I went for a run this past Monday. I had skipped my Sunday run and I was feeling guilty so I went even though I didn’t want to go. A post-work Monday run is always hard. In my experience, as long as I start running those feelings normally dissipate after the first mile. No such luck on Monday. My legs were like lead and I had a very bad attitude. I made it 3.18 miles in 38:26 and called it quits well before returning to my neighborhood. I saw a beautiful vine (image, right) and I stopped to admire it, giving myself permission to walk for the remainder of the distance because there was nature to photograph.
What if this was the new normal? What if I never enjoyed running again and it became something I did out of guilt and never out of pleasure? This is what was going through my mind on Monday.
By Wednesday afternoon I still didn’t feel like running, and I was so hungry. I had done nothing to make myself hungry, certainly not running anyway. After dinner I decided it was chilly and I put a sweater on. I was already wearing flannel pants. It was 37 C / 98 F outside. My husband questioned my sanity.
I finally went to bed before 7 pm hoping to get warm. The flannel pants, sweater, a lined wool touque from Cochrane, and the blankets were still not enough. I had a scalding hot bath to actually warm up and then I went back to bed. I slept until 6 am without much disruption. When I awoke I felt fine, or at least good enough to go to work.
While at work I asked our in-house doctor what had happened. My fever had just started the night before so why wasn’t I still sick? She said that it sounded like a virus and she mentioned another symptom about which I had given no thought: a headache.I had had a tension headache from Sunday through Wednesday and I attributed it to a combination of too much computer time and my age. The doctor said I was lucky because my immune system had sent the virus packing if I felt fine now.
The headache! The low grade headache that I had decided was because of old age and too much screen time. The headache I had tried to ignore, the one that seemed so inconsequential I never once thought about it during my bad run on Monday. The one I ignored all through Tuesday, though I did use it as an excuse not to run that day. Perhaps my Monday run was so horrible because I was fighting off a virus and hadn’t a slight clue about it at the time?
I went for a run today, thinking at first that I didn’t want to, worried I would again feel horrible and hate it. The good news is though I only ran 2.57 miles I had a pace of 10:49/mile and I felt pretty good. I most certainly didn’t hate it. An unbeknownst virus has become yet another gravel pile I have surmounted on my running path.