Running with a sinus infection

I don't think I have a full on sinus infection, but my face has hurt pretty much all day.  I tried everything.  I got up and got in the pool, I hit the hot tub, took a hot shower and got in the sauna.  When that didn't work, I took Sudafed (possibly my biggest mistake), then had a hot coffee.  I drank tons of water to flush everything out.  All of my remedies failed.

Then I took a 10-minute run, to get my mile for the day.  Oh look, no pain.  Running, I love you!  I actually knew this was going to work but was surprised that such a short run did the trick.  Qat Lady would want you to know that running is a natural vaso-dilater meaning when you run, vessels and sinuses get bigger and shit drains out.  I also got out my humidifier which will remain on until spring.

Seen on multiple runs this week: Sunset at 4pm.  Excellent.



Thankful Saturday and Thankfully Done Driving Sunday

Saturday was sort of cold in Ft Wayne, not as cold as Minnesota.  I couldn't bear to run on the treadmill again, so I hit the pavement to do my mile as soon as I got up.  (Let's get this shit over with.)  Then we decided to do a bit more shopping before Mom and Dad left town.  I needed a trip to Target to use their ATMs so we all headed down.  I got shopping for Mom and Dad done ("here, buy me this")  and they got shopping for the little kids done which is a big relief for them.  We hit up the Starbucks in the store.  A couple of girls had just logged twelve hour shifts the day before and now starting in on round two.  (What did you want again?)

After lunch, we headed over to my cousins house to wrangle the kids *ahem* set up the Christmas tree.  It was actually a fun process because my engineering skills were momentarily needed and useful.  And then I got sent on an errand and was happy to be helpful that way as well.  Also, I got to play with a hermit crab called Crabby.  He likes bar-b-q potato chips.  Serious.
Saturday night was spent yelling at the television *wow* Watching the Notre Dame football game.  I have a love-hate relationship with that team.  I like Brian Kelly, their coach, but hate that he left the Bearcats.  Boo.  Then I set my alarm for 5:45am (eastern time) to get up and drive home.  Double boo.

Sunday morning at 5:44am, Aunt Joanie comes in to wake me up and tell me I'm late.  Serious.  She made me a turkey sandwich, packed extra turkey and several homemade desserts and shoved me out the door.  It's a long drive home.

Indiana - was driven almost entirely in the dark.  Nice.  It's my favorite driving state because the speed limit is 70 mph and the toll road only has toll booths at entrance and exit ramps so you never have to stop anywhere on the actual road.  I stopped once for gas.

Illinois - is possibly the worst driving state, for various reasons at various points in the state.  For example: I-294, why post a 55mph speed limit if everyone is passing the car that's going 70mph.  I-90, just why?  Why two lanes?  Why so many toll booths?  Why so many slow drivers on the road today?  Why am I about to run into the slow drivers while being run over by the speedy drivers?  Why so expensive for a road that's all torn up?  Why won't the road be finished until 2016?  Why can't you be like Indiana, and Ohio and so many other states and just have tolls at the exit ramps instead of in the middle of the road wherever you feel like it?  Just why.
Wisconsin: I learned today why people in Minnesota get ticketed so heavily in Wisconsin.  The entire time I was in the state I think I only saw Minnesota plates.  And many of you are a pain in the ass.  Many more of you deserved tickets for driving in the passing lane than for speeding.  The closer we got to the Twin Cities, the worse it got.
Minnesota: My adopted home; it's so good to see you.  Why are there little green men running across the road?  Also, what's all this white stuff on the ground.  I stopped by the gym today to get my card scanned for a good behavior attendance credit on the way home.  I don't feel bad given the amount I worked out while away.  As soon as I got in the door I unpacked my bags.  Then I went for a run.  At the end of the run I learned why we were supposed to empty the fountain in the courtyard some time ago.   The goal for the rest of the day is to stay on the couch as long as possible.


Thankful - Black Friday

Agenda for the day:
  • Shop - it's Black Friday
  • Run at least 1 mile at some point, walking 10 billion miles at the mall does not count.
  • Eat the Italian Food that I missed yesterday for dinner
  • Movie night

Mean Aunt Bobbie *ahem* Mean Aunt Joanie woke me up very early this morning for Black Friday shopping and informed me shortly thereafter that I would also be the driver for the outing.  Excellent.  I took Dad's car.  The mall was not very busy.  Mom and Aunt Joanie had some luck at Macy's buying presents for other people.  Macy's did the best with lines; they had these roving people with "carts" that could check you out as long as you were paying with something other than cash.  Then we met up with the rest of our (obviously super excited to be there) group and hit all the other stores in the mall.  JCPenny's was a zoo.  The lines were a mile long in a really bad way.  Starbucks was similarly long-lined but the Starbucks inside Barns N Noble was fine.  Typical.

