Running quote of the week

"There is no such thing as an average runner. We are all above average." - Hal Higdon

Monday, February 20, 2017

Embracing the Mindful and rejecting the Beast

I'm giving my Plantar my full support
Today's workout (upper body hand weights): 45 minutes

Happy President's Day.  This morning my daughter and I celebrated with a cup of coffee at Runsketeer Starbucks. She didn't have classes today because of the holiday. I'm off from work for the same reason. I always did like George and Abe.

After Starbucks, I coerced my daughter into swinging by CVS so I could purchase a couple of items that will supposedly help reduce the pain of Plantar Fasciitis. I bought a Plantar Flex Support Sleeve and Plantar Flex Orthotics. When I looked them up on the CVS site I saw that "related items" included Crest white strips, contact lens cleaner and razor blade refills. This Fasciitis thing is pretty complex. Now I understand why my heel pain hasn't gone away quickly.

White strips and support sleeves - a natural combination!
I'm not sure if any of the stuff I got at CVS will help. Another great president, Teddy Roosevelt, said, "The best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." Action is better than inaction. Otherwise the Plantar Fasciitis wins.

I dutifully placed the flex sleeve on my foot and put the supports in my shoes. I decided to forgo a run in favor of an upper body workout. Specifically, the Body Beast workout that TPP gave me last month. I put one of the DVDs into my laptop and as soon as I saw the Lou Ferrigno lookalike, I thought I might be out of my league. The warm-up was fine, but then they started doing push ups (push ups!) before the workout had even started. That did it for me.

Instead of giving up on a workout, I went online and found a video of a woman trainer with less muscles than Lou Ferrigno. Her routine, using hand weights, took 10 minutes and felt more like a warm up than a real workout. I decided to look at a few other websites and found a set of exercises on "The Mindful Body" that looked reasonable. Since every person I talk to uses the term "mindful" these days, I figured I'd try it out.

This routine was tougher than the ten minute warm up and took about 35 minutes to finish. I didn't work up a big sweat, but I know I hit every muscle group in my arms and shoulders. I'm curious to see how I feel tomorrow, as I haven't done a formal upper body workout since the London Olympics. While my arms will inevitably ache, I'm hoping my heel will feel a little better. If so, I'll take that trade-off.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

There's nothing acute about Plantar Fasciitis

This heel pain is making me nutty
Today's run (treadmill): 3.3 miles
Yesterday's run (treadmill): 3.2 miles

If you're ever looking for ways to ruin your appetite, I suggest looking up foot pain on Google Images. I did that, and I'm now confident in saying that the foot is our ugliest external body part. The reason why I was looking at feety things was because I've been experiencing acute foot pain in my heel that the Internet thinks is Plantar Fasciitis. I usually associate the word Plantar with mixed nuts, but this seems to be something different. I learned, in terms of pain, that acute means short term and chronic is long term. At least that's what the trainer person said in an infomercial that I couldn't switch off because the remote was out of reach.

Whether my pain is here to stay or just visiting, I can tell you it's very annoying. I first started experiencing discomfort at the bottom of my left heel about three weeks ago. Interestingly enough, that's when one of my co-workers generously donated his standing pad to me because he decided that using a standing desk was dumb. Prior to using that pad, I had no pain in my heel. It seems counter intuitive that a pad made specifically to reduce leg fatigue for people who stand for long periods would create this problem. But when it comes to feet, all bets are off.

Plantar Fasciitis is a strange affliction. I'm not really sure what it is. As a matter of fact, I don't think anyone actually knows what it is. If you look it up, it's blamed for just about anything having to do with foot pain. My particular problem is when I put pressure on my heel it hurts. The pain is fairly sharp (one might even say "acute"), but it minimizes once I walk around on it. So far it hasn't interfered with my running, although it is noticeable at the start.

I did treadmill runs yesterday and today. They were fairly identical except that Saturday's music had more Sheila E while today's had more Prince. I think Price wrote some of Sheila E's songs so technically they were identical. But I digress. My treadmill experiences have been good of late, mostly because I limit my distance to 3.25 miles. My friends SIOR and KWL and a few work colleagues often spend well over an hour on the treadmill. I can't do that anymore but I can psych myself up to cover about 5K.

