Dry Martini: Some Weeks, The Bear Eats You

You might have noticed that today is not Friday. Or, if I'm the first to break the news to you, then I'm sorry to let you know that it isn't Friday. Soon, though.

For a variety of reasons, Martini Fridays will now be on Thursdays, which means we needed a new name. Martini Fridays on Thursdays felt cumbersome. Right now, we're going with "Dry Martini." We'll see if it sticks.

My post-Wineglass return to running was going really, really well until last Wednesday. Yes, the first few runs back were rougher than I’d expected and there were moments when what "an easy three" felt like the physical equivalent of my high school stats class, where I was so far out of my league that I couldn’t even keep up with where my league should have been.

Yes, the sky really was that blue on my last long run. Then it started to hail.
Yes, the sky really was that blue on my last long run. Then it started to hail.

It was a disheartening slog, is what I’m saying. A few runs in, though, and I was back where I’d left off. I could pull off a few miles at my race pace in the middle of a longer run. My long runs were comfortable and, in one case, through typical New England-y October weather, which is to say, hot, bright sunshine followed by freezing snow squalls. A reminder that winter, as various Games of Thrones characters like to intone, is coming.

Still, it felt like all of the fitness I’d gained during my training for my super-fantastic race was in there. Now, I thought, it's time to cue the training montage and so that I can get even faster!

Right now, you should hear the sound of a sad trombone.

Last week, shortly after a tornado-fast trip down to New York City for my actual job, during which I shook a lot of hands and failed to get good sleep, I was toppled by some dread illness. I spent the rest of the week either on the couch or asleep in bed, snuffling and hacking and wheezing while hoping that it would all pass sooner rather than later. Which it hasn’t. Stupid germs.

My new BRF. His name is Frank.

To add to the fun, 24 hours after I was felled, my ten-year old son toppled, too. His version has been more spectacular, though. Long story short, while I was dragging my sorry self around a grocery store where I’d gone to pick up more decongestants and boxes of Jello, the boy almost made it to the bathroom before he started barfing.

Good times.

Being ten, he’s bounced back a whole lot quicker than I have. He’s back at school; I’m back at work -- but one of us collapses on the couch after our days and begs for others in the house to refill her water glass. With extra ice. And, maybe a grape NUUN, if you really want to show me how much you love me.

My phlegm-y haze last weekend didn’t keep me from watching the NYC marathon. Not only do I consider it my local 26.2 (even though I live four hours away), I knew quite a few folks running it this year. Yes, Mary Keitany is my BFF from high school … I kid.

By all reports, each and every BAMR who ran NYC, rocked it like a mighty thing that rocks. Seriously. Even if she might think she didn’t, from my vantage point on the couch, she totally, absolutely, unequivocally did.

While I watched, I started to have … thoughts, the sort of thoughts that one has when one is glassy-eyed from fever. If I were going to run a marathon, it would have to be this one, I thought. I dared let this idea fall out of my head and into the universe, which seemed to say: challenge accepted. A Facebook friend suggested registering for the 2016 lottery and leaving it to the fates. Which seems like an easy enough thing to do, especially when you haven’t run a step for the better part of a week.

I couldn't remember before I set out on my last long run if it was deer season or not. I work my Saucony Vizipro jacket just in case.

Tomorrow — I’m writing this on Tuesday — my plan is to lace up for a super easy three miles. My hope is that it won’t be nearly as creaky and enervating as my post-Wineglass easy three — but I suspect it will be. My other hope is that getting sweaty will be just what I need to drive the last of this evil from my body. We shall see.

Of course, since deep, deep down I’m convinced that this running thing could disappear if I take my eyes off it for just a few seconds, I’m worried that all of the gains I’ve made are gone with the wind, since I've been sitting on my arse for a week. I know that’s my inner crazy lady talking, the one who always jumps to the most fatalistic conclusions despite having zero evidence to support them. But the running is what keeps my inner crazy lady quiet so she’s had some time to cook up a nice batch of new anxieties for me to ponder. Just one of the side benefits to getting sick.

How many of you have spent a week (or more) down with a bug, rather than an injury? How did your first few runs feel afterwards? And what do you think of the new column name?

