So, a friend told me today that now that I am finally chilling out, exams over, half marathon done, home from the family vacation and I'm in serious take-a-break mode, that my defenses are down and that's why I have this nasty cold. She's probably right.
But it didn't feel like my defenses were down on Sunday, I tell you. I woke up sniffly and miserable. Everything ached. I couldn't decide if I felt like I'd just been beaten up or put through a meat grinder. Didn't want to move, much less run.
Not good. Not good at all.
No way I was going to run to the corner, let alone the 10 miles I had mentally scheduled.
But with a race in a couple of weeks and another half marathon at the end of September, I know that getting in the long runs is important.
I had some breakfast, puttered around for a while and then decided it was time to haul my sorry ass out the door and at least try to run a bit. I figured that if I could do even 3 miles, it would be better than nothing.
I popped a Sudafed and washed it down with some water, just to ease the misery a bit. Sniffling, grumbling and muttering, I headed out.
I ached through the warm-up walk and I just wanted to turn around and go home again. But that just wouldn't be me, now, would it? So, off I went running.
My slow plod quickly turned into what for me could be called a fast run. Before I knew it, 3.5 miles were gone. Where they went, I don't really know, but I had no intention of stopping. At one point I thought, "Oh, right! I'm supposed to have some fuel, aren't I?" I scarfed down a bit of a protein bar that I had with me, and kept on truckin'.
At 5 miles, I thought, "How the hell did I get here so fast? I can't believe it's time to turn around!" I felt turbo charged.
By mile 7 I realized that I'd been going faster than I should have and I got a bit tired. And I was dehydrated and got a side cramp. Mind you, that could also have been from wearing my water bottle belt not with the bottle in the back, as it normally is, but on my side, so the bottle was sitting on my hip - tightly.
Why was it there, you asked? Well, I decided to try my new favorite piece of running clothing on a long run - my beloved running skirt. It's pink and blue and I adore it. I tried it out for the first time in England, but haven't run in it since I got home.
I quickly realized that my running skirt and my water bottle belt (which I did not have with me in England) are not a good match. The belt somehow makes the skirt ride up the back. Now, that's not very modest, is it?
The skirt has built in knickers, but still! That's not my idea of a good situation. So, I twisted the belt around so it sat firmly on my hip - no skirt issues then. But it was so tight that I got a side stitch about 7 miles in. Needless to say, the skirt will not be used with the fuel belt again... too bad.
Despite the water bottle vs. skirt issue, I came home and logged my Garmin stats. I ran at *race pace*. Well, one second slower than my half marathon pace, to be exact. I never run at race pace during training. I was surprised, elated and confused all at once.
Then I remembered the Sudafed. All I can say is, no wonder some cold meds are banned in international athletic competitions. I felt like I was on fire! Even stranger, I felt great after the run, too. No tummy issues. No knee issues. I was tuckered later in the day and turned in early, but overall, I was positively zippy after that one little drugstore treasure of a pill.
At the moment, I am still fighting the cold. Today I tried my usual Tuesday speed training - without cold meds. Yeah, I felt like crap and had to cut it short. I had visions of myself collapsing on the treadmill as I was losing consciousness. I decided to spare the gym staff the effort of having to scrape me up off the floor and spare myself the humiliation by cutting back while I could still breathe.
If I still feel like this tomorrow, I'm having a Sudafed with my morning coffee. To heck with the sniffles! Cold meds rock.