Flexibility: every now and then you get a reminder of why it's so necessary, in running as in everything else. That's what Thanksgiving Week was for me this year.
Leaving off where my 16-miler finished...we left for Virginia, where Dan's sister and her family live, the next day, which was the Saturday before the holiday. Ruthie, my little girl, had largely gotten over her stomach virus. We were excited for the week ahead, as over the course of the seven days we were going to see Dan's entire extended family. And I was looking forward to running in a new place, and at sea level, too. The travel day wasn't bad, and I had big plans for an exploratory 3-to-4 mile run the next morning.
It wasn't to be. I had felt sort of queasy all day on our journey, but figured it was motion sickness from a bumpy landing. I'm prone to motion sickness anyway. But it didn't go away, and sure enough I spent most of that first night throwing up and most of the next day sleeping. The preschool virus had gotten me!
On Monday, thanks to my running-reinforced immune system and all the sleep (bless my sister-in-law for her white noise machine), I felt nearly 100% and managed a slow but nice 8-mile run. Charlottesville is one hilly town! I got to see a lot of the University of Virginia campus that day and even found a windy trail up a mountain. Things shifted again the next day when my little 10-month old nephew came down with the Dreaded Virus. It lasted two days for him, poor guy.
I was supposed to do a track workout on Wednesday, but didn't want to bug anyone to drive me to a high school (they were all too far away to run to), so I found a nearby gym, paid the daily drop-in fee and for the first time since early June ran on a treadmill. I figure intervals are an OK thing to do on a treadmill, as tracks are flat anyway. I knocked out a good solid 6 800s.
Thanksgiving itself was a nice day. I took my friend Kathy's advice and threw out the scale, just enjoying my dinner and especially lots of pumpkin pie. My plan was to run 18 miles on Friday, the day before we were due to leave.
But that, too, wasn't to be. That night, Dan came down with the Dreaded Virus. As did his mom. As did his sister. And her husband. That left two adults standing: me and my mother-in-law's husband. That wonderful man let me out for a three-mile head-clearer, but other than that I was busy trying to keep the kids quiet or, if not quiet, out of the house so the invalids could sleep. No 18 miles in Charlottesville. (Just as a side note, I have no idea how my son Will avoided this virus. I'm even scared to type that, for fear I will jinx it.)
Dan felt much better by the time we flew out on Saturday. Happily, I had taken Sunday off work. So that afternoon, after we all returned from church, I shouldered my CamelBak stuffed with Shot Bloks and set out for what I was sure would be one sucky 18 miles of slog. After all, I had just been down at sea level for a week, was tired and dehydrated from flying and driving the day before and generally hate running in the afternoon.
The final twist to this story? I felt *great* on this run. I actually completed it more quickly than the 16 miles I'd done the week before.
Flexibility is a beautiful thing! Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) it even rewards you.
Weight check-in: Home scale today: 128.4; 21.7% body fat (maybe the stomach virus wasn't all bad); didn't go to weight training today due to a kindergarten tour, so no gym scale to compare it to
Weeks until the Houston Marathon: 6.5 (ahhhh!)
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