Sick From Not Running.

This past weekend was brutal. Sick from some strand of stomach bug, I laid in bed all day Friday. Saturday I had an 8 hour recording session with a long time friend then returned to “baby me” mode. Sunday, weak from not eating much the prior 2 days I was tired and cranky.

Sickness always trips me up. Running is obviously not an option when you’re under the weather. Most days, babies like me barely wanna move out of bed and running is not even a slight option. Sunday, in my crankiness, I decided I’d try to run. It was about 3 in the afternoon. I got off the couch, laced up and headed to the trails for a “few”.

Beautiful day. Overcast due only to Fall. Mid 60’s. Leaves scattered the concrete trails. A few patrons in the area enjoying a Sunday stroll. I set out to run 3 miles and made 2 then walked about a tenth then ran the additional to make 3. Man what a change. I find it curiously strange how we as humans can be so set back by sickness. One day, 13.1 miles in a half marathon. The next, 2 miles and then walk. I was weak and out of breath. My failure to complete the measly goal of 3 miles that day did not lift my cranky spirits. A couple more days and I’ll try again.

Monday back to work still very weak from still not being hungry since Thursday night. I lost 5 pounds this weekend from my lack of appetite and was eating meals like a tiny French woman. I honestly think my caloric intake was less than 500 calories each day. Tuesday I was still queasy. Not from my never ending stomach plague but the loss to the Eagles Monday night.

Tuesday night after regaining some appetite that day for a good bowl of beef stew for dinner, I set out my running attire and gadgets in hope that Wednesday was the day. I woke at 5:45, rolled out from under my warm and cozy covers and stood up to turn off my beeping alarm clock. I proceeded to the doorway and looked back at my cuddly wife in bed illuminated only by the slight green glow from the alarm clock display. “Really Ryan?” my dark passenger says, “Get back in bed!” he  insisted. I actually stood there for about 15 seconds tying to debate the sleep more or run options. I was sick and weak I told myself. “Yes, I am sick and weak!” myself replied,  “sick and weak from not running!”.

Victorious in the “To Run or Not To Run” debate, I proceed to get dressed and walked out the door. As the cold brisk morning welcomed my warm flesh, doubt crept back in. Usually my routine route takes me a total of 6.25 miles out and back. With the failure from Sunday looming, I talked myself out of the out and back that day as I did not want to be stuck down at the trails if I didn’t have the energy to make it the whole way. Another route we enjoy takes us across the street and thru the Azalea District. We call it our Azalea route, brilliant I know. This would give me 4 miles and more of a loop than my usually Donnybrook/Trails route. I’m not a big pre-run stretcher. A little left, right, up, down, flail my arms a bit. Then I walk about a tenth of a mile to the end of our street while extending my stride in my walk to get those hams and calf’s awake. I pressed start and was off.

No music for the run. Just the sounds of the cold, dark Fall morning. My pace was comfortable thru the first quarter mile careful to check my form and breathing throughout. Then I felt something. Not a muscle twinge or joint discomfort but peace. A peace of mind that I have been missing. A feeling of alive that I have been sorely missing since last Thursday. I continued winding through the beautifully street lit neighborhood. Up and down the associated hills and to the end of the 4 mile route. I pressed stop on my watch with my mouth in slight smile. A smile brought on not only by the accomplishment of the run but by the great dose of happy hormones that running gives. In quoting the bubbly blonde law student in the movie Legally Blonde “Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t kill people. They just don’t.”

Obviously my body needed some time to fight off whatever plagued my weekend but man I missed those endorphins. Running was and for a long time has been the cure to my mental funk. I’m back. Gotta get back into the heavy milage now. Dallas Turkey Trot next Thursday morning (8 miles) then a 5 day cruise (no miles), 2 days at home then Fall half number 3/3, Dallas White Rock – three weeks away.

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