Maybe I should say bloody AND good.
I haven't run in nine days, but those days have flown by. I had a quiet Thanksgiving and taught Wed - Fri this week; one of the seminars on CAD that is so helpful at filling in the income gaps. This was my worst one, however, and I'm analyzing this, trying to decide if its the new material that didn't work, or if my skills are slipping.
I'm getting off topic. Back to running.
I've been on IVs for almost two weeks now and will be on them a few days longer. I've had a lot of aggravation regarding the home healthcare agency this time, but the IVs themselves have gone well. I'm feeling so much better now. Being able to climb up out of the Whitehall station without feeling like I want to die is wonderful.
So today I put it all to the test. After a cutting my toenails, curing which I discovered one was hiding a lot of old, dried-out blood (gross, huh?), I got into a couple of layers of running clothes and headed out. I immediately knew I didn't have enough clothes on - the temperature has dropped significantly from mid-week temps. Still, I managed to warm up enough to be hot in some spots, cold in others, as I ran uphill toward Prospect Park.
It was clear from the outset that my lungs are in better shape. Though I still had to walk a little on my short run, I never felt like I was fighting for breath or that I had run out of oxygen. Rather these walk breaks were simply the result of my legs not being ready for the push, or being out of shape, pure and simple. This change was such good news to me -- you can't imagine the joy of being out of shape and knowing that's the problem and not something else.
I'm still coughing, of course; I always will. Today's first hard coughing fit (which is where you see the dip in pace in the charts) brought me to a slamming halt because a few seconds into it, I suddenly had blood gushing from my nose. Now, I've had a few dozen nosebleeds so far this autumn/winter, but none while jogging. And I hadn't thought to bring a paper towel or anything. So as the flow of blood slowly stopped, I just stood there bleeding into some grass and sniffing a bit. A very kind Hispanic guy saw my predicament and handed me a bunch of paper napkins before moving on. See? I told you it was a bloody run. (Wait! It gets better!)
My route took me up towards Prospect Park, almost all the way. I made it to 8th ave and 17th street, much to my surprise, before a sign told me I should amend my route and just go straight to my destination, the grocery store. So instead of a 2.75 mile run, I ended up at 2.25.
But the sign was crystal clear: blood in my sputum. I'm not coughing up all that much anymore, thanks to the antibiotics, but what I did cough up today had large bright red streaks about half the time - which points to a small but active bleed. The usual course of action with a bleed is to halt activity to slow down the flow of blood ... but when running, blood pressure is lower... so is the better choice to keep going? Or to stop? Well, I wasn't going to stop out in the cold, so I ran across to 9th street, then down to C-Town. A decent run all around, if not spectacularly fast. Still, 14 minute miles are an improvement over my recent spate of 15 minute mile runs. And in many ways, it just felt good.
I was listening to Steve Runner's Pheddipidations podcast. This episode was about his run at the Philadelphia Marathon just before thanksgiving. He had a truly spectacular run, setting a PR, shaving off 10 whopping minutes! He fell shy of a sub-4 marathon by a mere 90 seconds, so I know he'll get his goal met in the next one or two marathons (this was his 17th). Since I listen to his podcast on my long runs, I feel connected to his success, especially today with the improved lungs. And just like many of the Philadelphia runners going past the museum, I felt just like Rocky at the top of each section of the long uphill to Prospect Park - because I ran ALL of them today, with the walk breaks on the flat sections only! And THAT is...well, that hasn't happened in ages.
Oh, and now that winter is here, the leaves have really turned out well this year. It took a while for the leaves to turn, but we actually got color on most of the trees in the city, instead of just brown. The trees in Greenwood Cemetary are just spectacular.
And for those of you in NYC - please go see the work of Spaeth Design - the company I've been working for (mainly) since March. We designed and built the animated seasonal displays at Macy's, Saks, and Lord & Taylor. (Lord and Taylor was my client.) If you had a chance to see the Gift on Fifth (a Bank of America project), those four display windows were also a project I was involved in. And if you're in Chicago - take some pics of Macy's North (I mean, Marshall Field's) windows for me - those, too, are my designs. And Toronto readers...pics of The Bay...yep, mine too. Now that all of these are OPEN, I can finally talk about them!
Sushi tonight. Yay.