Despite this heel pain, I seem to be covering a lot of ground. According to my Garmin 35, I've taken about 14K steps today. A chunk of that was my morning run and another chunk was when I walked to the library to return a DVD. In both cases my heel pain was minimal. How it felt afterwards was a different story. I'm going to look up things you're supposed to do to address heel based Plantar Fasciitis. I'm also going to take a break from my standing mat to see if that makes it better or worse. If going mat-less makes it better, I'm going to give it to someone in the office whom I dislike. Maybe that's how I got it in the first place.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Going horizontal with vertigo

Verti, please go
Today's run (treadmill): 3.25 miles
Last Sunday's run (treadmill): 3.2 miles

This has been a dizzying week for a couple of reasons. One is that I have so much going on at the office that I'm doing five minute meetings in the hallway on my way to other meetings. The other reason it's been dizzying is because I've been dizzy. About once a year (last time was in March) I get a bad case of sinus related vertigo that puts me horizontal, at least for a little while. Aside from the feeling that the room is spinning, there are no concerning effects.

My bout with this annoyance started on Wednesday night. I had no idea it was coming, but right after dinner, I started feeling woozy. It isn't unpleasant, but it does get in the way of walking a straight line across the room. I felt much better on Thursday morning but after a couple of dizzy spells during my morning coffee, I elected to work from home. I would normally run on a work-from-home day, but I didn't want to take any chances on the treadmill.

Today was a different story. I worked from home again because that's what I do on Fridays. Between a restful night's sleep and some sinus medicine, I was getting back to normal. I decided to do a treadmill run. Although the streets are clear, the sidewalks are still snowed under and I didn't feel comfortable without that escape route.

I expected to struggle on the treadmill but ended up doing okay. No dizziness issues and the running felt easy. I suspect that had to do with my moderate pace and the fact that I had two consecutive nights of sleeping eight hours. That doesn't happen too often. With the music station playing some decent songs and a calmer day ahead, my workout seemed to go by quickly.

I don't like admitting this, but my last few treadmill runs have gone very well. I think we're due for spring-like weather next week and that might get me back on the road. This weekend, I'm pretty sure I'll be running inside. But with the Monday holiday, at least I'll get an extra chance for a run.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Great treadmill run. This is not a typo.

Oh, we can be heroes, just for one day
Today's run (treadmill): 3.5 miles
Yesterday's run (treadmill): 3. 2 miles
Tuesday's run (treadmill): 1.25 miles
Last Sunday's run (street): 4.1 miles

It snowed this week and the streets have been very unfriendly for runners. The treadmill likes to use these times to prove its worthiness to me. Over the years I have learned to appreciate the indoor option but that doesn't mean I particularly like it. Our FreeMotion machine has been a big improvement over the tortured Sole F63 it replaced and I am grateful for that. Today it was my hero.

I worked from home on Tuesday. Although I had an early video call, I managed to squeeze in a short treadmill run. Very short. But every mile counts and I'm counting that one. I worked from home on Thursday, but limited my exercise to multiple shoveling sessions in order to get through 13" of snow. It turned out to be a good leg and upper body workout, especially when digging out the huge snowbanks at the end of our driveway that were left by the town plows.

I stayed home yesterday because the Long Island roads were still a big mess. I dutifully hopped on the treadmill and cranked out a three miler, the same distance I would have done had I been able to run on the road. I approached yesterday's run like a 5K, starting easy and increasing speed as I went. The last half mile was run about two minutes per mile faster than I've been averaging this year.

This morning I noticed that the streets were relatively free of ice and snow. Unfortunately, the sidewalks were buried under three feet of snow, leaving no place to escape from cars on the road. I elected to run inside.

For those of you who are expecting me to write about how today's treadmill run was just terrible because treadmills are soooo boring I'm afraid I must disappoint. I put on the cable music channel and was rewarded with some great songs. I only wore my Kinvaras and compression shorts and set the treadmill's fan to "stun", so I felt cool and dry most of the way through. I didn't attempt the same challenging pace as yesterday, so the run felt much easier. Dare I say, enjoyable?

Even though I could have gone longer, I elected to cap it at 3.5 miles. Rather than duplicate Friday's progressively faster pacing that left me worn out by the end, I finished feeling energized. I liked that feeling and the treadmill is my friend. At least for today. Tomorrow may be a different story.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A bad wind blows my run

I feel so good. Wait, no I don't.
Today's run (street): 3.7 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.2 miles
Last Sunday's run (Street): 4.3 miles

As I made my way around my neighborhood this morning, my experience alternated from pleasant to tortuous. It all depended on the direction I was running. As I ran I thought of the song "I Feel So Good" by Richard Thompson that toggles cleverly between nice and nasty. With a 25° temperature as a starting point, and wind making it feel like 17° outside, I prepared for the worst.