26 responses to “Dry Martini: Some Weeks, The Bear Eats You

  1. I love the new name!! And I am playing with the idea of letting the fates decide by entering the NYC and Chicago lotteries. I said I would only do one ever, but now I’m thinking that if I ever do another 26.2, then it will just have to be one of the EPIC races. 🙂

    As far as illness – totally dealing with that right now! I’m just getting back to regular workouts after being sick for 11 days with minimal activity taking place due to hacking and fatigue. I’m definitely feeling a loss of endurance, but I know it will come back quickly if I just keep working on getting workouts in and trying to hit some paces even if I can’t hit them all the time.

    Hope it gets better!

  2. Did my full to get it off the bucket list but now I think about if I’ll do one again. Uh oh. Martini Fridays on Thurday- I love it.

  3. Martini!!!!!! Ok, love the name, but OHMAHGAH – I got total chills (seriously, because I’m a dork) when you said you’re thinking about a marathon. This is how it starts, my friend – yayayay!!!

  4. I really like the name (but I, too, thought it was Friday…). I think it depends on what kind of crud you’ve got. Anything in my lungs will slow me down a bit longer. A stomach bug isn’t usually bad. I’ve been using my essential oils (don’t judge, they work!) and that helps me bounce back, especially with my breathing.

    And I have ZERO desire to do a full. Usually. Almost always. Really.

  5. I used to get bronchitis yearly so would put my running on the back burner. Many times I still ran, and coughed and spit and coughed some more. I have a difficult time NOT getting out there and resting when I am feeling yuck. Running always makes me feel better. I have never had a martini-

  6. Great Column! Do it with NYC. I went into the lottery in 2012 and decided to let fate have its way. I succumbed to calling my cc company on lottery day and had a pending charge of $255. Gulp. Due to Sandy, wound up running it in 2013 and it was an amazing experience! Fingers crossed for you. Once you get on that train, no getting off! (and just think of all the material you’ll have for your wonderful column! I look so forward to it.)

  7. I cold that settled in my lungs has completely derailed my fall race plan. Mind you I was having a bit of a hard time anyways but I missed my 11 mile run bc I had a nasty sore throat body ache thing going and its went down hill from there. I ran the next day despite the unending snot and that was the last run for several weeks that didn’t leaving me hacking. OH well at least I hadn’t registered for the race yet. I’ll just relocate my strong this spring. In the mean time I’m back to running and not hacking too much and I’ve discovered rock my run.

  8. Being sick and not being able to exercise is the worst. But I have no problem at all laying low until the bug is totally gone. I love the new name of your column. So looking forward to following your training and your marathon race recap next year! Well. you DID put it out there to the universe.

  9. This: “Of course, since deep, deep down I’m convinced that this running thing could disappear if I take my eyes off it for just a few seconds, I’m worried that all of the gains I’ve made are gone with the wind, since I’ve been sitting on my arse for a week. I know that’s my inner crazy lady talking, the one who always jumps to the most fatalistic conclusions despite having zero evidence to support them. But the running is what keeps my inner crazy lady quiet so she’s had some time to cook up a nice batch of new anxieties for me to ponder. Just one of the side benefits to getting sick.”

    I think you might be my spirit animal.

  10. Ha! I did the same thing–got caught up watching the 2013 NYCM on TV and reading lots of race recaps (and training entries) about it. If I was ever going to run a marathon, NYCM would be it! I signed up for the lottery on a Black Friday special and won entry in a contest pre-lottery drawing in February. Had a magical NYC and marathon experience in 2014! Best decision I ever made. You definitely need to throw your hat in the ring!!!

  11. Great name, but I’m sad to see you not on Fridays! It was always a perfect start to the weekend. I took a few days off after my half, the day I was to start back I came down with the virus from hell. Long story short it was almost 2 weeks before I could run again. Then when I did I coughing up grossness for another week. So yeah, I definitely lost some fitness. Now almost a month later I’ll be doing my 1st longish run tomorrow. But, things are returning to normal. Good luck!

  12. Who is this other Marianne 😉

    I remember my first after my last sickness being super slow but maybe I did not wait long enough. Hope you are cleared for the rest of the decade!

  13. I did a half marathon less than a week off antibiotics for pneumonia that laid me low for over a week. While I was prepared to walk and prepared for not being able to breath well, I was not prepared for my quads being on fire for lack of oxygen. It is the only race that I have done that I did not know if I would finish. It took at least a year to get back to where I was before getting sick.

