April was a scary month in which I faced great adversity. As I type this report, my head is pounding, my eyes are burning and I’m wondering what I did to deserve such misery. Perhaps I should go sit in the garden and eat some worms. When I lived in Zimbabwe, I did eat worms and they tasted pretty good. Well, they were actually large caterpillars that were roasted and charred black. They were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, but would soften nicely when added to stew or soup. They did have a bit of an aftertaste, though. I also ate flying ants, which are more like flying mealworms. You catch them in a bucket of water, take off their wings and then fry them in oil and add some salt. Anyway, I’m rambling. I get a bit disoriented when I’m sick…
Here are some of the scary things I experienced this month.
The Taper. Ooh, the taper is truly a dreadful experience. I’m not sure if it’s contagious or not, but it does seem to affect large groups of runners at the same time. After running for months as much as I wanted to, I stopped running so that I could be a better runner on race day, or so the experts say. Essentially, the taper encourages people in really great shape who can easily run for hours on end to cut back on their training for two to three weeks so that a 10-minute run will feel laborious on race day. The taper also helps people to experience phantom injuries, so that otherwise healthy people can feel sharp pangs of pain in their feet, ankles, shins, calves, quads, hamstrings, hips, backs and egos. As well, given that the body is used to regular exercise, the taper also helps to ensure that runners will have trouble sleeping due to pent-up energy.
The Cold. I’ve managed to avoid being sick most of my life (except when big assignments were due in high school), but was hit hard this past week. I’ve actually been sick now for seven days, which is crazy. My wife and son were sick first, and after looking after a toddler who becomes clingy when sick and insists on coughing in my face and wiping his running nose all over me, I suppose it was inevitable that I’d get sick, too. On the first few days, my whole body was weak. I actually tried going for a run last Sunday in Edmonton, but after 25 minutes, my body wouldn’t let me run anymore. All I wanted to do was lie down under a tree and sleep. It took me over an hour to walk back to the house, and I had to pass hundreds of comfortable looking trees to get there. I’m still congested and dizzy and my eyes and head hurt, but I can run a bit again, so that’s a positive.
The Rest Day. I took six days off from running. And probably had another two weeks of low-mileage running. See the above paragraphs. While it may be good for the body to rest, I have to say that I just become an irritable jerk when I don’t run enough.
The DNF. Despite exposing myself to the horror of the taper, my first race of the season was a colossal failure. Follow the carnage here.
The Vampire. Well, more like a wannabe vampire. While descending on one of my hill repeats last night on the trails, I saw this black shape come out of the woods near the river. When I got closer I saw that it was a guy dressed all in black. When I got even closer I saw that his hair, lips and finger nails were all black as well. As I passed by him, he turned his head toward me, bared his teeth and hissed at me. Not sure if he thought he was a vampire or something, but he was definitely a bit of a freak. Now I need to watch out for pitbulls and wannabe vampires on the trails.
My wife often says to me, “You’re so drama!” Of course, she also says that I’m ridiculously good looking, so I’m not going to dispute her reasoning. At any rate, I suppose that April could have been a lot worse. I mean, as I approach my first 100-mile race in four weeks, I could have just finished my second-lowest month of training since last year. Or have just run half as much as I did in March. Oh wait, that did happen. Scary!
Total hours this week (April 19-25): 6:54 (2:14 trails; 4:40 road)
Total hours this month: 38:09 (27:06 trails; 11:03 road)