I know you guys are tired of reading about the ongoing saga of my current illness, and I’m pretty exasperated to still be writing about it. Believe me, I want nothing more than to be healthy again. To be able to go to work consistently again, and also to be able to exercise regularly again would be heavenly. But I woke up this morning just as sick as I have been for the last two weeks or so. My head was still congested, my cough was as bad as ever, and I felt exhausted in spite of getting plenty of rest. That’s when I realized that this isn’t just a cold anymore. After sleeping nearly all day I went to CVS Minute Clinic again to see if there was anything else I could do to hasten the healing. Turns out that my wheezing is indicative of bronchitis, and my congestion means I also have a sinus infection. Exciting! I got some antibiotics, an inhaler, and some nose spray to help with the symptoms. Hopefully with these medications I will start feeling better soon. I really can’t afford to miss any more work, and I have got to start running again if I don’t want to lose all of my endurance. (My foot has had more than enough time to heal too.) I know that in the grand scheme of things this illness is just a minor annoyance, but I’m ready to be over it already. Not only have I watched all of the shows on my DVR, but I also already binge watched the entire first season of “The Crown.” I’m tired of being cooped up at home! Here’s hoping I wake up significantly improved tomorrow morning.
I finally dismantled my Christmas tree on Wednesday. I was stuck at home for a fifth day with this wretched cold/flu and getting quite restless so I started undecking my halls. I was particularly sad to sad goodbye for a year to the adorable yuletide Mickey and Minnie I purchased at Disneyland last month. I’ve been meaning to get myself a set forever and I finally pulled the trigger this past holiday season. I still haven’t put anything away properly yet (i.e., in the cabinet with all of my other seasonal decorations), but my house no longer screams, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” It’s always a little depressing when the lights and tinsel and garlands disappear in January, but it’s also nice for things to get back to normal. Post-holiday malaise is never fun and I have to constantly remind myself of the lovely things that I have to look forward to in the first few months of the year. Now that my Disney World trip is over it feels like the drudge of everyday life is setting in, but I have to remember that I have so many other exciting events on my calendar in 2017. Granted, being sick, injured, and idle for more than a week hasn’t helped raise my spirits, but I think that will turn around soon. If only my body would get back to normal then life would be less dull and monotonous! I only got out of the house today to pick up my bib for the Pasadena Half Marathon tomorrow morning – a race I’m not even going to run! But I had to pick up the bib in person so that I could pass it off to a friend. At least it won’t go to waste this way. While making the long drive up to Pasadena with my running buddy this afternoon to go to the expo I realized that I am still pretty sick. I wheeze when I laugh and I can’t talk very much without coughing. It’s really frustrating. I was determined to run at least a few miles today, but I am resigned to rest at least until Monday in hopes that this blasted illness vacates my body. As far as I’m concerned it can’t happen soon enough. I’m still unsure about my foot too. After a visit to the sports chiropractor yesterday afternoon I remembered why I don’t like going there. It’s insanely painful! The chiropractor worked on not only my foot, but also some muscles in my right leg in an attempt to loosen things up a bit and improve my gait. I won’t know if going through that ordeal made any difference until I feel well enough to run again, but I sure hope the discomfort produced results. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m going back to Wednesday for a follow-up. Fingers crossed that I am breathing and running normally again by then, and that I’ve also found the energy to actually pack up the Christmas decorations that are currently covering my entire kitchen table. It’s time to get everything back to normal around here!
After nearly a week of being idle due to a combination of post-marathon recovery and illness I went for a run last night. It was only 4 miles, but it was rough. There was a lot of wheezing involved thanks to my lovely cold symptoms and my pace was slower than usual, but I was happy to be out doing something again. Unfortunately my foot didn’t agree. It didn’t ever start hurting like it did after the marathon, but it didn’t feel quite normal either. That was troubling. Except for the Star Wars 5K last Friday I have done almost nothing physical since my podiatrist prescribed a week of rest so I was expecting my foot to be close to healed. And maybe it is and I’m just being paranoid. I know that a lack of pain is a good sign, but I’m still not satisfied. I’ll see how it feels after this weekend. Speaking of the weekend, I’m registered for the Pasadena Half Marathon on Sunday, but after a lot of deliberation today I decided it was not in my best interest to participate. Not only is my foot a little iffy, but I’m still sick and the weather prediction for Sunday is dismal. Looks like it’s going to be raining cats and dogs that morning which will make for an unpleasant race experience. So in order to avoid the possibility of setting myself back by running 13.1 miles when I shouldn’t, I managed to find a friend who can use my bib instead. I won’t blame her if she decides to skip it too after seeing the forecast! As disappointed as I am to skip this race I have to think about the future. I’d much rather rest this weekend and be healthy later in the spring than run on Sunday and be hurt for months. The LA Marathon is in March so I have to be ready for another 26.2 miles by then. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted on my progress whether you want me to or not!