Eventually we abandoned the mall in favor of Kohl's.  Oh my goodness.  Holy lines batman.  The lines were of a different quality at Kohls.  Although they wrapped around the perimeter of the entire store (serious) they drained into about 8 registers and they moved, so they had the feeling of hope. I got a really good deal on a gel mat for my kitchen and bought a shirt.  Aunt Joanie and Kristin tried to win the shopper of the day award with Christmas presents for about 18 people.

After Kohls we declared ourselves done.  I came home and had lasagna for lunch because I missed it the first go around.  I'm the only one who likes edges or corners of the lasagna (what is that about?), so I had a great lunch.  (Aunt Joanie cooks the regular thanksgiving food and Italian Thanksgiving of Lasagna and Eggplant Parmesan; I always do Italian on the second day.)  Shortly after lunch, I collapsed.   Around the same time, the temperatures dropped notably and the wind kicked up to around 20mph with wind gusts of I don't know what.  Awesome.  I have to run when I wake up from this nap.

Finally, I decided discretion was the better part of valor and opted not to run outside.  Even though I'm from Minnesota and I'll be running in shit colder than this for several months. I hit the basement and used the treadmill.  Every tenth of a mile, I increased the speed by a tenth of a mile per hour, which I could sustain because I knew I was only running for a short distance.  It was actually a fun workout.  (Especially when my shoe came untied; WTF is it with these shoes?)

Our evening movie was called The Survivors.  I do not recommend it.  I really couldn't get into it.  I liked Walter Mathau but didn't connect with the Robin Williams character being so totally out of control.  We watched at a place that has a super cool movie watching situation.  After the movie, I had to reconnect the Blu Ray DVD player to the home theater system.  Mad problem solving skills.
We also found out that Aunt Bobbie won the shopper award hands down with her purchase of a freaking car.  I said the only thing that would top that is if someone buys a house today.  It hasn't happened that we've heard, but I do have one cousin who was in the market for a plot of land so stay tuned.

Thankful Thursday - RUN!

Morning: For Thanksgiving, I celebrate by doing my own private Turkey Trot, to burn off tons of calories and make room for more later.  See here for last year's exploits.


My goal this year was to do the 5:2 again, for at least two hours.  I wound up doing 2:06 minutes (because that's the number of minutes that's divisible by 7).  The agreement I have with my aunt, who worries about me, is that I will stay in their subdivision and not go on any country roads.  It's better for me because there's no shoulders on the roads and I'm not familiar with the way people drive around here.  Drivers in the subdivision are very pedestrian friendly.  Here's how the run turned out:

Lunch and early afternoon: When I got back, I talked to some relatives on the phone, had breakfast, showered, had lunch, and then napped.  I napped hard.   I also had the living hell scared out of me when Mom told me her doctor "gave me a test to see if my pancreas was working too hard, and he said my blood sugar was high" and then proceeded to tell me that Type II diabetes may run in our family.  Watch me keep running.  Mom pointed out that she hadn't been exercising as much (thanks to finishing her PhD) so I made her go on a walk.

 Family also started to show up, and we started carving the turkey.  Supposedly there were 20 people in the house, maybe more.  I lost count.

Dinner was awesome, as usual.  I had turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potato awesome, green beans, creamed corn and cranberries.  When I had my second helping of cranberries a bug crawled out of them and Aunt Mary excused me from finishing that helping.  After dinner, we went out for one more walk.

Thankful Wednesday - prepare!

Wednesday morning was super foggy here in Indiana.  I headed out for a 4-mile run.  I had a circuit that I knew was two miles and then ran that twice.  The fog burned off over the course of the run.

After the run I headed out with Uncle Joe for some errands.  Kroger Marketplace is really quite a store.  We also headed to a local gym where there are eighteen billion basketball courts, a video store (yes, there are some still in business), and the pet store for dog food.  When we got home we had lunch (leftovers) and then started prepping the house for Turkey Day.  I moved tables, set tables, carried chairs, and then we lit the Christmas Tree.  ("We" is maybe too strong a word, Uncle Joe lit, I watched and Aunt Joan supervised.)

In the afternoon I headed over to the WWII Victory Museum (and also there's a car museum).  I guess part of the museum will change soon, so I had to see it in the original state so I can go back later and compare.

In the evening the rest of the aunts and uncles (and Mom and Dad) showed up.  We opened a bottle of wine, had soup and hung out.  We watched a DVR of The Voice which is Mom's favorite show and apparently half the people here love it just as much as she does.        


Thankful Tuesday - DRIVE!

5am - my alarm went off.  Shortly thereafter I crossed off everything on my packing and to-do lists and hit the road.  The first part of Wisconsin was dark and foggy, but fairly empty of traffic.  Sunrise was a dramatic event, and I was relieved when the fog burned off and I could go a little faster without being all "I know there was a guy in front of me.  Where did he go?"

