Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On the Run Again

Fortunately Mr. Mucus came for a single-man getaway and didn't bring the wife.  Pneumonia on one side was plenty exhausting for me!

Thanks to this guy deciding to drop by unannounced for an extended vacation, I spent the last three weeks (including my birthday weekend) coughing and blowing my nose, either curled up on the couch in my pj's or wishing I was.  I had to take several days off work and should have taken even more.

I was not very active.  Every day I thought maybe that would be the day I'd at least go for a walk.  Then my cat Murray would do something funny, I'd start laughing - which would lead to coughing - and next thing I knew I was collapsed on the floor, unable to stop, and scrambling for my inhaler.  So running and working out?  ha!  Not gonna happen.  

Murray's favorite Wii acvitity

I have to say, I was really good about taking care of myself.  I'm not always so good about that.  I tend to push myself too hard, not give myself the rest I need, not fuel myself properly for workouts, over-train, etc.  But with pneumonia, I didn't want to mess around.  I waited until my lungs were clear before easing back into indoor cardio workouts - elliptical, spinning, and boot camp.  Even then I was still coughing and tired out very easily.  So I kept my heart rate lower and took breaks when I needed.  They weren't my best workouts but they were way better than lying around on the couch.  And although they tired me out it was in a good way.  I slept better after and had a little more energy.  

Still, I wasn't running.  I skipped the Detroit Free Press 1/2 Marathon that I was signed up for.  I was bummed out to miss it but it was just last Sunday, only 6 days after finishing my antibiotics.  And I was still coughing and using my inhaler.  Perhaps not the best idea.  

Saturday in boot camp I ran one mile inside.  Despite being boring on the track, it went well and I only coughed a little bit from it.  That was encouraging.  

Sunday morning I decided to lace up my running shoes and get outside.  I have to say I was nervous.  After 3 weeks of being sick and sedentary (and perhaps not making the most healthy of eating choices), I didn't think it was going to go very well.  But what did I have to lose?  I could turn back, cut the run short at any time.  The temperature was mid-50's and the sun was shining bright, so it was perfect.  I set my new iPod Nano to shuffle, clipped it on my shorts (half the size of my 1st gen and finally hands-free - yay!), and off I went.

As soon as I got out there I knew it was going to be a good run.  I didn't pay much attention to my heart rate or pace during the run.  I just went.  By the time I got home I ended up doing 2.5 miles with a pace of right around 9 min/mile.  Not bad for my first time out.  The most important thing, however, was that I felt GREAT! 

I ran another 4 miles today at an 8 min/mile pace and felt even more comfortable.  I just registered for two 10K's this coming weekend - Run of the Dead on Saturday and the Wicked Halloween Run on Sunday.  I can't wait for both of them!

So, Mr. Mucus, you may have knocked me off the road for a while but in the words of George Castanza, "I'm back, baby!"

Good-bye, Mr. Mucus!

Have you had a setback/had to take time off from your running?

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