On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Am I this out of shape?

Yesterday was a weird one.

My running partner and I both had the day off of work, and the predicted high was something abysmal like 22 degrees. We decided to forego our usual 7am run and meet at something more decadent: 9:30am (with the hopes that it would be warmer). I had a total crap night of sleep, waking up several times through the night, and when 9am rolled around I asked her if we could please push it back to 10. She suggested even later, and we agreed to meet at 1.

I had suggested that since we were both off, we should try for a long run. Even though I've been planning on running the Manhattan half in a few weeks, I haven't been training per se. I haven't been training at all, actually. On my own, I like to do an average run of about 5m - 3.5 with her (two laps around the reservoir/bridal path, and then running over to the west side to catch the subway). So I suggested that she and I do 3 laps around the reservoir. Adding on to that, I would get to about 6 or so.

She wanted to walk the third lap. Again, it was one of those "What do I do?" sort of situations. I wanted to run, but I enjoy her company. I could have stayed in my neighborhood (ca. 30 mins away) and run by myself, except I prefer company. As always she was very, very insistent that I run ahead if I didn't need to walk, but she was also cramping up with some back pain. NO MAN LEFT BEHIND. I walked the lap with her and then picked up my run where I left it off. I picked up the subway on the Upper West Side and got off a stop early so I could squeeze an extra mile in there, too. All in all it was a pleasant, moderately long run done in cold weather.

But when I got home, I felt kind of uncomfortable. Just moderately congested, that sort of thing. Problem is, it didn't go away. For the rest of the afternoon and evening, it actually got worse and developed into almost flu-like discomfort: chills, aches, lethargy, etc. I've had this before, where I felt basically ill after running, but those times were after real long runs or marathons - not a jawn of barely 7m.

What gives? I was dressed appropriately for the weather. I've run in worse. I did have a bad night of sleep, but overall I got enough sleep. What happened?

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