I don't know why my face has become so sensitive to the cold this season. I can bundle up for really cold conditions, but unless I wear a balaclava I still have to deal with face freeze. Getting through the first mile was a challenge today and I wished I'd wore the bandito buff that KWL gave me last year. I briefly considered heading home and running indoors, but I figured that only half my run would be into the wind and I'd eventually warm up. I did, but it took a while. With the wind to my back, my running was a pleasure. When it wasn't, it was a pain.

Speaking of pain, I've been dealing with a heel problem with my left foot that may be a form of Plantar Fasciitis. On the advice of KWL I've temporarily switched from my low, flat NB Zante 2's to my well padded Saucony Triumph ISOs that have a more pronounced drop between the heel and forefoot. I think that helped minimize my pain on the run. It also feels a little better after running. I hope it's just an inflammation of the fascia and not something more concerning, like a hairline fracture or a heel spur.

My runs today and Friday were pretty slow. Pre-September slow in fact. I'm not concerned that I'm   backsliding, but it's frustrating in light of gains I'd made during the last three months of 2016. I was running more than 2 minutes per mile faster compared to what I averaged in late summer. I'll conveniently blame today's mediocre performance on wearing too many layers and all that wind resistance. Plus my heel pain and the cold. Let's see how tomorrow goes. I really hope I feel so good.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Am I still emerging?

Can I find self actualization on a magazine rack?
Today's run (track): 3.6 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.2 miles

I do spend a lot of time worrying about safety
When I started running regularly in 2008, I had hopes of becoming a dedicated and competitive runner. I got that half right. If nothing else, I've kept a running routine going for over 8 years. I chose the term "emerging" to describe this blog, with a nod to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. In my case, the bottom level was being able to sustain a run for more than 30 seconds. Self actualization was quite a bit higher on the pyramid.

I had a few years when I competed frequently and my performances benefited from six day a week training. If I was going to self actualize, it would have been then. My goals for running are far more modest these days. This afternoon I was in Barnes & Noble looking at their sparse collection of running magazines that were tucked within an alarming number of gun orientated publications. I thought it would be nice if there was a magazine that was geared more toward mediocre runners. I'd buy that.

I haven't given up on self actualization, but my expectations for what actualization means has changed. My running schedule is typically three days a week: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If I have another day off (or I'm working from home) I'll add more runs. I still track my performance and care whether I'm running slower or faster than the day before. But I'm not spending a lot of time running hill intervals.

Yesterday morning I did my usual Friday loop before my workday started. I like that route because three miles is a nice distance and I can get through it fairly quickly. Conditions weren't great, with a 13 MPH wind that made the 41° temperature feel like 34°. Even with gloves and a warm hat, I felt uncomfortable when the wind hit me head on. That discomfort probably contributed to my slightly better than average pace.

I'm smiling cause I'm done
This morning I was pressed for time so I made a beeline to the local high school track. I like running on the track because it's flat and the surface is forgiving. Every lap around the track is a notch in the belt of progress and I don't have to worry about being run over. I decided I'd do 14 laps and they passed quickly. Like yesterday, there was a stiff wind (15 MPH) that froze my hands and face every time my direction switched from north to west. Real feel was 26°.

There's always something to see at the track and today was no exception. About halfway through my run, a young couple showed up and started running around the track tossing a football back and forth. They weren't wearing gloves and they dropped the ball more than they caught it, but they seemed to be having fun.

Tomorrow's weather will be more of the same and I'd consider a run at Stillwell but I'm admittedly concerned about taking another tumble on the trail. I was happy with how I ran today and yesterday. Both runs improved on last week's performance. I'm still mediocre but at least I'm still aiming for the highest point in the pyramid.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dinner and a movie with the Runsketeers

Hey, that ain't Starbucks!
Photo courtesy of KWL
Today's run (street): 3.8 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.3 miles

The Runsketeers got together yesterday to see the new film, Patriot's Day. I was initially disappointed that the film wasn't about my birthday (April 19) but I soon forgot the injustice. I remember the Boston bombing very clearly, but I learned a lot of new stuff in this movie, including the fact that Marky Mark figured out almost everything about the perpetrators for the Boston and Watertown Police and the FBI special agent in charge, even though Markey was suspended or on probation for some unexplained reason.

