Peggy and I had a ten-mile trail run scheduled Sunday. We looked at the map, planned an easy out and back loop and the next morning we left at 6:30AM, found the parking area we were looking for on the first try and began our run with the temperatures of only 76 degrees. I actually thought it might snow because we haven’t seen less than 100 degrees in over two months.
It was fantastic. We were trail-running Goddesses. Until . . . we reached our turning around place and discovered we were already 1 hour and 45 minutes into our run. Uhhh, not really sure what happened there but considering I get lost backing out of the driveway I think we took a wrong split somehow and ended up going the long way. It’s an 18-mile trail with several shorter loops. I reckon we missed those loops because we ended up doing the whole freaking trail. Not that I’m complaining, but
- We didn’t bring water for 18 miles
- We didn’t fuel for 18 miles
- It was reaching 100 temps again and
- Four hours later we sat on the side of the road and pouted because not one single person we asked along the trail [and there were many] knew where they were either. And honestly, they really didn’t seem to care. A different breed these trail people.
Finally, I flagged down a cyclist who led us in the right direction. Turns out we were sitting on the side of the road panicking only about ¼ mile from our car. Although, after running for 18 miles, ¼ mile more seems like forever and during that foreverness, my stomach started to rumble. Rumble in the worst way.
And here is where we begin the disgusting part. About a month ago I started having really weird diarrhea – the kind that makes you seriously consider swallowing a bag of concrete. And not just regular diarrhea, diarrhea supplemented with yellow pus. (See, I told you it was disgusting.) I’m sorry, pus can come out of many orifices in the body, but when it starts coming out of your ass it’s time to call a doctor. Seven specimen containers and a week later [I’ll let you fill in the blanks] I discover my colon is the lucky host of a toxic-producing, deadly bacteria called Clostridium difficile. or C. Diff.
The most popular ways this bacteria can come into your life are like this:
- Antibiotics for other infections can kill the good bacteria and the bad bacteria, AKA c. difficile, take over – re: of which I took amoxicillin after a recent sinus infection.
- From hospital stays because c. difficile is resistant to most disinfectants commonly used in hospitals – re: hysterectomy and removal of giant tumors from my gut in April.
- From nursing homes or long-term care facilities for the same reason – re: 17 days of sitting with my grandmother in long-term care as she was dying last January.
So there we have it. It’s just all around ugly. And unpredictable. Now I’m on a horrible medication called metronidazole, of which the side effects include: rash, itch, flushing, fever, bloating, headache, dizziness, vomiting, dark urine, loss of appetite and paraesthesia. And guess what? I have all the side effects EXCEPT the loss of appetite one. I feel worse on this medication than I did without it. Not to mention how I feel when the wind blows some frack air this way. Oh, AND as a special bonus – no wine while on this medication. A girl just can’t win.
I’ve been able to manage running and my colon on short distances . . . but 18 miles? Lets get back to the rumbling. I threw my toxic-infected, rumbling gut into the hot, hot car – soaking wet, covered in dirt and salt, more tired than anything you can image – and then I couldn’t figure out how to find the potty area. Impending emergency and I saw the potty but somehow drove through the gates and passed them. Perhaps I was delirious. Anyhow, a little bit of speeding and an illegal U-turn later I ended up at a filling station just in time not to humiliate myself and save Peggy from what could have been a near life-altering experience.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because running an unplanned 18 miles on the trails, while residing in a toxic gas town, with a toxic-producing bacteriafied colon and toxic-side effecting medication, uphill both ways, in Texas heat, didn’t just earn me a dirt tan, I now own that dirt tan.
I think we might be ready for our half in September! Woo Hoo. Go us – even though we walked 6 of those miles – we finished 18 miles. La, la, la. Trail girls rule!