Friday, January 3, 2014

Frustrated...a setback

Well, sadly, I am not going to be able to start my half marathon training on Monday as I planned.  While I was slightly nervous to start training, I was looking forward to that start date and to getting back in my groove.  Alas, my body had other ideas for me.

I've been fighting what I thought was a cold since last weekend, but recently I began to suspect that I actually had a sinus infection.  Not a big deal, but yesterday at work I fainted.  That is a big deal.  It freaked me out a bit and I, of course, starting googling everything I could on the subject.  I thought that maybe I had fallen asleep because the night before I stayed up entirely too late, but I think I definitely fainted.  I waited a few minutes and then drove home with the intention of going straight to bed.  As I was getting ready to fall asleep, I noticed what felt like fluid in my ear.  I figured some water had made its way into my ear from my shower, but then the pain started.  It gradually got worse and I couldn't find any position to be comfortable in.  Matt came upstairs to find me sitting in bed, rocking myself while holding my ear and crying.  I'm sure it wasn't pretty.  I couldn't believe how painful it was, but I chalked up my reaction to being sleep deprived.  Matt looked up some remedies online and suggested a warm compress and olive oil in the ear.  I was very skeptical about the olive oil, but I was desperate for relief and sleep so we gave it a try.  I must say, the olive oil was miraculous!  I'm still not exactly sure what it did, but a few tiny drops of olive oil combined with a warm compress alleviated the ear pain enough that I could finally sleep.

This morning my ear pain was gone, but my ear was still tender to the touch and I could tell there was still a lot of fluid in the ear.  It feels like I have my head in a fish tank; every sound I hear is muffled by the fluid in my ear.  I decided I had better go to the doctor to see if I could get some medicine for my sinus infection and probable ear infection.  I had two nurse practitioners look at my ear and their responses were as follows:

Practitioner 1: Oh, wow.  Your ear is pissed.  (it made me laugh, but is that the clinical definition? My ear is pissed?) No wonder you couldn't sleep last night.  If you could see your ear, you'd understand. (I'll take your word for it.)

Practitioner 2 looking at my ear at the request of Practitioner 1:  Oh.  Yikes.

That did not sound good.  Practitioner 1 did not think my eardrum had ruptured because she could not find the perforation but she wanted Practitioner 2 to take a look for a second opinion.  Practitioner 2 suggested that we treat it as a rupture.  Fun.  I asked if it would heal and I was assured it would, although I may have some scarring.  It appears that I have both an inner and outer ear infection and I guess possibly a rupture.  Luckily I have good medicine and should be on the mend soon.

I asked Practitioner 1 at the end of our visit if I could start my half training on Monday, although I was pretty sure I knew the answer (I should note that I have no desire to run at the moment, but I figured I might feel up to it on Monday).  She recommended I hold off on training until my ear heals, as the infections could affect my equilibrium and were likely the cause of my fainting spell yesterday.

It was all very strange, especially given that my ear was completely fine until about 8 last night.  I'm a bit disappointed about not being able to start training on Monday, although with the amount of snow we are expecting and temperatures expected in the negative degrees, maybe I am not that disappointed.  Honestly, though, the best thing I can do is rest and make sure my body heals so I can tackle training head on when I do start. I did have a minor panic attack when I thought about knocking two weeks off of my training.  I looked at the calendar, though, and even if I can't start training until the 20th of this month, I will still have just shy of 11 weeks to train, which is completely doable.

How have you dealt with circumstances that hinder your training?  Any words of advice? 

I hope that if you are in the paths of these gnarly winter storms that you are staying safe and warm!

"Running is an art and the runner the artist."