I also learned that if I ever find myself in the middle of a street shootout between police and terrorists, I should take cover behind a Mercedes GLS and not a Ford Explorer. Besides these valuable insights, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and encourage all runners and non-runners to see it. It wasn't really about the Boston Marathon itself, but for those of us who grew up watching it live each year (me) or actually qualified and ran it (SIOR), it was personal. TPP and KWL also gave it two thumbs up.

It was fun to see my Runsketeer buddies wearing something other than compression gear. We settled into the theater's la-z-boy seats to watch the movie trailers that were basically a bunch of flashy cuts with lots of explosions and aliens, and a soundtrack loud enough to feel. I suppose that was the Dolby sound system turned up to 11. I don't get out much but I guess this is the new normal. The last time I'd gone to the movies I had to sit in a seat without a built-in foot rest or a cup holder capable of securing a gallon of soda.

It was a good thing those cup holders were as big as they were, because SIOR purchased a drink so big that Michael Bloomberg would have arrested her on the spot for possessing it. She needed it to wash down her one-two combination of Milk Duds and popcorn. We planned to have dinner afterward but I figured that all that junk food would ruin an appetite. Nope.

We ended up going to a Sushi place in Garden City. I couldn't stay for dinner, but I did have a beer and got to hang out with my buddies until my mommy wife picked me up an hour or so later. Along with TPP, KWL and SIOR, we were joined by Mr. SIOR and their four mini-SIORs. They were adorable and very well behaved and it was good to seem them all again.

I did get a couple of runs in since Friday, both around my neighborhood. Yesterday's route was a series of loops that never took me more than half a mile away from my house. I didn't match Friday's pace but I got it done. This morning I wanted to get out before the weather started to turn. We're supposed to get over 2 inches of rain and see 50-60 MPH winds by tonight. The skies were clear of precipitation but the moderate coolness and 93% humidity created a lot of fog which was fun to run through.

I wore my highest visibility shirt and took a circuitous route around my neighborhood that got me to almost four miles. My performance was better than Saturday's but slightly slower than Friday's. I'll admit that I've fallen back into the 3-4 mile distance rut and that probably won't change until get back to the Bethpage trail. Maybe next weekend.  In the meantime, I'm happy that I've been able to resume my weekend running routine. And very glad I got to see the mighty Runsketeers two weekends in a row.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inaugural day run faster than expected

Here we go again
Today's run (street): 3.1 miles

The last time I ran, Obama was still president. Of course that was at 8:00 AM this morning. We have a new president now and it will be interesting to see how the next four years will play out (if he even makes it four years). For now, I'll just worry about running.

I managed to get in four runs last weekend because I had Monday off for MLK day. I was feeling very tired last night and worried whether I'd be up to running this morning. The skies were clear and conditions were decent, so I allowed myself no excuses to get outside. The 39° weather felt much colder and I probably over-layered, but I was grateful for my warm hat and new gloves from SIOR throughout the entire run.

Today's workout was all about maintaining fitness. The joy of the run was missing and I spent my time anticipating when I would finish. I blamed it on my fatigue and expected the worst when I looked at my Garmin. It wasn't great, but it was best performance I've seen since mid December. I can't blame my difficulty on pushing too hard, since my heart rate stayed below 80% max most of the way.

We've been fortunate to have a relatively snow-free January and I've been able get out on the road a lot this month. I compare that to 2015 when I was stuck doing indoor workouts for much of January and February due to snowy road conditions. Tomorrow's weather should be fine, but Sunday is supposed to be stormy and rainy. I'm hoping that will happen later in the day so I can make this a treadmill free weekend.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Runsketeer run at the Massapequa Preserve

Me, SIOR, virtual KWL, JC & TPP
Today's run (Massapequa Preserve trail): 3.1

The Runsketeers got together today (at the Massapequa Preserve) for the first time since late November. We almost ended up at SUNY Old Westbury out of concern that yesterday's snow would make the trail unrunnable. SIOR, who is training for Boston in April, had a long run planned today and got to the Preserve early to gain miles before we arrived. She texted us that the trail was fine so we all met there at 9:00 AM.

