You’d think that after having been officially sick, diagnosed, acknowledged by the NHS as actually having something wrong with me for a whole year now, that I’d be used to it.
In fact, I’m sick to death of being sick. I’m sick of feeling low grade crap all the time, punctuated with short stints of feeling very crap indeed. Despite running and enjoying a lot of OCR this year, I can’t help wondering how much better I would be at it, or how much more I would enjoy it if I didn’t always feel like I was carrying a backpack full of tiredness and associated frustration with me.
I guess I’m feeling reflective about this situation at the moment because I have just returned from the World champs, am excitedly planning how I am to qualify and get there next year, and I also have the UK champs in 6 days’ time.
As much as it is a very privileged situation to be in, I am categorically NOT EXCITED about the UK champs, because I haven’t done any training besides 2 bouldering sessions and 2 5k runs since before I left for America. I have been flattened, in a near-constant state of cold-sweat and lung-gunkiness since I got home and I am so angry that my immune system has let me down again, just when I should feel prepared and excited for a very cool race.
This may smack of those start-line situations where everyone stands around almost boasting about how little training they have done. “Well, I’ve got a bad knee, so I haven’t trained.” “Yeah mate, I twisted my knee last week at Parkrun, so I am soooo injured.” “Well I’ve got no knees at all, so imagine how I feel.” Ad nauseam. Much in the same way that students will stand outside an exam hall and proudly proclaim that they have done absolutely noooooo revision, and how doomed they all are. It’s shit. It makes me feel even worse because I can’t outwardly display what ails me. I’m just knackered, and every time I get the tiniest chink in the armour that is my immunity, something wheedles in and takes me down. And I’m just so tired. I’m so tired that no amount of sleep quenches the exhaustion. No amount of knowledge that exercise will actually HELP my energy levels can convince me to get out of bed or off the sofa, and on the few occasions that I have felt motivated enough to don my active-wear (active-wear), I have coughed and spluttered and sweated so much on my way to the door that I couldn’t even run if I wanted to.
It sucks. Chronic fatigue sucks and I want to get better now. I want to feel excitement, not dread. I want to fulfil my potential. And right now, I’d really like to just go for a run.