(WARNING. Bathroom discussion to follow. Be advised.)
And it feels pretty good, actually, which I did not expect. I had always imagined some sort of existential crisis, a search for meaning in this new, dark world.
Well, that's not the case. I quit because I had no choice, really, and I feel quite confident in that fact.
I could bitch about the snow, which was, to quote a fellow runner, approximately the texture of foot-deep school lunch mashed potatoes. That was hard, but that wasn't why I dropped.
No, my issue was with my health, broadly speaking, and my stomach, somewhat specifically. And I shouldn't be shocked. Although I am, just a little. This whole week was spent in a malaise, which I denied was the beginnings of "sick", because I don't get sick. Haven't for years, that I recall. And anyway, I'm the token healthy guy, right? Bulletproof immune system. I would will my way through it, because I had a race. Illness was too inconvenient to entertain.
And yet, as Thursday deepened, and then became Friday, my temperature drifted over 100, and I lost the ability to keep any substantial amount of food down. That which I did keep down, I didn't keep for long. By Friday night, I was reasonably sure I wouldn't start the race. I left work a little early, and spent the rest of the day in bed, or in the bathroom.
But, I decided to see what sleep did for me, and wait until morning before making a decision. When morning did come, and I still felt like shit, I decided to give it a go anyway, thinking, perhaps, that I could shock my system out of this funk.
That did not work. In fact, it had quite the opposite effect, and my stomach, which was basically empty already (By race time, I hadn't eaten for 21 hours), somehow found enough material to expel. So, after a single loop, I'd managed two emergency porta potty stops, and two vomiting sessions. Simply, I felt like shit, wasn't having fun, and couldn't perform at all well. So I dropped.
And I'm sitting here now, spending another afternoon going back and forth from bed to bathroom, in pretty good spirits, despite that. These things happen. Bad timing, sure. But life rarely does us the dignity of asking our approval first.