2010 has been tough so far. I had a little panic attack yesterday. I'm not kidding. The symptoms are similar to a heart attack. My biggest symptom was the tight chest, but I've been battling a respiratory problem for 3-4 weeks, so I thought this could be that. No wheezing, but very very tight chest. Breathe deep and get light-headed. WTF. I'll finish that story in a minute.
I have been dealing with this cold for about a month. It came-on, I took a recovery week in the midst of my Boney Mt. build, but I could not shake it. After the "recovery" week when I was hoping to get back to some solid work, I was still having to negotiate. Okay, I'll do a couple of ez days, perhaps even nada, and then put-in something steady. And I did this. One day I did a 7 miler on a mountain, very steady. I did some pretty steep stuff on the treadmill very steady all to simulate Boney Mt., show-up over the cold and have fun. But the cold just didn't go away.
The kicker was a run on the Monday before Boney (5 days out). I went to a familiar trail, headed-out feeling pretty good (sure a little stuffy but not enough to go home and sleep), hit a climb, flew up that, and then my chest seized. No wheezing, just tightness. I walked back to the car and drove to the Urgent Care. The doc looked at me, said I sounded pretty clear (no wheezing) and said I could start some antibiotics since I'd had the cold for ~3 weeks, but simply using my inhaler, and taking some claritin was his recommendation. I did start a little Z-pac just to make sure if the virus had turned, that would get taken care of. So, more meds. I started hitting the claritin often, twice a day instead of once. The nasal congestion I think is the real culprit. My chest ends up with the drain-off, which then irritates that. The very very dry conditions we've been having tend to irritate the respiratory systems of many.
This Monday before the race where I end up at the doc clinched the scratch of Boney Mt. Really disappointed. It was my first trail race ever in '08. It is a beautiful area to run. Oh well, back to my health.
The rest of last week I really took it easy. I have been lifting a lot. Squats, upper-body, a little core work. Lifting a lot. For me. I feel great on that end. I did a few ez cardio exercises just to keep the blood flowing. Then late in the week I started to run.
I decided, inspired by an OC athlete Slater Fletcher, that I would run 30 days in a row. I know a few people that might think this is small change, but I just wanted to get moving, get very consistent and see what happens. Half of all of this training stuff is mental. How can you frame the work?
So, on Sunday 1/10, I started. 5 miles pretty ez at the gym. Felt okay. I'm on the mend. Monday 6 miles running on feel, quicker than ez, just enjoying the insane weather we had (really warm and clear). At about mile 4 I started dealing with some snot. Practically choked on some of the nasal shit. Glad I was outside. Tough 6 miles. Then on Tuesday (yesterday), we were in Palm Springs so my wife and I went for a little run on one of the "mountain" trails. I felt good. I'm over this thing. I started sauntering up the mountain (very steep) with a comfortable jog, no HRM, but definitely O2 debt material. At a about .25 of a mile my chest seizes up. I hike another mile (very steep), try to clear my pipes, end-up jogging some of the more rolling stuff, turn around at 2 miles, and jog back down. Feel pretty good.
4 miles, 1300 ft. of climbing.
After we shower and get dressed, a tightness in the chest just doesn't seem to go away. I take some meds. Still there.
I have a lot of stuff on my plate right now. I lost my job, we're moving, we're trying to sell some furniture online, besides all the other trials and tribulations life throws your way and I think this cold is the last straw. That's a little list of the stressors in my life right now but each one, given a chance to monologue, would fill a concert hall. Each resonates with a lot of emotion and problem solving. That's life. My work-outs give me a chance to burn-off some of that. A few cold ones give me a chance to kick it, and relax. The inability to exercise and "recover" has upset this significant balance.
I was having a panic attack. I think I did stress the chest a little on such a steep trail, running, dry air and all. But my body was suggesting that I was having other problems as well. My wife, a psychologist, finally suggested I might be worrying my way into this state. I generally do not worry that much. I can handle a lot of heat. But I think she was right. We actually thought about going to see a doctor. I was worried. Short of breath. Then she gave me a hug. And we talked about what I might be feeling. And then. . .
she gave me a beer. I sipped it. She gave me another. It tasted good. I was feeling better. She winked at me and said you just took the equivalent of Xanax. Don't ever underestimate the value of a beer.
Here's the verdict. I have a lot going on. A kind of perfect storm. The cold is probably a symptom of all the stress as well as part of the season. And I have been exercising off and on through out, which may not help. I have been exercising too hard most likely. It's been a very tough few month or so.
I am 343 on my 30 day goal. I will run ez today. I will run everyday, but I'm not quite out of the woods yet on this cold. Yesterday reminds me of that, and as I sit here I can feel that is the case. But I will run ez. Everyday. Until I can run harder.
I want nothing more (other than new working and living gigs) than to run on a steep trail under a blue sky and finish the day with a really cold beer. This is part of the maintenance of a delicate system.
As for the title of this post(I almost forgot). I guess I refer to this cold. This last year end of '08 to the end of '09 has not been with out me catching a few colds. BOHICA: Bend Over Here It Comes Again.