Still sick, but I’m finally recovering. I have barely left the house in the last five days and I’m getting restless. I had every intention of going to work this morning, but then I woke up still exhausted even after a full night’s sleep, and with a lovely hacking cough that sounded disgusting. I couldn’t see myself being around my co-workers with a cough like that so I stayed home instead. I’m getting pretty sick of this routine, though, which is how I know I’m almost over this illness. Not only do I need to get back to work tomorrow, but I also need to get back to exercising. At this point I’m going to have a tough time getting back to the shape I was in when I ran my marathon, but at least I can get started. I have way too many races coming up this spring I need to be ready for. That includes the Pasadena Half Marathon on Sunday morning which is going to be difficult at best after being sidelined for so long due to this cold/flu. And it might be raining too so that won’t make it any easier. I’m really looking forward to getting back on my feet, though. Plus, I still have a weight loss goal that I want to meet in the near future. My diet while stuck at home has been less than optimal for progress on that front. Getting back to normal can’t happen soon enough.
Once again I’m splitting my day between my bed and couch due to this lovely cold/flu combo, but luckily I’m starting to feel better. As I’m sitting at home recovering I’m having trouble not being active, especially after my rigorous training regimen of the last four months or so. But then I remember that going to CVS this morning to pick up a few things completely exhausted me and I realize that I’m still too sick to exercise. So instead of physically exerting myself any more than necessary in my current state I’ll reflect on my physical exertions of 2016 instead!
According to my spreadsheet I finished up 2016 running 1092 miles. Holy cow! I originally started the spreadsheet to keep track of the insane number of races that I register for, but at the beginning of 2016 I decided to also maintain a tally of my yearly miles just for fun. Looking at the graph I made at the end of the year it’s easy to see where I was injured (February and March), and it’s easy to see where I was marathon training (September through December). The rest of the year was surprisingly consistent, which I’m happy about because that isn’t easy to do when the summer heat is at its worst. I’m pretty proud of how consistent I was with my running for most of the year, especially for not missing any scheduled runs during marathon training. I was really lucky to not contract any serious illnesses during that timeframe! (Being sick this week has made me a little nuts. I feel like a lazy slob for not running at all over the last three days, but even walking up and down my stairs at home is more than I can handle right now.) 2016 was an incredibly successful year for me running-wise, and I hope I can follow that with an even more rewarding 2017. And with one marathon behind me I’m already on the right track! I have a whole bunch of races coming up this spring so I should have a lot of stories to tell in the near future. Let’s just hope I can lace up my running shoes again soon because all this lying around doing nothing is making me crazy!
I have a confession to make. January is just about halfway over and my house is still fully decorated for Christmas. I justified leaving my Christmas tree up until after I got back from Orlando due to the fact that I didn’t finish putting it up until December 18th. I figured this weekend I would put on a movie, take down all of the holiday decor, and put it away for another year. But then I got sick. After a couple of days of denial I realized I had a cold on Thursday. The symptoms were pretty mild at that point so I hoped I would avoid a serious illness. Unfortunately I wasn’t that lucky. When I ran the Star Wars 5K at Disneyland on Friday morning my lungs were burning during the race, but it didn’t seems to negatively impact my performance. More on that in another post. However, by the time I left work that afternoon I knew I was deteriorating. Yesterday my cold symptoms were in full swing so I spent all day either in bed or on the couch watching TV, dosing myself with DayQuil and NyQuil. So much for the productive weekend I’d planned on. And then instead of the hoped for overnight improvement I actually felt worse when I woke up this morning. Unfortunately I had flu symptoms. My diagnosis was confirmed at the CVS Minute Clinic where I got a prescription for Tamiflu from the doctor. Fantastic. Another day of zero productivity. So my Christmas tree is going to stay up for a little longer, it seems.