We had a complete crew today that included me, SIOR, KWL, TPP and JC. We were glad to see each other but quickly hustled onto the trail. There was a guy standing with his barking dog that SIOR said had been in that spot all morning. Better a dog on a leash than some of the other weirdness that goes on at the Preserve these days. I took it slow for two reasons. One because it was slippery. Two, because I'm slow. TPP and JC took off ahead of us, KWL eventually caught up with them and SIOR and I carefully made our way through the snow and ice covered sections.

I'm still coming back from a couple of weeks where most of my aerobic activity consisted of coughing and not running. I'd run about 6.5 miles since Friday, but today's weather and trail conditions discouraged me from going more than 3.1 miles today. SIOR and I were able to chat easily through our out-and-back. We took refuge in her monster truck to stay warm until KWL joined us after completing 5+ miles. The three of us hung out until TPP and JC returned from their 7 mile journey.

Unfortunately KWL needed to leave earlier than planned and couldn't join us for apr├ęs run coffee. The four of us made our way to Starbucks and commandeered a long table where we exchanged holiday gifts. I think this counts as the Runsketeer holiday party. SIOR gave me two ways to keep my hands warm - an awesome pair of UA running gloves and two packet hand warmers. Both will be well used. TPP gave me a couple of Daily Burn CDs which will finally force me to pay attention to my upper body.

The four of us talked a lot about running and TPP and I compared our PBs for 5K, 4 miles, 10K, and half marathons. She beat me by either a little (3 seconds on the 5K) or a lot (3+ minutes on the 10K). I wished I'd mentioned 8K, because I may have won that one since she probably hasn't raced that distance.

We talked about endurance events and I asked JC what part of a triathlon is the hardest. He said none of it is hard. In fact he said an Iron Man is a piece of cake because you have 17 hours to finish. Actually he said SIOR could do it in less than a day and I could do it in a week. I wonder if I should be insulted by that. I always thought a week was more than 17 hours. Maybe triathlon math is different than regular math.

We missed KWL, but I put him in the picture above. That was his picture from the last time the Runsketeers got together. This picture was the best of about five that I took today. SIOR was making faces in one (big surprise) and my phone distorted at the edges and made TPP (who is extremely fit) look like a candidate for the Biggest Loser.

It was great getting to be with my buddies all morning. I'm excited that I'll get to see them again soon when we all go to see the movie Patriot's Day. Due to the icy roads, I'm probably going to stay inside and do my fourth weekend run on the treadmill tomorrow. If I'm feeling ambitious I will take a crack at the Daily Burn vids. I really hope we have a thaw this week so I can run outside and use my cool new running gloves on Friday.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Back on the road in 2017

Fashion forward and functional!
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles
Yesterday's run (street): 3.1 miles

It was rough getting through my first full work week since mid December. I was happy when Friday finally came. The head and chest cold that kept me out of the office for a few days last week has pretty much gone except for an occasional cough. Runs in the cold on Friday and today did trigger a lot of coughing, but only after I'd finished.

Friday morning's weather was misleading in terms of the temperature. The local news was showing 50° and I dressed accordingly. When I stepped outside, I felt the 13 MPH wind and ran upstairs to put on a warm hat. Even with the wind chill, the "feels-like" temperature stayed in the 40's but it felt raw in my throat. It's been a tough start to the new year so I was glad to complete my first 3+ mile outdoor run in 2017.

Today's route
Today was much colder. The real-feel temp was 23° and the humidity was 12% lower than yesterday. I dressed almost the same as Friday except for wearing a heavier 1/4 zip instead of just a long sleeve running shirt. It was cold but manageable, although my face (especially my nose) was very uncomfortable. I've never really had an issue running in 20° weather, but this season my face has been extra sensitive to the cold. I wished I'd worn my bandito mask or bought this attractive product (see above).

Today's run was longer and slower than yesterday's, but I was fine with that. I know my sporadic running since 12/26 has affected my conditioning and the only way to build it back is to run longer and more frequently. With the long weekend I will get an opportunity for an extra run. Tomorrow I'll take part in a Life Time Fitness group run led by SIOR. If you want to channel your inner Runsketeer, meet us in the east side of the Massapequa train station lot tomorrow at 9:00 AM

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Running and coughing and slipping and freezing

Oh yes, it's January again
Today's run (street & treadmill): 3 miles total

Whatever cold or virus that hit me on December 29 is still with me. The only remaining symptom is a dry cough that just won't abate. I took a rare sick day on Tuesday, worked from home on Wednesday and returned to the office on Thursday. My coughing was so relentless that my boss, whose office is adjacent to mine, told me to work from home on Friday. She couldn't stand the thought of another day listening to my hacking.

