Bethany Takes on Boston: Missing Sam Smith, Hot Cross Buns, and the Flu


Bethany Meyer hits her first speedbump on the road to Boston. Bethany is running as part of the team sponsored by Stonyfield Organic Yogurt: to check out the other badass runners on their team and see what's going on with them, check in here.  

“I am a runner, thank you very much, Doc.” Nicole Blades’ voice flooded through my headphones. I pounded up a hill wearing a smile, listening to the journalist reading an excerpt from her essay in Tales from Another Mother Runner.

Halfway through a four miler, the podcast distracted me somewhat from the freezing temps. It was 16 degrees on a Saturday afternoon, but the wind chill made it feel like 5 degrees. I kept shifting my favorite buff clockwise around my neck. The heat of my breath combined with the frigid air was actually making it crunchy. Yes, crunchy. My iPhone shut down twice from the cold. I finally zipped it into the back pocket of my fleece-lined shirt, and then tucked the shirt into my tights. Were it not for my ample hot cross buns, my smartphone would have repeatedly crashed.

Don’t laugh, I was proud of my resourcefulness!

Despite the cold, I was happy to be outside. I had been up every hour the night before with my 8 year old son.  My poor boy had the stomach bug. I could have listened to Podcast #141: Returning to Running after Fever or Flu. But there was a method to my madness.

If I don’t listen to it, maybe the rest of my house won’t catch it.

Sound logic, right?

Sound logic indeed. Because Saturday night was perfectly quiet.

See? I knew it. I never get sick when I’m running.

Sunday morning I was up early and out the door for 8 slow miles. It was 14 degrees...still colder than I like...but I felt great.

Fever or flu my foot. I can wash my hands with the best of them. 

I wasn’t as ravenous as I typically am after the run. But that was probably from lack of sleep, don’t you think?

I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick.

It hit my husband at 2:30 Monday morning.


It had me in its evil clutches before sunrise.

By Monday night, my 11-year-old and 6-year-old sons had also fallen victim.

The only one still standing was the 13-year-old.

Teenage sarcasm repels everything. Even the most violent stomach virus.
Teenage sarcasm repels everything. Even the most violent stomach virus.

Ginger ale and saltines sustained us. We wore the same pajamas for days. We existed like the human survivors in The Walking Dead--but we looked much more like the zombies.

A friend texted me, “You’re sick? Oh, no! There goes your 2nd week of training.” That was my fear as well.

Turns out I was wrong.

The plague had arrived, but my training barely suffered. I was able to engage in a variety of exercises while my family and I were sick.

Full body toning and sculpting: Army crawling from beneath the covers to avoid disturbing the sleeping cat and my dozing husband so I could get myself to the bathroom to be sick.

Plyometrics: Springing from the bed to rush to the aid of two kids whose bedrooms are on two different floors who had perfectly synchronized their vomiting.

Upper body strength training: Folding twelve consecutive loads of laundry put a smack down on my arms and shoulders.

Cardio: Removing the sheets from the top bunk. Wrestling on the clean sheets while straddling the mattress. Is there a more intense cardio workout in the history of housework? I’m hard pressed to find one.

Advanced strength training: Overall dismantling of bunk bed in tag-team fashion with my shop vac-wielding husband in our rendition of “do you think we got it all?”

Increased lung capacity: Holding my breath while sitting in the bathroom with a 6 year old who begged me to keep him company but insisted on keeping the window closed because of the freezing rain and frigid 7 degree temps. Note to self: I’ve got to toughen that kid up.

Cross training: Stair climbing repeatedly in a split level house. Back and forth to the laundry room, to the trashcan, for medicine, for the mop, in search of more buckets, in need of more trash bags.

It was a rough week, you guys.

There were several casualties: two adults, three children, one fitted twin bed sheet, one Pottery Barn rug, several pairs of superhero underpants (I’m sorry. It’s not even TMI Tuesday), one hill run, and--most regrettably--two Sam Smith concert tickets. I’m still not able to discuss missing the concert.

On the bright side, if we had to get sick, week two of training was a good time for it to happen. Coach responded by adjusting my plan to ease me back into the mileage. I finally got around to listening to that podcast about returning to running after fever or flu. (Because if I listen to it, we won’t get sick again, right? Right?!) Best of all, I enjoyed hours snuggling on the couch with my boys, watching Looney Tunes marathons while we regained our strength.

I’m happy to report that Bugs Bunny is just as funny now as he was when I was their age.

And that is what’s up, Doc.

For more articles about Boston Marathon training, check out this page on Runners Connect website. 

2 responses to “Bethany Takes on Boston: Missing Sam Smith, Hot Cross Buns, and the Flu

  1. I LOVE Bethany’s writing! I’m constantly cut and pasting excerpts from her articles and forwarding to my running mates. When I see a post from her, I save it until I have some solid uninterrupted time to drink it in. LOVE IT! Keep up the good work 🙂

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