Week #3 training recap: allergies, lozenges and bunnies

Bunny Fountain, Dublin, OH

It’s actually Week 4 and I’m finally starting my Week 3 recap, if that gives you any indication of how busy I’ve been.

Last week hit a bumpy patch in the middle of it. Monday was normal – I went and lifted, feeling strong and mighty once I was done. Then I woke up on Tuesday morning with a congested nose. Actually, I take that back – the congestion started to come in on Sunday, after Mom left. I figured it was probably a combination of a busy weekend and being outside so much that had my sinuses out of whack.

“And some of those kids were kicking up dust at the zoo,” Mom reminded me. So she figured I had a stuffy nose from that.

However, on Tuesday morning, the congestion was more noticeable. I was also feeling sluggish, so it took me a while to get outside and get on my run. I originally wanted to run six or seven miles, but instead had to cut it after four and a half. A lot of my Tuesday run consisted of walking breaks to drink water – I was having teeth and jaw pain from the congestion and water was the only thing to alleviate that – and general crankiness. It definitely wasn’t a run happy kind of run.

Then Tuesday afternoon and evening I was going back and forth between somewhat functional and falling asleep for two hours at a time. Wednesday was worse – I took two lengthy naps before noon and then wound up going to bed early that night. When I wasn’t sleeping I was draining, coughing and sneezing.

Thursday morning and afternoon were a continuation of my symptoms. Whatever I had was traveling from my nose to my throat, much to the concern of Marina. I’m smiling thinking about it now – she usually stays close to me, but she was in curious/protective mama cat mode whenever I fell asleep on the couch or laid down in my bed.

I finally felt better on Friday to lift as I planned. Turns out the two days of sleeping a lot was what I needed. I have a notebook with a list of exercises I carry to the gym so I can track my weight and reps, as well as keep myself focused and accountable. Depending on what the exercise is, I was using the 10, 15 or 20 pound dumbbells. The 20-pounders are for one-arm rows and overhead presses, and they were starting to feel easier. Once I’m able to complete 10 reps at one weight, it’s time to increase to the next one up. A part of me thought I should go a little easier since I had just gotten over my allergies and got my strength back. But then again, I also like to jump to new levels for the sake of jumping and challenging myself (to the occasional chagrin of my mother.) So I picked up the 25-pounders and worked my way through some low-rep sets of one-arm rows and military presses.

I finished my hour with shaky arms, but reader-friends, it was the moral victory and ego boost the doctor ordered.

I feel like I talk about it a lot on here and in real life, but there is nothing more empowering as a woman than building muscle, especially in the upper body, and the pride that comes with earning a nice, muscular pair of arms. I had fun flexing between sets and was singing along to Meatloaf and Winger.

Quick note from me: my mom came of age to these guys, so I listened to them and their music holds a soft spot for me. Feel free to judge.

Saturday was my first long run of my training cycle. Originally I planned to run 10 miles. Then I started my run and thought back to my last long run in late June, right before a life change and mild depression was going to come in swinging. On that day I ran 12 miles on accident, since I misjudged how far away Ohio Stadium is from Schiller Park in German Village. It was also an exceptionally hot and humid day, and I only had the water bottles in my fuel belt when I should have also brought my handheld water bottle. Physically I felt like I was dying but emotionally I felt alive, which seems to describe running over the past year and a half now that I’m thinking about it.

But this past Saturday there was no accident in my distance calculations. I knew I wanted to run to the Bunny Fountains at Ballantrae Park, and it was roughly five miles from the trail head in downtown historic Dublin to the park. Out and back is 10 miles. But my heart and brain said I needed to run 12 that day.

So I did and in spite of all the sneezin’ ‘n wheezin’, I felt powerful and at peace. The winding trail up Dublin Road to Emerald Parkway, past the Dublin Irish Festival and to Woerner-Temple Road reminded me that there’s so much to see no matter where you go.

The Bunny Fountains were approaching right as my Strava GPS let me know I reached the fifth mile. I ran on through the neighborhood, making a right at the trail as I ran alongside a road I didn’t recognize. Another right followed it and I managed to time my walk-and-drink break perfectly to the sixth mile mark.

The return trip was peaceful, although the sun really came out during the last two miles. I chugged all of my water – I had my fuel belt bottles and the handheld bottle with me – and grabbed a third drink at the library before driving back to Ballantrae. Another cool thing about Bunny Fountains is the Dublin Splash Park at the base of hill where the fountains stand. I’m not sure if I was actually supposed to do this, but I found a fountain to the side and got my feet wet. The only reason I’m not sure if I’m supposed to do this is because, with the exception of the parents of small children, no other adults were getting their feet wet.

Then I decided that there was no shame in cooling my feet off, did so and headed back to the car. It was time for a shower and I know trying to bath at the splash pad – primarily stripping off a sweaty sports bra in front of children – would merit the cops getting a call and me spending a night in jail.

I’m not about that life, and I know Marina wouldn’t be able to post bail.

So that’s how Week #3 ended – not as I expected, but also not bad.

I appreciate all of you who stay to the end of my stories and hope you all have a great night. It’s bedtime for me and a certain fluffy-tailed cat.

Yours in writing and running,


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