Friday morning was my first real treadmill run in a couple weeks. I promised Mark I would take it easy, and walk often and stop if I starting coughing. I managed to eke out a very slow 4 miles.
Still, it was a confidence builder and despite missing almost two weeks of training, I was desperate to get back outside for a long run (both mentally and physically). So when Saturday rolled around, after we finished running errands and putting Silas down for a nap, I knew I was ready to give it a whirl.
I packed my fuel belt with dried apricots, Kleenex and water. I brought my half-charged ipod and hoped it would last (it didn’t). It was cool and rainy, so I dressed in my Running Room jacket and insulated tights (which I purchased this winter thanks to a generous gift from my former colleagues at the Telegraph-Journal!!).
I struck out and almost started coughing and sputtering immediately. There’s something about coughing that just zaps your energy. My energy levels had been low all week, even though I wasn’t doing much. I wasn’t sleeping well, and just feeling blah. And this run felt no different.
But I trudged along a route I know so well, the old Marathon by the Sea route. The damn thing is hilly and torturous when you’re weak. But it’s kind of like muscle memory to me. Didn’t make it any easier. By the time I had run 10-12 km, I told myself I could walk up all the hills.
I got home after running 17.2 km in 1:58. Not pretty!
I walked in the house and instantly got caught in a coughing frenzy. “I hope I just didn’t do something really stupid,” I said.
“Me too,” Mark said, glaring as he handed me a glass of water.
I was so tired, and spent most of the rest of that evening on the couch.
But then, something amazing happened. I woke up Easter Sunday nearly cured. I had energy, vigour. A day later, cough gone.
I think I may have just got off easy. Definitely don’t follow my lead, folks. I probably pushed it too far. Or, maybe that’s just what my body needed.