"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Journal of the Plague Week

If you're reading running blogs from Minnesota, you'll be reading a lot about cold weather. I'm often the first and most vocal complainer about weather, but this cold snap could not have come at a more propitious time.

Monday: 11 miles in 101. Ran in the loose drifts snow plows had thrown.

Tuesday: 10 in 76, indoors, with 5 in 35. The windchill was 0, so it was outdoor weather, but I hadn't seen another runner in weeks, so I wanted to go to the Metrodome, which was reopened. I was sure that SteveInaSpeedo and Pharmie would be there and I'd told her about my confectionery, so I brought along some fudge (pictured on Steve's blog, here). It was weird making the transition from 10 degrees to 80 and I found myself running much faster than planned, so I decided to make a real fast run of it, making each lap faster until I couldn't keep up; I was under 6:30 pace and probably down to 6:00 before my body rebelled. I tacked on another 5 miles and really wanted to push myself to put in my allotted 105 minutes, but common sense prevailed.

Wednesday: 10 in 103. Wind chill=0. Felt stiff and assumed it was due to running too hard on Tuesday. It was hard to continue after 8 miles. Spotted a hawk (probably red tailed) catching a vole.  That evening, had a runny nose and wondered if some new allergy was hitting.

Thursday: 4 in 34, indoors. Wind chill = -22. Felt "wrong" almost from the first step. Couldn't place what the problem was, but was dragging and mentally just not there, so I quit early. Five minutes after arriving home, I had shaking chills. It was more than just shivering and I wondered how I could possibly have hypothermia having been outdoors for only a few minutes. Then all hell broke loose. I put on my coat, hat and gloves again, cranked the thermostat and brewed some hot tea. I took my temperature and it read 95.2.

At this point I knew it was the flu. Last year, when I had the swine flu, I tried to tough my way through it, developed pneumonia and nearly died. I made two immediate decisions: 1) Do everything possible to get completely well quickly and ignore everything else. 2) Toss whatever was embarrassing in the house in the trash, just in case I didn't make it through the night.

When I finally stopped shaking two hours later, my temperature was 102.3 and I fell asleep on my couch, awaking 11 hours later.

Friday: 0 miles. Wind chill = -13. Felt much better, but had muscle aches, especially in my eyes, and some congestion. Napped off-and-on all day.

Saturday: 0 miles. Wind chill = -9. Could've run, but stayed true to my plan of doing nothing until all the symptoms were gone.

Sunday: 0 miles (presumably). Wind chill = -12, so far. Definitely could've run, but tomorrow's supposed to be in the 20's, so one more "snow day" just feels right.

[Whence today's title? See here.]


sea legs girl said...

I'm just afraid no one else is going to say it - 10 miles in 76 minutes! That is awesome! Has all of that hellish outdoor running done you well or what?

Having the flu sucks! I am so sorry. Just a thought for next year - would you consider getting the vaccine in light of last year's pneumonia? I know that it doesn't always work and costs a bit, but just a thought. Sorry to go and get all sensible on you.

SteveQ said...

@SLG: I got the vaccine, but not in time. It seemed like a mild flu season and almost no one had it, I was counting on herd immunity, I'd already had the bad one of the thre in the vaccine, etc., so I put it off until I heard people were getting it.

SteveQ said...

Oh, and the vaccine's cheap, especially compared to the $13000 hospital bill from last year's flu!

Marathon Princess said...

I could have written this post today, well minus the super fast running :) Hay too many miles on the treadmill lately due to these awful wind chills and now here sit miserable with a head that is about to explode and working really hard on not rupturing my lungs with all the coughing.

Healthy and warmer vibes need to come to MN, enough of this Winter already!

Pharmie said...

Yeesh! Feel better! I looked for you on Thurs to give you an extra huge thanks for the fudge, but I didn't get there till around 6 and must have missed you (maybe that's for the better considering you were probably contagious). Tomorrow's going to be a heat wave!!!