I’ve been sick…

Sick, am I?

It started simple enough. A cough. No chills. No fever. No stuffed sinuses. It was just a mild cough. It started on a Friday night. I could feel fluid build in my chest. But without any other cold symptoms, I didn’t think too much of it. The next day was my long run, a 14 mile run through The Loop. I noticed that I seemed to feel fine during the run but before and after the run, I would start coughing. Usually when I get sick (which has been rare in the past few years) it would always start in my head. The next day, I took my cousin from Japan on a day trip to State College. I was coughing all day. After that, I continued with my current running plan which was a pretty intense week, four miles on Monday, 6 mile pace and cruise interval on Tuesday, nine miles on Wednesday, rest on Thursday and Friday was four miles. Again, I would feel awesome during the run but whenever I wasn’t I was running, I would be hacking up a lung.
Then came Saturday, I was contemplating on going on a long run, a 15 miler. I wanted to do Juniata River to the very top of Brush Mountain and back down. But the night before I ran in the rain, which probably was not a great idea. So I went on the internet to read up on running when sick. I found several articles about is was okay to run when you are “sick above the neck” but you better not run when it is “below the neck.” So I decided to take the weekend off. Too bad, if I did the long run as I planned, I would have shattered my weekly record for the longest mileage in a week.

Article from Runners World about ‘Running Sick’
Monday came and that is when I started to feel a little more sick. It was moving up my body and now it was also in my head. During lunch, hearing me hacking and seeing that I was fatigued and very pale, my co-workers insisted that I see a doctor immediately. That afternoon I managed to get an appointment. The diagnosis was that I had a touch of bronchitis. He prescribed my a five-day regiment of ZPack. That week, I only ran twice. Again I felt better during the run but was still coughing whenever I wasn’t. There just seemed like an endless supply of fluid in my lungs. But the end of the week I finished my course of antibiotics. Sautrday I was planning to run in the Freedom 5k/10K. I was looking forward to it. I had a perfect costume. I spent the entire night on Thursday putting together a giant pair of scissors out of cardboard and duct tape. Get it? I was going to be a running pair of scissors.

The Large Pair of Scissors I Made

Then came the morning of the race. A historic snow October was flying. The forecast called for as much as 6 to 8 inches of snow and it wasn’t even Halloween! To my disappointment, I was the only person to run in costume. Considering the snow, my costume and mostly because of my cough, I was just going to run for fun.  We walked down from the East Freedom fire hall to the center of town to the starting point. We were off and running. At first we started up a hill. I did not even realize we were going to go up any hills! But the first third of a mile was a quick climb of 100 feet. As soon as I started to crest the hill, my lungs had it! The cold air  made my chest hurt so much there was a point I almost considered stopping. The lungs were already sore from coughing and the cold air and sudden run up a hill caused the worse chest pain. But instead of stopping, I just let up on the pace. We continued on Mountain Road, which was rolling above the valley. I started to have problems with my costume. I didn’t have a chance to run in the costume but soon found out that the handles of the scissors were clipping at the back of my calves.

Start of the race...

Only when the scissors were vertical on my back were my legs free to move. Moreover, the scissors when attached at only one point onto my waist pack and they would flop around a lot. Also the entire costume wasn’t strapped tight to my body. I ended up carrying the scissors tpo the side of my waist for most of the race. At the end of Mountain Road, we descended down to toward Bedford Stret toward the highway. It has snowed heavily in the past 15 minutes and the downhill was covered in snow.  Now came last stretch on Bedford Street which parallel the Dunnings Highway. I was running directly North into the wind and snow. This was probably near the peak of the storm and it was coming down pretty hard.\ and was covering the road. I, nor did anyone else, expect it to be snowing this hard. I, and most of the other runners wore the wrong shoes. One of the runners, Jamie, said that he was slipping up the hill! Anyhow I struggled for the entire run. The 5k was one lap while the 1ok is two laps. Entering into town and seeing the finish line, I knew I could not handle another lap so I stopped at the 5k. I walked back to the fire hall and later found out that I won the men’s 5k division with a very slow 27:41. I could not believe that even running so slow, about an 8:30 pace, I still managed to win the 5k! Anyhow, I did, and won me a huge pumpkin pie! Yumm!

Hey there, pie! Get into my stomach. I won ya...

After the race, I paid the price and my lungs were not happy at all.
The next day I took another rest day. Now it is Monday and I begin my THIRD week with bronchitis. Apparently it takes a few weeks to get past it. I decide to start running again, at my intended training plan in preparation for the Nittany Valley Half on the first Sunday in December. Monday I did four miles, which was a little slow going at first but the last two miles were good. Tuesday night I managed a fast 8 mile run! I still have a cough but it was nice not to cough while I was on my run.