Though I have been really sick for the third time this year, it was still a busy/eventful two weeks. Phwew! It’s been a race, friends, so I’m going to tackle this cornucopia of a blog entry one item at a time.
I had some down time as I had to take two more sick days this week due to the heinous, mucusy, disgusting sinus infection/bronchitis/allergy attack grossness that plagued me this week. As I lie on my couch in utter phlegmy misery, I thought about the other times I was sick this year, and it dawned on me: every time I was sick it was around a very hectic/stressful time in my life. Yes, the epiphany should’ve been obvious, but wait, there’s more! Last year I didn’t get sick once. Why not? I was just as busy. In fact, last year I was even busier. I worked on two plays in addition to my NHS duties, and I taught six classes as opposed to the five I have this year. The answer came to me at once: running. Running has always been my main stress reliever, and without it, my immune system has paid the price. I haven’t had my usual outlet, and so all of my stress and frustration has eaten away at my mind and my body. I always knew that running made me happy, but I had never thought about how much impact it had on my overall health. I’m not saying that running solely prevented my being ill last year, but I believe it was the catalyst. This realization – and the snot that came with it – has helped paint a clear picture, and that is I need to find other ways of dealing with my stress when I’m not able to run. Food for thought.
As for starting to run in the near future, my rehabilitation had to be set aside for a brief period. Two weeks ago I had to cancel my physical therapy due to a school event, and I wasn’t able to reschedule. This past Tuesday, I met with Stephen but we weren’t able to do very much since I was feeling “under the weather” (an understatement that would haunt me in a mere 12 hours). But, while he was stretching me out, we did talk about physical therapy plans for the next couple of weeks. He feels it’s time to up the rigor a bit more and start doing “pre-running” activities. I’m not sure exactly what that will entail but we will be discussing it when I see him next week. I will be spending this coming week catching up on my strength training and making sure I’m ready for whatever he has in store for me.
Another item we briefly discussed is the Towpath Half Marathon I am signed up to run in mid-October. I made a decision a little over a week ago not to run it. I have given this a lot of thought. I know that physically I will most likely be able to take on the race, but at the same time, I don’t want the race to be looming over my summer. I do not want my rehab to be focused solely on race preparation and I do not want to be pressured by a schedule. Stephen agreed with all of the points I made, and that was important. I couldn’t help but feel a bit like a quitter, but he made me feel I was making a smart decision. I’m dedicating this summer solely to healing…but damnit if I’m not going to be a beast in 2014.
Speaking of summer, I only have three weeks until mine officially begins. This is the last week of classes for the seniors; they will take exams next weekend and then graduate on the 25th. I am going to miss this group of seniors very much. Last year, when I had them as juniors, was probably the greatest year of my teaching career. I threw so many challenges at them, but they took them on and exceeded my expectations. They really are a fantastic bunch. I hope I don’t blubber too much at the graduation ceremony. I better not wear mascara that morning.
Summer is going to consist of oodles of travel. I may be flying to Florida in June for training for a course I’m interested in teaching at school. In July, I am making another trek down South to visit my friend Erin in North Carolina, and then I will continue on to Charleston, South Carolina to visit another friend and get in some ocean swimming. The ocean swimming, since several of you have inquired per my last blog, is to help get me used to the salt water since I hope to be swimming the Hellespont in August of 2014. The Hellespont is a 3-mile swim across the straight that connects Europe to Asia, in a nutshell. Here is the link if you are interested in checking it out: http://www.swimhellespont.com. Nothing by any stretch of the imagination has been set in stone, but it’s at the top of my “maybe” list for next year. But first is Big Shoulders in September. Summer of 2013 equals swim, swim, swim. Throw in a wedding in New Jersey and another in Hilton Head, sprinkle in a good deal of reading, and there you have it. I have to say, a part of me is a little happy to be taking a summer off from training. It takes up a great deal of my time so it will be interesting to see what it’s like to have a summer off (my first in five years) from racing.
Lastly, I was going to give an extended review of The Great Gatsby movie, but I’m going to hold off. This blog is already much too long. I would also like to see it again and discuss it with my students before I give my full attention to it. I will say this this much: I thought it was grand.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mom’s out there! Thanks for putting up with all of the shit your kids put you through. You’re the best! Alas, Henry and Gatsby did not bring me breakfast in bed.