Training for my second Boston Marathon had been going too well. I had nailed all planned workouts, my winter weight was coming down, and I was feeling great. I had just finished a sequence of downhill repeats and was making my way along a back road toward work on a midday run, when I noticed a twinge around my left hip bursa. No matter. It didn’t seem too bad. I returned to work and sat staring at some spreadsheet or other bit of administrivia that the world apparently can’t do without. When I packed up to go home I discovered my bursa was now quite angry and walking was difficult and painful. I thought about the day and realized the run probably wasn’t to blame but more likely some awkward movement or other at the gym that morning. In my attempts to be a good, well-rounded, healthy older athlete, I’ve been diligently trying to incorporate more weight, core, and plyometric work into my weeks. I had done scissor lunges and squats at the gym, and both motions were suspiciously very painful now leading me to believe one or both had aggravated my cranky hip.
Okay. So it’s a fairly minor injury. Sniff. No worries. Sniff, sniff. Nothing a couple days off won’t fix. Sniff, sniff, cough. Oh no! It seemed in addition to the slight injury I had now come down with the office crud. I was due for 14-15 miles Saturday (today) and had planned to run a local half-marathon that is designed as a Boston training run. I was also looking forward to finally meeting a long-time cyber friend there. Thursday and Friday I lived in denial sure that I would be able to run the race. In fact, Friday morning I felt pretty darn good despite the snowflakes that swirled out the window and covered everything like a white plague from hell. (Sorry snow lovers but I see nothing pretty about it.) But Friday afternoon, even as I stopped at a local running store to pick up a couple of gels for the race, my symptoms worsened. My nose began running like a faucet. My throat felt as if I had gargled broken glass, and my body began to ache. I arrived home in time for the 6:00 news and weather forecast. After the warmest February on record, Mother Nature was turning down the dial for March. Saturday’s forecast was enough to freeze the runner’s soul to the marrow calling for high teens in the morning with single-digit wind chills. Box of tissues in hand, I consulted with my running friends. The course was open to a lot of big fields with little protection from the wind. I was miserable and shaking with chills sitting in my chair next to a space heater, with a sweatshirt and a blanket on. Single digit wind chills sounded horrifying. Running sounded foreign. Why would anyone ever do this?
But I had committed to carpooling to the event with another running friend and fellow Boston trainee. I messaged Laura telling her how cold it was going to be. Secretly I hoped she’d say “Yeah. Let’s skip it”. But Laura is hard-core and was ready to run despite the cold and wind. What a horrible sounding idea. I messaged back that I wished I didn’t have this cold. Laura suggested checking for a fever and, if I had one, that maybe running wasn’t the best idea. Hmm. Fever. I hadn’t really thought of that. Is this something women and mother’s are programmed to ask? Or are they just that much smarter than men? (Don’t answer that. It was really a rhetorical question.) I rummaged through the medicine cabinet and found the thermometer. 99.5. I might not be as smart as my female counterparts (or most other men, or the average chihuahua) but I do know it is dangerous to run with a fever. I texted Laura back. It turns out she was okay not racing Saturday and had other options. We decided to skip the cold, windy race.
Injury: 1. Illness: 2. What about the 3 count? Did I mention the cold? And the weekend double whammy is that on Saturday night we switch to Daylight Savings Time. For some reason people rejoice at this. I’ll never understand the need to have it stay light out until 9:30pm in the middle of the summer. It was just getting to the point where most of my commute is in the daylight. Now we are thrust back into darkness for mornings for the foreseeable future. I know DST is a big thing with the golf industry, and the grilling industry (truth) but it plays hell with everything else including my mental state. If we just left the clocks alone we’d all have plenty of daylight. You’d still be able to play golf after work when daylight gets longer in the summer, and I’d still be able to ride my bike safely before work. As it is, changing the clocks is a major scheduling disruption, and many of us get thrown back into a seasonal depression we were just getting out of. This is like a super-whammy this month with the extreme cold this weekend followed by a pending major winter storm on Tuesday.
Let me see. I’m injured. It’s cold. I’m sick. I’m depressed. I really can’t stave off said depression by running or otherwise working out because of said injury and illness. Yep. That’s it for my pity party. You can all go about your day now. I’m going to go sit in my easy chair and sulk and hope that the Boston marathon continues to train for itself.