In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade,
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down,
Or cut him till he cried out, in his anger and his shame:
"I am leaving, I am leaving," but the fighter still remains. The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
Last weekend, my nephew and his family flew down from Alaska and spent the weekend with us. Unfortunately, someone on the last leg of their several flights must have been sick with the Norovirus. This is the highly contagious stomach virus you occasionally hear about infecting passengers on cruise ships. It's only a stomach virus that hits you in about 24 hours from contact with an infected person, but man it packs a punch. As explained at Wikipedia: "The disease is usually self-limiting, and characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain; and in some cases, loss of taste. General lethargy, weakness, muscle aches, headache, and low-grade fever may occur." Yep, that about sums it up.
From Sunday night and throughout the week, it was Gatorade and chicken soup for me and the rest of my family. Feeling weak and feverish throughout the week, workouts were out of the question. My planned running cram course in preparation for the Paris Marathon was dealt yet another severe blow. As this was the scheduled weekend for our 20 mile training run, however, Salome & I decided to give the long run a go Saturday morning.
We did the Galloway method, walking for around a minute for every mile run. At about mile 10, I felt about done for the day. However, we picked a distracting route through the tree shaded Rio Vista neighborhood and finished with some laps around the also tree shaded Birch State Park. My calves ached and started cramping about mile 17, and my hips felt sore the last 8 miles or so. But, ignoring the pain and discomfort the best we could, we got it done. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't overly horrible either. Thank God the cooler weather persisted through this weekend.
Of course, Sunday was a much needed day of recovery. Leg joints and muscles were pretty sore. More so than they usually are the day after a 20 miler. Given that I was coming off my second de-conditioning sickness forced layoff in less than a month, the soreness is no surprise. I feel like a boxer that got knocked down in the last two rounds of a fight. I keep getting up off the mat, but I'm beginning to feel the body blows. I weighed myself yesterday and I'm down to 175. A good fighting (and running) weight for me, but getting sick is not the ideal way to lose weight. So, if you are suffering from a cold or some highly contagious skunk virus, please keep your distance from me for the next 3 weeks. I'm not sure I could get back up off the canvas if I get knocked off my feet again.
Buddy Wayne Crayton and his travel buddy Bob Bowker ran the Rome Marathon on Sunday morning. They looked good in the post-race picture Wayne posted on Facebook Sunday evening. As I commented on their post, they've now earned 3 weeks of vacation in Italy. Not a bad reward for running a marathon. Come to think of it, I'll earn a short vacation in France after running the Paris Marathon on April 11th. Sweet motivation indeed!