry about pacing as much as I maybe should have. My goal was really just to finish this marathon and I wasn’t worried about time – I was more interested in getting the distance covered. But now that my race is approaching, I do want a goal time and I’m not sure what it should be.

I’m also thinking that I should have maybe focused more on hill runs and interval training instead of obsessing over the longer distances. But it’s too late for that too.

I think I just need some time. A couple of days to get well and clear my mind. Maybe do some deep breathing or meditation. Make a decision to trust my training and just go with what I know, leaving any training improvements for my next marathon.

On a positive note, I won’t be running this race alone. Robert Shackelford, the barefoot ultra marathoner from this week’s post, is coming up from California to help me with my pacing and keep me company. I’ve never actually met an ultra marathoner before, and definitely never run with one. So that should be an experience.

Thankfully, it’s a long weekend for us (Thanksgiving on Monday), so I should be getting some of that down time I need. My next post won’t be until Tuesday night.

I will be having my thanksgiving dinner in Cobourg, where I spent some time running on the beach this past summer. I’m hoping that the same waters that inspired me then will bring me comfort again.

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