I'm talking about the madness that comes from really, really, REALLY wanting to run, but being unable to due to Mr. Rhinovirus and his cohorts in crime.
'Tis the season for colds and flus and all manner of icky illnesses, and I thought I was going to make it through unscathed. I was doing all the usual precautionary things - eating lots of fruits and veggies, washing my hands obsessively, opening doors with a paper towel, avoiding sick people, or spraying them with Lysol if I was forced to be near them, ingesting overdose quantities of Vitamin C. You know, all the normal germ-prevention stuff.
(For the record, I don't really spray people with Lysol, although I have been tempted to... )
But alas, there is something nasty afoot in the Greater Peoria Area. It has no mercy. It has taken down people who claim to never get sick. Like my optometrist, who had to cancel my yearly eye exam due to being sick for the first time like 40 years. Like my massage therapist, who had to cancel several days worth of appointments, which I know is not something she takes lightly. There is nowhere to go for eye exams or massages in this town! If this isn't a state of emergency, I don't know what is.
And like me. I never get sick. The last time I was sick... well, I don't even remember it, that's how long ago it was. I had some sniffly head thing when I was training for the Flying Pig, but I'd hardly call it "sick". I managed to run 16 miles in the middle of it, so I definitely wasn't sick. But this thing that's going around right now... it made me SICK. Lying-on-the-sofa-trying-to-moan-but-can't-because-I'm-too-busy-blowing-my-nose-all-the-live-long-day-and-that's-all-I-have-the-energy-to-do sick. I felt like I had been hit by the proverbial bus.
The worst part of it was I just couldn't run. I barely had the energy to walk down the hall to fetch a new box of tissues. I certainly wasn't going to be running the 10k race I was hoping to run on Saturday, or the 14 mile long run I had planned on Sunday.
So I did the next best thing.
I watched other people run from the comfort of my couch. Yes, I sat (and sometimes lay) on my couch and watched the Florida Ironman competition (when I would've been running the 10k race), and the New York City Marathon (when I would've been running 14 miles).
It was good, in that I think I got my heart rate up a little bit cheering for various athletes. ("YAY SHALANE!!! *cough cough hack*") But it was bad in that it just made me want to run even more. I would be lying if I said I wasn't tempted to just try to run. Just to see how it would go. I thought to myself, Maybe I'll miraculously feel better! Maybe I'll discover a previously unknown talent for running while completely unable to breathe!
Yeah, right. *snort*
Maybe I'll end up in the fetal position on the ground by the side of the road, hoping for some kind stranger to help me figure out how to get home. Knowing my luck, I would instead end up with a dog using me as a fire hydrant.
And so I was forced to rest my weary germ-infested body for a full six days before I attempted to run again.
When I finally did go out for that first glorious run, it went something like this:
start run * cough* run run *cough cough* run run run run run run *cough* run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run run finish *cough cough cough cough cough cough cough*
If anyone saw or heard me, they were probably a bit alarmed by all the coughing. But it wasn't a bad thing - the run just loosened up my phlegm and I needed to hork it up. Oh I assure you, that's every bit as attractive as it sounds. Later that evening, I felt much less congested. And thus the healing power of running is proven once again. Every day I run some more, and every day I feel a little better.
My first run after six days of madness. I'm sure I set some sort of land-speed record for running while coughing.
And so my madness comes to an end, hopefully for a very long time. Well, at least until my regularly-scheduled taper madness begins again. That'll be in January, in case you're wondering. Consider yourself warned.
Peace. Love. Train.