Today’s training run was hell, if hell had frozen over.
Even though we’re approaching mid-March, it is still snowing in Indiana. I’ve lived here for years, but I don’t remember any winter being this long. I’m stuck in a never-ending purgatory where it snows every weekend and the skies are grey for eternity.
Today the trail was covered in an inch of snow, so the group opted to instead run down a lightly-traveled side street that had been plowed. I had to futz with my MP3 player before we started, so I ended up trailing behind the pack. I never caught up with them either because I am slow and the traffic lights were against me. This made me 1) feel like a dork ostracized from the cool kids and 2) fear for my life as I ran down the opposite side of the street on my own while wearing headphones. If I were with the pack there’d be a good chance a rogue SUV would hit someone else and not me. I was glad I was wearing my red shirt because I was easy to see, and if I did get hit you wouldn’t be able to see the blood stains on the fabric.
I knew it was going to be a crappy run when I was outpaced by a 10-year-old in snow boots running down the sidewalk beside me. Of course, 10-year-olds run on sugar and chocolate, whereas I try to eat a nutritionally sound diet, so I was at a disadvantage. Running on plowed pavement was indeed easier than running on snow-covered trail – except when it wasn’t. The trail is basically flat, whereas the street had several hills. Oh God, did it have hills.
I was scheduled to run for 80 minutes, but I stopped to walk three times for three different reasons. The first time, I was tired from the hill and feeling slow anyway because I’d been ditched by the pack. When I got to the water stop I jokingly asked if there was anyone behind me and the waterboy told me no. Ouch! The second time, I slowed down to mess with my MP3 player which…sta..rted..to..ski….p..beac…ause…it…was…froz..en. Did I mention that it was 20 degrees? With a horrible headwind that froze my nose? As much as I hated running the last 40 minutes without music, it was much worse trying to run to the digital era’s equivalent of a skipping record. I tried warming up my player by sticking it inside my vest, but that didn’t work. So I took my headphones off, but at a water stop I rubbed my ear and realized my earlobes were NUMB. So I put the headphones back on as earmuffs. I kept running back up the street and finally saw the traffic light where I’d be able to turn. All I had to do was get to the red light, then I’d be on my way back to the store. Only not. Wrong traffic light. I had to run another 3 blocks. I started walking for the third time out of protest to my demolished hope.
I finally got back to the store after 83 minutes and 6.8 miles. That’s a 12:13 pace, which is total crap for me, but somewhat reasonable when you factor in all the walking. I’m just glad I didn’t get frostbite. Even after I sat in the warm store for 15 minutes for the nutrition seminar, my arms were still cold. I really should have worn another layer, but I didn’t account for the wind when I got dressed. During the seminar I got to do free taste-testing of recovery drinks, jelly beans, and chewy stuff that has a name that I can’t remember. It was like candy packaged with a good excuse to eat it. I also scored a free gel pack that I’ll try during my next long run. Hopefully it won’t FREEZE.
Good news: On a scale of 1-10, my headache has dropped from a 5 to a 2.
Bad news: I haven’t had caffeine since Wednesday.
I never realized how much I depend on caffeine to keep me awake until I felt like taking a nap under my desk at the end of the week. However, if I’ve got to be one of the seven dwarves, I’ll take Sleepy over Grumpy any day.
My headache is still here, but it’s died down to a level where it’s not hindering my ability to live. It’s like having a neighbor turn down the stereo so the subwoofer is no longer making my couch vibrate, but I can still here some noise through the walls even if I can’t make out the lyrics.
I’ve had a problem with headaches since I was 21. My first month-long headache was triggered when I was driving to South Bend to visit a friend, but was detoured by a chemical spill on the highway and got lost on the back roads of Indiana before everyone and their dog had a cell phone. When I did make it back to the main road, I started speeding to make up lost time and got pulled over by the state police.
I was kind of stressed out.
I got a tension headache. It didn’t go away for a month. I went to my doctor and she gave me some magic pills that made the headache go away. I’ve been taking them ever since. Whenever I’ve tried going off the pills, the headaches come back. I probably should have mentioned this before y’all e-mailed me telling me I had Lyme disease, bad vision, and a mutant staph infection on my lip.
ETA: A couple people have asked what medication I’m on. I think it’s best that you consult with your doctor about starting any medication. I’m not going to say what I’m on so I don’t influence anyone to take something that is not appropriate for them.