M is for Marathon

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October 10, 2012 by Amy B

And, unfortunately for me, it’s also for Mastitis.

As I’ve had more time to reflect on my race this last Sunday, I’ve decided that I wouldn’t recommend a marathon to anyone who’s given birth within the last six months unless they’re in stellar shape. I really needed about a month and a half more of training to give it a worthwhile go. It also would have helped tremendously if I’d done some ab work. My lower abs after the race? Ouch. I think that’s the closest I’ll ever come to feeling what a C-section must feel like.

As for the mastitis: I woke up Monday morning feeling fine. Later in the morning, I started to feel cold, and then the fever and chills set it. I must be getting the flu, I thought. And that made sense. Body overworked, body overtired, body says, hey a-hole, remember that marathon you made me do that I wasn’t really ready for? Well, screw you. Here’s your fever!

I chugged some Theraflu, thinking this was the only way I’d make it through the seven hour car ride home from St. Paul. The meds helped and got me mostly home. About 30 minutes from home, I started to feel certifiably lousy again. My body ached from the miles and my chest was sore; I chalked that up to general soreness.

At some point in the middle of the night it occurred to me that I might be experiencing some breast-related illness. I googled “blocked duct” and “mastitis.” I sure had the symptoms of the latter, and a look in the mirror in the morning confirmed it: redness. Coupled with the fever, I knew I had to go to the doctor.

I’m uninsured, so going to the doctor is not high on my list of things I’d love to do.

But being afraid it would turn into something worse (abscess, drainage, etc.), I got into see my OB. He confirmed it and told me I had definitely done the right thing by coming in. He put me on an antibiotic and told me I’d feel better in 12-24 hours.

For the most part, I do. I haven’t had another fever since I started taking the drugs. Honestly, I’m still sore and I credit that to what I assume is a boob full of infection (sorry, TMI). I’m sure the marathon contributed – body completely waxed, tight sports bra for six hours, about 7 hours before I could get home and pump, etc. Not great for the boobs of a breastfeeding mother, man.

So I’m resting. I’m trying to drink plenty of fluids and recover.

But here’s the thing:

In the past, by the time the marathon was over, I was so sick of running that I wouldn’t run for a month. Maybe two. Maybe the rest of the year. I’d retire my shoes and lace up my skates instead. Or, in some cases, I’d do absolutely nothing.

I was sick of running.

This time?

I am dying to get back out there. My legs feel pretty good right now, aside from a little soreness when I go down stairs. Because of the infection, I’m not going to get back out there until the swelling goes down (hopefully in the next 24 hours). And it’s killing me. I want to run. I need to run. And with the chilly weather starting to set in, I want to take advantage of roads not covered with snow for as long as I can.

My desire to lace up my shoes again surprises me. Maybe I’ve finally wrecked for running for good?

I sure hope so.

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Runner, Eater, Mother, Tweeter

Amy, July 2013

I'm a thirty-something suburbanite turned ruralite living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Wife, mom of two, eater of all things delicious, and a runner. This is where I blather on about running and health. Baby Number Three will be here in November (so yes, I'm a little crazy), and I'm running through my pregnancy for as long as my body's willing and able. There's also more of me at amyupnorth.com. Read more here.

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