Being sick does have one tiny upside, though. It’s forced me to rest which has been helpful at healing a running-based injury. During the marathon last Sunday I hurt my right foot. It didn’t bother while I was running for five and a half hours, but it was pretty painful afterwards. I was having some problems with my knee during the race and I think I subconsciously adjusted my gait to try and protect it. That is probably how I hurt my foot. I did a lot of walking around Disney World the three days after the race even with the pain because nothing was going to keep me from park time while I was in Orlando. To be cautious I went to see my podiatrist the day after I returned to Los Angeles and he told me my foot was probably in a pre-stress fracture state. He likened it to a hanger that’s been bent several times so that the metal is hot, but not yet broken. Fun, huh? My instructions were to take it easy for a week or so to prevent a fracture from happening in my bone’s current weakened state. Funny enough, I didn’t have any foot pain after I got back from Orlando so I figured I was on the mend. Being a rebel, I wasn’t really intending to follow my doctor’s instructions. Case in point, running the Star Wars 5K the morning after my podiatrist appointment was probably not the best idea, but luckily my foot felt perfectly fine over those 3.1 miles. After that positive outing I thought I’d be able to resume my workout regimen over the weekend, but then I was struck down by illness. This cold/flu has brought on a period of forced rest over the last two days, and that will continue at least through tomorrow while the Tamiflu hopefully takes effect. Fingers crossed that I feel better tomorrow!
I’m spending the weekend sick at home with a wicked cold, which always seems to happen when I get back from vacation. With all this time spent on my couch in front of the TV I figured I’d have plenty of time to write some decent blog posts, but my brain isn’t cooperating. I can barely breathe, I have a lovely cough, and I’m reaching for my Rogue One Kleenex box pretty often. Doesn’t that sound like fun? So instead of working on my marathon recap post(s) I am writing about something silly instead. Silly is about all I can handle in my current state!
I used some of my down time over the holidays to clean out my closets, my dresser, and all of my storage boxes, and in the process I assembled a huge pile of clothes to donate. I seriously filled up the entire backseat of my car with bags. The discarded clothing was a mix of items that I haven’t worn in ages, items I don’t really like (i.e., ugly race shirts), and items that no longer fit since I’ve lost weight. It was a relief to drop off all of that stuff at Goodwill earlier this month, and also to have some free space in my closets and drawers that used to be filled to the brim. Even after reducing my wardrobe by getting rid of all that I still can’t believe how much I own. Which is why my acquisition of six new shirts (not including my Disney World marathon shirt which was included in my race registration) over the last week or so is pretty ridiculous. First of all, I picked up two of these shirts on my trip to Disney World (see bottom left of the above photo) – a Magic Kingdom 45th anniversary shirt and an Iron Man shirt from the Uniqlo store at Disney Springs. (If you’re a Disney fan and haven’t seen their line of shirts at Uniqlo yet you are missing out!) Next, I discovered that a package containing my Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival shirt (bottom right) arrived while I was in Orlando. I contributed to the Bring Back MST3K Kickstarter over Thanksgiving in 2014 so I guess it’s about time! Then I went to the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend expo on Thursday at the Disneyland Hotel and rounded out my new collection. Not only did I get the Star Wars 5K shirt that came with mt registration (top left), but I bought two shirts from New Balance that struck my fancy (top right). I feel pretty ridiculous to acquire all of these shortly after donating so much to Goodwill, but it seems I have no restraint when it comes to graphic t-shirts. At least I’ve got my weekend outfits covered for a while!
On my flight from Dallas to Los Angeles yesterday I started sneezing. I dismissed the first few sneezes as simply caused by dust or irritation, but after several more I started to think I was getting sick. That theory was confirmed when the sneezing continued, followed by some nasal congestion, after I got home from the airport. So I ended up taking a today day off from work to avoid sneezing all over my co-workers. Such an inauspicious end to the Thanksgiving holiday!
I was hoping that spending the day at home recuperating would give me ample opportunity to write an extensive webpage post about Thanksgiving. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. First of all, I ended up sleeping until 10 AM. I can’t remember that last time I did that. Obviously illness and jet lag took their toll on my body. And then when I woke up I remembered that my kitchen was lacking in a few basic staples that I needed this week, so threw on some clothes and went to the grocery store. When I was back at home I curled up on my couch with my laptop intending to do some writing, but I got distracted. Not only did I have a wealth of TV shows and movies on my DVR to watch, but it’s Cyber Monday so there were a lot of websites I had to visit to discover what deals were available today. So I spent the better part of the day watching episodes of “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow” (interspersed with FXX’s “The Simpsons” marathon), and placing orders for everything from running clothes to sunscreen. The Cyber Monday sales saved me a lot of money so I’m happy about that. Eventually I ran out of excuses so I started writing this post. It’s fairly pathetic given all the free time I had today, but it will have to do. I still have several chores I need to do tonight so that I’ll be prepared for tomorrow. This cold is mild enough that I’m confident that I can go to work tomorrow. At least it won’t be another wasted day!