The good news is that I feel almost back to full strength. I considered going for a run on Friday morning, but ended up doing a brisk (4 MPH) treadmill walk instead. This morning's weather was a lot colder, but I was determined to get out and run. 23° with winds dropping the real feel temperature into the teens meant a lot of layers head to foot. I did my best to prepare, but I ultimately found conditions too harsh.

I was fairly comfortable while I waited for the Garmin to acquire its signal. I started off optimistically, planning to only run fast enough to stay warm. When I took my first left off my street, I felt the wind on my face and it hurt. I decided to give it a few minutes, hoping that warming up would help minimize my discomfort. I thought I could tough it out for three miles and probably could have managed that. After completing a loop through the middle school, I saw that the lightly falling snow was becoming heavier and the ground was getting slippery.

That was enough for me. I made tracks (literally) back to my house and headed upstairs where my wife was just finishing up her treadmill workout. I quickly shed my heavy layers and hopped on the treadmill. I completed the balance of my run indoors and ended up getting in trouble for tracking dirt in the house because I'd forgotten to take off my running shoes.

I usually try to cover closer to five miles on weekend days, but the combination of not running for two weeks and feeling less than 100% made three miles seem like a good distance. Besides that, we're in the middle of our first snowstorm of the season. I knew I'd be going out at least four times to shovel as we're looking at 9"- 12" at this point. Between the running and shoveling, I've already covered more than 10K steps today. That number will go up further when we go back out again at 7:00.

I was glad to get back on the road this morning for the first time since Boxing Day. Unfortunately , it was for barely more than half a mile. Looks like another fun session on the treadmill tomorrow.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Caping but not running

Home away from home
I rarely get sick. As a matter of fact, I cannot remember the last time I had so much as a cold. When I do get sick, it's usually during the last week of the year. I always take the time between Christmas and New Year's day as vacation time. It may be due to transitioning from weeks of intense business to being free of work, but I've suffered my worst colds, flu and even a bout with pneumonia during that time.

My favorite view
My vacation had been going along nicely. I was running every day and looking forward to spending a few days on Cape Cod. My last run before our trip was at the local high school track and I ran well. That usually happens when I run more frequently, in this case five times in a row. We'd rented a house in Barnstable, MA, and my running plans included a visit to the Shining Sea trail in Falmouth. I was also hoping to run on the local roads near our rental house.

Wild turkeys in Falmouth
Our house was located on the north edge of town and overlooked the water. Growing up, I spent almost every summer at the Cape and was excited to duplicate the experience with my family. I naively assumed that driving from Barnstable to Falmouth would take 15 or 20 minutes, but when we headed over there, I realized it closer to an hour's drive. We had a great time in Falmouth, but I conceded to not running the rail to trail path the next day.

Nobska lighthouse, Falmouth
We covered the Cape out to Chatham and enjoyed the clear off season roads. The wind and cold on Wednesday pushed us to the edge of our comfort zone but we spent a lot of time outside. My son started feeling rundown by midday, but he was a trooper and stayed with us into the evening. By Thursday morning, my daughter and I started experiencing the same symptoms. I'd hoped to do an early morning run by our house before we hit the road, but I was in no shape to do that when I woke up.
Barnstable at dawn

Jiffy Pop. Too bad I burned it.
Chilly air and hot coffee
We left for home before 7:00 AM on Thursday. Fortunately, my wife has an amazing immune system and was able to pilot us back to LI without a problem. I spent the next couple of days feeling increasingly worse. My son started recovering by Saturday and that alleviated some of my concern that I was dealing with the flu or pneumonia. My daughter and I have been recovering on parallel tracks but progress has been slow. By Saturday morning, it was clear that I would not be in shape to do the January 1st Hangover Run with my Runsketeer buddies.

That was a good call because on top of my coughing and congestion, I was also experiencing significant lower back pain. I avoided taking any OTC remedies and rested as much as I could. This morning was a different story. My coughing has lessened and my strength has improved, but not enough to run. My daughter's progress has mirrored mine and hopefully we'll both be feeling much better tomorrow. I probably won't get out for a run again until next Friday, but if that's what it takes to beat this thing, I'm okay with that.
 

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