When Running is Not Magical


On Christmas day, Christmas decided to give me one last gift in the early evening while sipping on coffee after dessert: “Merry Christmas! It looks like you need a cold!”

To which I replied,  “No thanks, Christmas. I recently succumbed to the stomach virus. I’m all good on getting sick. I met my quota.” Nope. Christmas wanted to keep on giving because Christmas is generous like that.

I’d like to think that colds and sinus issues don’t affect me: that I can use my mind to get over the fact that I’m sick, or that if I just get out there and go for a run, all will be better. The drainage will start, and my massive sinus headache will vanish, and all of my problems will be solved on the run. Because running is magical.

Three days later, and I still have this Christmas cold gift. I can’t regift it. I tossed and turned in bed trying to decide if I should cancel my run this morning on the Radnor Trail. I held my phone over my head while still in bed and squinted. I checked the weather. I checked Facebook. I checked my email under the glow of the phone. I scrolled over my messages. Am I being a wuss? Is this headache imaginary? I moved my head to the side and the pressure increased.

I got out of bed, popped two aspirin, and headed downstairs for a bowl of cereal and a large glass of water. Maybe if I move, the snot will start to flow, and this headache will go away. I waited for the aspirin to kick in. The headache dulled, and I left for my run.

By the time I got to the trail, the headache was gone unless I bent over to tie my shoes, and then the sinus pressure was immense. Still, I thought: running is good; running is magical, and it’s only five miles.

I couldn’t be more wrong today. I suffered through just over two miles of rolling hills before the dizziness and lack of breathing forced me to stop. My head kept spinning and wouldn’t quit. I chose to bail on the rest of the run and head home with my head swirling the whole way back. Not fun. Not magical. I need to rest. Christmas cold, you win. And Radnor Trail, I’ll be back.

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