Last Sunday I decided to go to Disneyland. I hadn’t been to the parks since before Labor Day (pre-Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend) and I was beginning to suffer from withdrawal. I was hoping that September meant I could wear some jeans, but unfortunately the forecasted high for Anaheim that day was 104 deg! It was going to be the hottest day we’d had all year (after our mostly mild summer). Since long pants were out of the question I pulled out a pair of shorts that I bought earlier this year instead. But when I went to put them on I was thrilled to discover that they are way too big! I had to dig deeper in the drawer for a pair of shorts from last year (pictured in the above photo at EPCOT last November), and even those were a little baggy. That was an amazing feeling. I knew I’d definitely been more comfortable in some of my old clothes recently, but the shorts were a surprise. I didn’t realize I’d changed that much already.
On Labor Day I started Nutrisystem. In spite of lots of exercise (obviously a lot of running and, more recently, the addition of weight training) and what I thought was a relatively healthy diet (except for my soda addiction) I hadn’t had any luck dropping the weight I gained last year when I hurt my knee. My body was just clinging to the extra pounds and none of the small changes I’d tried seemed to make any difference. I knew I had to do something drastic to jump start the weight loss process. So one day I took the plunge and place my first Nutrisystem order. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I started the meal plan the day after the Disneyland Half Marathon and started getting results immediately. I won’t lie, I was hungry ALL THE TIME, but I lost a pound a day during that first week. It was like a miracle. The weight loss has slowed a bit since then, but I’m keeping at it. Based on how much I exercise I eat a little more than the system allows, but I think it’s necessary. The other day I realized that some of the new pants I ordered from Old Navy recently (during a 50% off Labor Day sale online) were feeling loose. Not like I’ve lost a full pants size yet, but I might be getting there. Will I be disappointed if all of my brand new pants don’t fit in a month? A little, but I’ll be much happier being smaller and lighter than I’ve been in about a year and a half. And running will be easier too. We’ll see how it goes!
Happy Easter everyone! It’s been far too long since I wrote anything, I know. It’s been a busy month! But before I write anything about this latest holiday let me catch up on some of the events from earlier this month. The good news is that I’m getting back to running regularly again. I’m still pretty out of shape, meaning my lungs feel like they’re on fire when I run at even the slowest possible pace, but at least my leg isn’t hurting anymore. As of my last post I had run one time without pain and the orthopedist gave me the green light to ease back into my normal routine. So that weekend I made a bit of a judgment call (that a friend of mine questioned, actually) and ran two 5Ks, the Country Music 5K in Anaheim on Saturday and the San Diego 5K (in San Diego, of course) on Sunday. I was actually registered for the San Diego Half Marathon, but after not running for a month I knew I wasn’t ready for that distance even if my leg wasn’t bothering me. I’ll try it again next year. I felt great during the 5Ks (with the exception of the burning lungs from having lost all of my endurance), but my leg started bothering me again the next Monday. I was concerned that I did indeed have a stress fracture, which the doctor warned me was a possibility, so I made a follow-up appointment with the orthopedist for the next week. Unfortunately my cold also had a resurgence after those two 5Ks. I guess I was overly ambitious that weekend after being injured since early February and sick since the end of my vacation because I felt horrible on Monday and Tuesday.
The next week was busy as well. Thursday was St. Patrick’s Day so I had to represent my Irish heritage, but I realized that I don’t have a lot of green apparel in my wardrobe these days. My green North Face jacket would have been perfect except the spring weather was too warm to make it a feasible choice. I do have a couple of great St. Patrick’s Day t-shirts, but neither would have been really work-appropriate. (Hello Kitty is perfect on the weekend, but I generally avoid cartoon characters on my clothes when I go to the office. Except maybe on Fridays.) So I donned my dark green pants and a black shirt and decided that the outfit was sufficient for a weekday St. Patrick’s Day. However, just as I was arriving at work that morning one of my co-workers asked me why I wasn’t wearing green. Really? Do green pants not qualify? It turns out the dark green threw a lot of people off that day so I had to defend my St. Patrick’s Day participation a few times, but at least I avoided being pinched. The next day I went for a 5-mile run after work and I’m happy to say that my leg felt mostly fine. I hadn’t seen the orthopedist yet, but I was pretty sure that the lack of pain meant that I didn’t have a stress fracture. This made me really happy because I was registered for the Hot Chocolate 15K in San Diego that Sunday and I really didn’t want to skip it. They have four candy stations along the course! How could I miss that? I knew running 9.3 miles would be a challenge at my current fitness level (or lack of it), but I figured I could complete the race without any ill effects as long as I didn’t push myself too hard. The course turned out to be incredibly hilly and challenging, but I survived and I’m glad I did it. It convinced me that I can ramp up my mileage in preparation for my next half marathon in April. Let’s hope I can put this injury and illness combination completely behind me soon. It’s been long enough!