Friday, April 24, 2009

What's next

It started last wednesday, 9 days ago. One of the joys of living in the south is dealing with the pollen. Yes, it's nice that everything sub-tropical grows here. Having a vacant wooded lot next door gives some nice privacy. But for the last 9 mornings I have woken up with a huge headache. Sinuses so stuffed up that my teeth hurt. My head feels like a bowling ball perched on a golf tee. Once we got back in town, I had to take out my contact lenses - both eyes are still bloodshot. I can't do anything. I'm ready for this pollen to GO AWAY.

I can't even work out. The TOA tri was the only exercise that I've gotten since this crap started. I took musinex and advil before the race to keep everything cleared, and it worked. but once the musinex wore off, everything came roaring back with more of a vengance. I haven't even been doing yoga or the tri power workouts, just bending over makes the bowling ball fall off. 10 minutes in the garden knocks me out for the rest of the day.

I think the end is in sight, though. This is all tree pollen, and the trees are looking pretty clear now. This mornings headache wasn't as severe as the last few days. I might even be able to put my eyes back in tomorrow. This forced downtime has let me reflect on a few things and heal up from a few things.

American health care is a screwed up system. I'm supposed to have a bone scan on tuesday, and when the hospital called to preregister me..... fuggit about it. It's going to cost me an arm, I've got to take a day off of work (bad timing) and with 9 days no running my leg doesn't hurt anymore. So I'm cancelling that thing. If we had universal health care it might be a different story.

I'm skipping a half marathon that I had planned for saturday. It was an earth day half that runs through one of Greenville's suburbs and is very close to home. But it was really a training race that I had not even registered for yet, and after the tri last weekend and this stupid pollen thing I just don't feel like pulling a half out of thin air. My goal is to hit the treadmill (no pollen in the gym) for my planned 16 mile long run. If my head doesn't feel like a bowling ball.

Now is the prime time for planting down here. I've got to put the veg garden in the ground. Sure, some of the warm weather plants aren't availble yet (okra, pumpkins, cantaloupe, etc) but the tomatoes and beans and peppers and squash are ready and I've got about 70 plants ready to go in the ground. So it seems like a good weekend to garden (pollen death notwithstanding).

Next weekend May 2nd is the Mud Run. Michael's coming into town for it, and we can't wait. It's only 4 miles, with obstacles, and it should be a ton of fun. Kelley's been looking forward to it for a long time now. We're running with the C group, so it should be a bunch of other fat old people. We'll fit right in!

May 7th is the first of four time trials put on by the Greenville Spinners club that I am already a member of. Racing is free for members. This will be the first time I've tried a bike only race. Sure, it's just me against the clock just like in triathlon. There's not a big pelloton like in the tour de anything. Kelley has a cousin who's husband is a cat 3 bike racer. He's going to come down and ride the TT's too. We're very close with them, so this is very cool. But all of my other bike stuff is tri's or organized rides with distance but no time specification. This is a 10 mile out and back route that individuals get timed on and ranked by age group/time. You can choose to run cat 1 - 5 if you're a pro like Marcus, I'll stick with age group thanks. They run one TT every month for may - august, and it seems to me like a great way to spend a thursday night. So I'm really looking forward to it. Last year the first race only had two guys in my age group, so I'm looking for a top 3 finish.

The June time trial is June 11th. This falls nicely in between the Festival of Flowers international distance triathlon June 7th, and the Hatfields and McCoy's marathon June 13th. I'm not sure it's a good idea to do 3 races in 6 days, so that time trial might get dropped. Is a 10 mile bike race a good way to marathon taper? I'm still not convinced that it's a good idea to do my first oly tri 6 days before my first marathon.

The oly is double the TOA tri from last weekend. The 750m swim becomes a 1500m swim. The 10.5 mile bike becomes a 24 mile bike, and the 5k run becomes a 10k. So I have to ask myself when I was done with the race last weekend, did I feel like doing that again? Except for the post-water disorientation, yea I think I could have done it again. I've got to revisit my fuel strategy. No time goal, just try to complete, not compete. The run leg is going to be in some serious heat (over 90 degrees), and the overall time is going to be in the four hour range more than likely. Hydration and nutrition are super important here.

The marathon is going to be another story. It's a higher elevation, temps in the 80's, and maybe some hills. I still have to make travel plans for this one, get a hotel room, etc. But my first marathon is only 7 weeks away, and losing 9 days of training to pollen is not cool. I've really got to stick to my long runs more closely no matter what. 7 weeks to marathon!

Then I'm going to take a few weeks off. Good luck if you're racing this weekend, hopefully I will have garden pics to show off on monday, not a funeral announcement. Bye-bye pollen.


Amber said...

Ick. That sucks about the pollen. Hopefully it goes away soon!!

carrie said...

Sorry about the stuffies. I always have a hard time in the fall...totally usurps any running efforts. At least it doesn't last *too* long! :)

hebba said...

ugh! pollen bad. very very bad

Jess said...

I hear you on the sinus stuff. It usually doesn't cause me any problems. But holy crap I'm going home early from work today, it's that bad.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I get allergies for like a couple weeks in May or so. But not as bad as you and they always go away in a few weeks and I never feel debilitated by it, the way you do.

Hope it gets better for you, brother!

tfh said...

Although it's what I imagine waterboarding must feel like, I actually find downward facing dog very helpful for clearing out my sinuses. Ugh. Hope you start feeling better. And enjoy gardening! I got so frustrated last year when the squirrels destroyed everything, including my Thai chili plants, on the balcony that I'm not sure I'm going to plant anything this year. Stupid suburban squirrels.

Wes said...

I'm feeling pollinated today as well. Blech!! Have a great weekend!

joyRuN said...


You're pulling out of the half to garden?


Kidding aside - my sinuses morphed into a full-blown vomit-inducing migraine this past week. Multiple doses of benadryl & sudafed had no effect. Zero. Good luck - I feel your pain.

Shannon (The Daily Balance) said...

ACK! hate those allergies! Hope it clears up for you soon ;)

Missy said...

TT's are neat because there is no crazy arse peleton!

Pollen in the south does suck it. Sorry to hear you're hurtin.

Marcy said...

Ohhh man I'm sorry to hear about the allergies. Dang that sounds like NO FUN!