I was through Wisconsin and into Illinois sometime after 10am.  The Illinois Tollway is super expensive now.  I haven't lived in Minnesota long enough for the prices to have gone up like that.  I think if you're charging me that much money, the roads should be nicer.   Illinois also seems to be the state that's most serious about slowing cars down in road construction zones, but seems to have the least effective ways of actually getting cars to slow down.  (Have you driven around Chicago?)  I stayed on the beltways around town and mostly spent my day in the midwest country side.

I called my aunt when I was about 40 miles from where I get off the toll road.  The conversation when like this:
Aunt: Oh, only 40 miles from the exit, that's really good.  It's only another 30 or 40 minutes after that.
Me: Okay.
Aunt: You're going to watch a basketball game at 5:30.
Me: Will I be there in time?
Aunt: Yes, you'll have plenty of time, I just told you.
Me: I have no idea where I am.  I don't know what time zone I'm in.  I don't know what time it is.  I'm just keeping it in between the lines.

I got in to town in time to watch my cousin's kids play a junior high basketball game.  That also meant I had to to my mile run at night.  I wound up going about 1.5 miles, maybe a little farther.  I saw very little because it was dark and I didn't feel like wearing a headlight.  I did, of course, wear my reflective gear because I also want to be thankful for not getting hit by a car in the dark.

Weekend Workouts

Runners World as a holiday running streak challenge.  I thought about signing up, since I've been doing my own streak challenge over here, but one more registration and message board just wasn't worth it.  I am still keeping my running streak alive.

Monday - 1 mile run in the neighborhood before work.
Tuesday - 1.5 mile run at Aunt Joan's after the 11 hour trip that took 10 hours.
Wednesday - 4 mile run outside.  Nicest weather ever.
Thanksgiving - 10 miles, or just over.  I did my annual Turkey Trot and kept a 12:00/mile pace, even using the interval of run 5:00, walk 2:00.
Friday - 1 mile on the treadmill; I had an iPod fail and a shoelace fail while on the treadmill.
Saturday - 1 mile, early morning "the fog has changed to snow flakes"
Sunday - 1 mile around my neighborhood after the 11 hour car trip that his time only took 9.5hrs.  Google maps is wrong because I definitely wasn't going that fast.

Some of my favorite running and non-running songs at the moment:


Cyclists - what to wear in cold weather

There's tons of articles for cyclists on what to wear in cold weather.  This one is my favorite because it includes illustrations.  As a runner I'm fairly familiar with the craziness that comes from being out in the cold for prolonged periods.  I wasn't sure if "I know how to dress for a long cold run" would really translate to biking.  Some things do, like anything that is wind resistant is good.  Some things don't translate as well.  My core always gets colder biking than it does running.

The most important advice I learned about biking is this: wear glasses to protect your eyes from the wind, even if it's not sunny out, or even if you're riding at night.  Even though it's the opposite of what this guy says in his article. The writer is correct that the glasses can fog up, but I've only found that to be true when I stop for long periods of time, longer than a stop light.  As someone who wears contact lenses, I've found riding glasses to be invaluable to my prolonged comfort.  The glasses in this picture were ones a cyclist dropped and I picked up on a trail with Running Beth over the summer.  They are actually clear glasses that I can only assume are polarized.  (I think I found like a $60 pair of glasses.  In my defense, they were pretty much abandoned.  It's a popular bike trail where we were but there were no bikers around to even ask if they'd dropped these.)  I've done several rides with them.  Also, it helps if you smirk in any picture you take of yourself.  Serious.


Weekend Workouts - Lake Harriet Run

This was another successful week of workouts, although some were hilarious.
Monday I went for a short run in the snow, just enough to keep the streak alive.

Tuesday I went for a longer run over large patches of ice in very cold temperatures.

Wednesday I headed out with Team:Work reflective vests and all.

Thursday I went out for a four-miler on my own and took some nice pictures along the way.

Friday I had a mile run home from the mechanics and then stayed inside avoiding the weather the rest of the day.

Saturday I had Zumba, a little run and a long bike ride around the river to celebrate the great weather.

Sunday I headed out for a long run around Lake Harriet.  It was about 50* when I set out.  Everyone else was happy to be out too so the lake was fairly packed.  (Lake Harriet is everyone's favorite lake and everyone comes here to enjoy a walk.)  I actually ran pretty fast (for me) around the lake, especially considering the number of pictures I stopped to snap.  I even caught some bikers actually using the River Lake Greenway on the way home.  (I'm so happy to see you all.)

After the run I did the "plank to failure" thing, just to remind my abs that they exist.  I was able to hold it for 1:30, my longest ever.  And it hurt when I was done.  Sucking wind at the end of the workout...