So one minute I’m basking in the Barcelona sunshine sipping cava and the next minute it’s Birmingham airport with a throat feeling like I swallowed a hedgehog and a head feeling like I’m wearing a bucket on it! I blame Saturday morning’s flight out and sitting for two hours on a germ infested plane, air conditioning circulating the collective germs of 200+ unhealthy brummies! I’m never ill, haven’t had a cold in about 3 years and when I do get a hint of one, I laugh it off with disdain.
It’s probably a good job, I’m an appalling patient. I’m grumpy, I see it as weakness, I don’t want anybody’s sympathy and I dread that as I get older, I might actually be ill with something serious…..I would be a nightmare. It doesn’t help that half the family bloody love illness. They wallow in it, talk about it, one sneeze and it’s off to the doctor. One cough and they’ve googled it and worked out it just might be fatal. If you said you had a cold they’d call every day to see how you’re doing……aaaarrrrgggghhh it’s just a cold, no fuss needed. ( you see, I’m a bitch when ill, I swear the hubster to secrecy! )
It just made going back to work the day after such a lovely break more depressing. Colleagues were suitably shocked to notice me displaying signs of actual illness, I think they figured if a germ had got to me it must be a bad one. I’m not ill, I’m just slightly below my normal levels of health! I certainly wasn’t in any rush to go running on the day we got back or the one after for that matter.
Thursday I decided to hide in my ‘lady cave’ and work from home. That way I could stay in my onesie and shove a tissue up each nostril….not a look I’d go for in the office. If I showed up at work without my face on I think I’d be sent to a&e !! Plus two good nose blows and the foundation is missing from your crusty nose and that’s not a good look either. Actually I got a lot done, turned out to be a good catch up session after a couple of days off.
Despite the calm sanctuary of my lady cave, by the end of the day I needed fresh air. I ventured out to trot round with another local beginners group on their C25k journey. On week three, I reckoned the 90 second runs should be fine to see if my chest was affected. I stuck to the general rules of the runner, if symptoms are ‘neck up’ and you feel like it, run. If symptoms are ‘neck down’ then perhaps give it a miss. As it was all ‘bucket head’ I went out. It’s always nice to meet new runners, I always love to tell them why running is so awesome and they just have to stick with it. These guys are local, the run was local, I enjoyed it , it was fresh air at last.
Friday I could stand it no longer, I headed out for my front door 5km. Whilst I felt so much better, the first mile was awful. I felt like I was breathing in razor blades the air felt so cold. But I carried on, completing the run was the best medicine.
Another week on and I decided on Good Friday to run the 10 miles from home to the ‘outlaws’ as the morning was beautiful, my cold had gone and I felt lazy from lack of doing much at all since the Rushcliffe 10km. I needed to put a stake in the ground, claim my place back in the healthy club, prove to myself what my body will do. This is where running experience helps. To go from 10km to 10 miles would not be recommended to a new runner, a clear breach of the ‘10% up at a time’ rule. But I know I can do the distance, just steadily trotting, no pace pushing.
Edwalton to Hucknall, most readers won’t know it, but trust me, it’s a killer of a hilly route. Not the most ideal first 10miler. The first mile is all downhill, the next 9 are up and down with varying degrees of severity ! I actually loved it and then bizarrely struggled like you wouldn’t believe at the 9.5 mile mark when the end was literally in sight but the endless, bypass road was longer than I thought and seemed to go on forever. I can’t tell you how many times I looked at my Garmin in the last 0.5 mile. I’d decided I was walking at 10 miles and the last half mile getting there was painful. Once you run, you know it’s all mental endurance, you can lose that mental strength even at that late stage and once you’ve lost it, it’s so hard to get back. Without it though, without utter self belief, a runner achieves nothing.
So relieved I did it, a bit of a gamble but it paid off. I was surprised by 9.5min mile pace even with hills, I planned to be slower ! It shows how your pace improves, that’s now my trotting speed.
Best of all, running to your Italian outlaws at Easter means pasta, pasta and more pasta including an Easter speciality that I believe is Neapolitan ……. Pasta and egg ‘cake’ that is savoury but can be eaten hot or cold. Let me show you a picture as my written descriptions will leave you confused.
This should be compulsory fuel pre and post mara distance and beyond. Carbs and protein morphed to perfection.
Day after, I feel fine, not too tired, legs in good working order and most importantly I haven’t driven my waning germs back to the fore…..I had a slight worry if I pushed myself I might set myself back. Good, no more germs for at least another 3 years thanks . Bollocks to illness I don’t have time for it……..places to run, times to beat !