  14. Love the new name…. I have been knocked on my A$$ several times…. Thought I had mono 10 years ago because 2 of my 3 very young kids had, nope my thyroid decided not to on permanent strike. I couldn’t get out of bed for a week then took about a month to get meds working. Then 5 of last 7 years we have been hit by influenza (yes we get the shot). Remember to be kind to yourself

  15. Name…hmm, not sure. I’ve been sidelined for a week right before a race. My first run back was a half marathon that felt great for the first 8 miles (very fresh legs!) until the dehydration from a fever filled week caught up with me. I finished and realized racing was probably not the brightest idea but I’ve never been bright. NYC, huh? You know what they say, if you’re thinking about it, you’re ready.

  16. 1- I saw ‘Martini’ in my e-mail and thought it was Friday 🙁 sad, sad.
    2- Dry Martini is perfect, matches your wit (and I LOVE me a dry Martini)
    Sorry you were sick, I know the feeling. I tried and tried post-Marine Corps Marathon to do everything right so I wouldn’t get sick, oh well, A for effort?
    Once one has the *thought* of doing a marathon, one usually *does* a marathon. My NYC lottery entry in 2011 made me think I didn’t want such a big one be to be my first one, so there was Providence (no NYC that year), then Steamtown, then Hartford, then Marine Corps……

  17. It really sucks being sick! Don’t worry about losing any gains. Once you get moving again, you’ll get back to where you were in no time. I think getting sick is your body’s way of telling you to take a break and take care of yourself! I hope you feel better fast.

    And I’m starting to have those delusions of throwing my name into the NYCM as well. Seriously.

  18. I love the name, too! I’ve been down for several days with illness but not for a whole week. The first few days back are usually miserable for me. I think I usually start back too early and then am confused when everything is awful. I have the same experience running the day after giving blood. You’d think I’d learn.

    And I have the same kind of fear that it will all just go away one day, though in my case, it’s the speed I attained after I had my daughter. I have this continued feeling that the whole thing is a sick joke, an ephemeral taste of [age-group, maybe] glory, that will disappear one day without warning.

  19. Good to see you back as I was missing Martini Fridays. Great name, altho I have no comment on martinis themselves, being more of a beer/wine person 😉
    I enjoy watching the NYC marathon too. My husband has run it several times. He says it is one long block party, and the best spectator support of any race, including Boston.
    I find running after being sick never feels good but it is surprising how quickly your speed and stamina returns. And as Laural pointed out, your legs will feel fresh.
    Hope you feel better soon and get to run in this prolonged mild weather.

  20. LOVE the new name! Yes, I have been sidelined for more than a week with an illness, but the first run back wasn’t as bad as I feared. I gave my self a break, walked when I felt the need, and basked in the glory of being able to be out there! Hope yours went well and that you’re back to 100% soon!

  21. There is crap in the air. I’m amazed your household lasted this long. I don’t deal well with sick. I tend to drag my a$$ through it untiI can no longer stand so the runs after, when I can actually breath again, are fine.

  22. Our entire household was hit with influenza two winters ago – over Christmas break. I was starting to feel human again after ten days when I cracked a rib during a coughing spell. HURT. SO. MUCH. It took six weeks before I could run again. MENTAL TORTURE! But, it all came back. Don’t worry about it, Adrienne!

  23. 1. I love my martinis excessively dry, nuff said? 2. Marathon? I’m still on the side of “no way, no how, not this side of Hell. However, I will do as many training activities with you (Jill M) as I am capable of doing so we get you there.” 3. As I am prone to be to the point of bronchitis-turned-to-pneumonia and pleurisy when I get sick…lets just say that its usually two weeks of craptastic runs that get me to the Dr. And a Z-pack later (which we’ve proven I physically need to kick all that) plus some ‘roids for the pleurisy, well, the runs back AFTER sick suck less than the two weeks leading me to the “yup, better go see the Doc…”. I also recommend finding a wet-sauna for phlegmy funk.

  24. 1. Love the name 2. NYC marathon is my dream race too – and I’m thinking of trying the lottery. Why not? 3) a week off is NOTHING!!! You’ve totally got this. If nothing else, I think it just gives you fresh legs. (And also – when I’m in the final stages of a cold I always do hot yoga – it helps sweat it out. (I mean I do it anyway, but I amp it up to feel better.)

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