The sigh is two-fold: hints at exasperation (I think true exasperation is accompanied by tears, wailing or bleating, and "breaking-down"); concerns a sense of relief. I am relieved to be finally on the mend, but a little exasperated at the time and fitness I've lost due to this costly break from running.
2009 was ending on a big, positive note. The racing I had managed in 2008 didn't materialize in 2009, but I ran, discoursed and felt for sure that I had continued to grow as an off-roadie. From October through early December I was running regularly and starting to build toward my first race of 2010 at Boney Mt. Xterra. It is site of my first trail race ever and just a gorgeous course. In fact, I started this blog in the context of that race. Got off the mountain and drove to Pismo Beach for the weekend. Talk about epic.
Following the 2010 edition, I was primed to hit the Xterra SoCal tour during Jan and Feb. There's a couple of San Diego races and a Crystal Cove race that looked especially good. These are shorter trail races, but I was thinking these would be great for some early speed work as I continued to develop my aerobic (long) base. Spring and summer would unfold naturally from this busy early season of racing and (MOST IMPORTANTLY) consistent running.
So, I'm a little distraught with those expectations in mind. Bummed. Racing is fun and probably the best way to improve. No question, so long as one is running consistently in and around the racing. Since 2008 was so much fun from a racing perspective and 2009 was with almost no racing, I was looking forward to getting even (pun intended) and loading up on some competition in the early 2010. This is a loss. And one, in dealing with loss, is best to embrace it, not ignore it. F!
Moving-on. . .
I still maintained a good sense of humor and enjoyed life. I have gravitated to a fairly steady diet of very good beer and healthy food. My vitamin/supplement regimen is getting more and more dialed in, too, so my life has not been just a lump of grief and derailment. I've been watching a lot of sports and wife-TV, sipping on some good suds, espresso, and tea, and just DYING to get back out there to run. One might ask, have I been "training" at all?
I have been lifting weights a lot (~4 times a week). This has been a very cool "side job." I have never been the weight-lifting guy. I now feel comfortable navigating the room amongst the weight-lifters. I can get in there, get some work done and get out. Doesn't take a lot, but certainly has benefits. My weight (which I battle because of my love of food and a couple of ales) did not go up at all with the cessation of running. In fact, it went down some. Very very cool. I will continue to lift. The benefits are large. Everyone should be lifting. Everyone.
This cold penetrated the defenses in the middle of December. Fine, a cold. We were having some cold weather, a little exercise, not enough real supplementation, one too many Blind Pigs and boom.. . a cold. I shut things down a little. . .hell I'm not even going to go back through that. Just read the last few posts.
Bottomline: I tried to train through the cold. Not totally crazy, but where I went wrong is in the efforts of said training. I was going too hard. The cold just never let-up. I went through a Z-pac, had my chest x-rayed, went through a lot of claritin/allegra/etc., and finally ended up getting a sinus x-ray which revealed some trouble.
I had been telling my doctor this all along. He is now my former doctor. I saw my new doctor yesterday (SHE is an internist and a pediatric doctor). The whole family will be dialed-in. She prescribed a sinus antibiotic and I am on day two of the horse pill. I went for a run right before the appointment just to see how bad things still were. Felt pretty good.
My allergies are the real culprit. That's me talking, not a Dr. I can manage this myself. Unfortunately, this cold became (we think. . .I probably shouldn't even suggest that we've solved the problem) bacterial in my sinuses. It's weird to have very little snot coming out of the nose unlike GZ, yet making a slow and delicate trip in the night to the chest. Makes one confuse upper respiratory stress for lower. It's a bitch. During the cold season, I'm just going to be on a daily dose of antihistamine to enhance my defense. Allergies (cold) trigger the asthma (confused chest cold). Control the former to avoid the latter.
That's pretty much it. I will take another day or so off, and then start running again. And boy do I have some ideas. My daily reading which includes "the network" (Worth the Wait) continues to make me think. The most important element to any improvement is consistency. Period. Whatever you do, if it interferes with that consistency it's wrong. Pretty simple.
The legendary consistency of MC (brought-up recently by Anton), Anton (that grows daily this time around on Green Mt.), JW, and GZ are great examples. I'll stick with the latter duet in that their beer drinking is inspirational, as well.
But to the point, I just want to be consistent. That's the biggest bummer about this illness.
I will articulate some of my goals as I get the running back in gear. No cart before the horse here. Back to work.