Someone had it in for me this past week leading up to the Long Island Half Marathon. There’s simply no other way to explain the terrible luck I had before this race.
It started with a sprained ankle. I was enjoying a peaceful night tempo run (see my blog on Night Runs for more on this fun activity), and had less than a mile to go when a jerk decided it would be funny to give a runner a scare and slammed on his horn as he drove past me. Needless to say, I did not find it funny. It scared the hell out of me, and as I jumped to the side as a reflex, I landed on a little brick wall, badly twisting my left ankle. This was about a week and a half before the race, and it sidelined me for a couple of days, but it healed reasonably well soon enough.
I’d have been ecstatic if that was all that went wrong this past week.
But, unfortunately, there’s more. I got sick. Just a few days to go now, and I’m sidelined again by a bad cold, which had the potential to give me asthma which I occasionally get. I still hoped I’d be better in time for the race, and as my ankle was feeling better, I even maintained my hopes of a PR.
Well, I was not meant to PR. Because on the Friday before the race, something ridiculous happened. This story will prove beyond a doubt that there was more than bad luck involved in this fiasco; it was some sick fate.
It all began with the jalapenos. As I was chopping up some jalapeno peppers for a (delicious) tofu recipe, I got a phone call. I took it, and at some point I must have wiped my face with my hands. My jalapeno covered hands. And man, did that hurt. It thankfully didn’t go into my eyes, but my face was on fire. I paced around my house trying to distract myself from the pain, and began to jog. I realized that running provided a distraction, so I went outside, barefoot, for a sprint around the house.
I never saw the recycling bin.
At first, I was glad I stubbed my toe, I figured it would further distract me from the pain in my face. But then, after a few minutes of non-subsiding pain, I realized that I might have actually done something serious to my toe. Well, I hobbled inside and lo and behold, my toe is swelling up like a balloon. At that point, even with the burning in my face and the pain in my toe, I started laughing. This was just too ridiculous.
And then I saw the weather forecast for race Sunday. 85 degrees, extremely humid.
I don’t think I’ll ever answer the question of why fate treated me so cruelly before this race. But I ran it, suffered through my cold, my possibly broken toe, and the brutal weather. And hell, I almost PR’ed. 24 seconds off, in fact. But you know what? I don’t care about the time. I’m just happy I survived.