Over the last week or two, I'd felt the hints of a cold sneaking up on me. A stuffy nose, a scratchy throat, aching, exhaustion, but I fought it off.
Last week was a beast, as I previously posted, and I think cramming in two hour-long runs, plus pulling the late shift two nights for city meetings and candidate forums, plus working late almost every day, trying to blog and you know, kind of have a life took a toll.
Saturday night I felt the sniffles coming on and I struggled to sleep as I struggled to breathe.
Sunday morning, it was full on cold symptoms.
But that wouldn't stop me from cruising those 6+ miles on my own two legs.
Grateful I'd bought the giant box of cold medicine last time I was sick, I popped some daytime pills, guzzled water and crossed my fingers.
The race start was about an hour out of town and we packed up the car full of water, Powerade, apples, pretzels, magazines and the first season of The Newsroom in case we got bored. I also brought a roll of toilet paper as the cheap girl's version of tissues.
Boyfriend was wonderful and drove us all over the countryside so we didn't have to figure out how to coordinate ourselves and run.
Tiffany took the first leg and made great time. Her leg ended uphill and it looked miserable, but I had the toughest, hilly leg, according to the organizers, and so we decided that I should think about how happy I was it was "that" hill.
Then it was my turn. The first 15 minutes or so, I was thinking "this was a terrible idea." Trying to run when I could hardly breath was miserable. Then I was sure the course was taking me up a massive hill that would have made me cry. Luckily, that hill was not for me. Instead, I kept straight, passing a farmer and some horses who just stared at me. I was thinking, man, I wish I knew how to ride a horse without a saddle, that could cut some time. Then it was cows who watched me and a fisherman who cheered me on after I crossed a bridge where I don't think it was safe for runners and traffic at the same time.
I was losing steam after a cow moo-ed at me, but I wanted to keep up my pace for the team. I was hoping to beat out the girl behind me but she ended up catching up and passing me.
Right as she passed, I moved into the grass slightly only to notice a snake slithering away after I stepped forward. Eeeekkk! There is just about nothing I'm more afraid of than snakes. A reasonable fear, I think.
Proof that I was exhausted, I didn't panic or jump or sprint away when I saw the snake.
I had not exceeded 5 miles of running at one time maybe all year before Sunday. In my two one-hour runs last week, I hit 4.5 miles. Maybe it was because I couldn't see the end, I was on my own on the road, and was more focused on breathing and avoiding snakes that the miles went fairly quickly.
My hips were starting to ache, my lungs hated me, and I had a blister on my foot where I don't usually get one. I saw a car that looked sort of like ours up a big hill and figured that was the end of my leg. Of course the finish would be uphill, I thought. I took a walking breaking so I could power through the end of the race and finish strong, uphill be damned.
Turns out, the finish was at the bottom of the hill. Once I figured that out, I cranked out the end of my leg for a 1 hour 10 minute finish or so. My leg was supposed to be 6.18 miles on hills, but everyone else's legs were longer, so who knows if mine was accurate. Still, I pulled out more than six miles in just over an hour. An incredible feat considering my lack of training lately.
All in all, we had lots of fun cheering each other on, taking in the scenery and challenging our running skills. Plus, boyfriend scouted kayak put-ins on the river for future adventures. He's a good man for shuttling us around all day and not kicking me out of bed when I apparently snored like an old man through my stuffy nose that night. Monday I was a mess of sniffles, coughs and cold medicine but here's to hoping the day of rest will kick the worst of it and I can tackle this week. Of course, now one or both of the puppies are sick. Oye.