This is my 500th blog post! And it's the first blog post of 2022.
The year is off to a shaky start. On New Year's Eve, I had some major digestive issues that left me feeling
|January 5 snowy run|
New Year's Day 5K
I didn't write a blog post about this race because it wasn't really a "race" for me. Greg and I were planning to leave for our vacation in Mexico on January 7, and I didn't want to get sick beforehand because I raced a 5K when feeling worn out.
Backing up slightly. . . I received the J&J booster shot on December 19, which meant I would be fully boosted by the time I departed for Mexico on January 7. Greg and I also decided to do a self-imposed quarantine after Christmas. . . aside from the 5K race. This meant no going out to eat, curbside pickup groceries, and no going into the office. No socializing with family or friends.
So with the vaccine booster, the self-imposed quarantine, and the decision to not race the 5K full out, I thought I was being pretty smart. The goal was to make it to vacation and back while staying healthy.
Back to the race. It was 57 degrees with light rain. I decided against my carbon fiber plate shoes because those have no traction, and I am not convinced they make me any faster in the 5K distance. So I stuck with my adidas Adios 4.
Greg and I warmed up for about 2 miles beforehand. I had a Maurten caffeinated gel, which I hoped would sit will with my still recovering stomach. I felt decent during the warm up but definitely not good enough to want to race at 5K effort.
The first mile was downhill. I went out conservatively and was passed by about 4-5 women. By the end of the mile however, I had passed all but two of them. (6:49 split)
The last mile was up hill and I had just one woman to catch, but I didn't have the motivation to go any faster than my strong tempo effort. (7:01 split).
I ended up with a time of 21:18 and second place. The course was short and the first place woman was 19 seconds faster than me. I am confident I would have won the race if I had given 100% effort, but there will be other races to win in the future. It wasn't my day to push hard and I was happy with my decision.
Vacation in Mexico
After the race, there was just six days left until our Mexico departure. Flights were being canceled all over the place due to Omicron and the weather. So each day I monitored the flights from Dulles to Cancun and all but one of them were on time.
Greg and I hadn't flown since the California International Marathon in 2019. We had driven to all of our races and vacations because we wanted to avoid sitting next to strangers in close proximity. I've always viewed airline travel as having a high potential of making me sick.
When we arrived in Mexico, the customs line was ridiculous. It took nearly an hour to get through it and people were packed in there like sardines. Some people were coughing. Sure, everyone was wearing masks, but I don't think the cloth masks do much to stop a virus. I'd personally be more comfortable with people truly staying six feet apart.
We finally made it out of customs, got our transfer to the resort and we were there! We arrived healthy and on time, after two years of wanting to visit our favorite vacation spot: Excellence Playa Mujeres. This was our 5th stay at this Cancun resort. We love it so much that we don't want to go elsewhere.
I asked my coach to leave my schedule blank and I would "play it by ear". I decided beforehand that I wasn't going to run all that much because the only option is the treadmill, and I didn't want to spend a ton of vacation time on a treadmill. It's not safe to leave the resort and there's really no place to run around the resort. I ran Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, with workouts on Saturday and Tuesday.
The treadmill was in kilometers so I did a 7K progressive tempo on Saturday and then 4 x 2K on Tuesday. Given that the gym was hot and I was on a treadmill, I was pleasantly surprised at how strong I felt running around 7:00-7:20 for these workouts.
My favorite workout was on Sunday, when I swam in the resort pool. It was nearly twice the length of a traditional lap pool so it was a nice challenge to have to swim more before turning at the wall. Normally I swim the lazy river pool, which winds around the resort and you don't have to ever stop! But that water was way too cold. The water in the long pool was warmer and I had no issues swimming in it. I did 7 out-and-backs, which I am guessing is around 500m.
|I swam 14 lengths of this!|
The goal of our Cancun vacation is always relaxation so we spent our days lounging at the beach and/or pool, and we didn't do any excursions. Unless you count going to the spa for a couples massage an excursion! The staff hands you drinks, the food is amazing, everything is all-inclusive and it's just the best place to go!
In order to enter the United States, anyone traveling by air must have a negative Covid 19 test taken
Greg and I were slightly nervous because we had heard that Covid was going around the resort and 30-50 people were in quarantine after positive tests. Also, I started to feel a sore throat on the day of the test so I was worried I actually had Covid. Thankfully we both tested negative so we would be allowed back into the United States. If we tested positive, they would have quarantined us in a guest room for free, and allowed us to order room service from any restaurant. This would not have been so bad, but it wouldn't have been ideal. If only one of us had tested positive, we would both be allowed to stay, but one of us would be in quarantine while the other continued to enjoy a free vacation.
We flew home on Friday and everything went smoothly. When we checked in for our flight, they did ask us to show proof of vaccination, even though it's not a requirement. Thankfully we both had photos of our cards on our phones and that was acceptable. They really should not have asked for that because all you need is a negative test, but since we had the vaccination proof, we didn't question it too much.
My Blog was Down
On Saturday, I realized that my blog was completely offline. It wasn't Blogger (my blogging platform) but the service I used to register my domain. They had an outage which resulted in all of their domains being completely down for 3 full days! I wasn't too irked by this because I wasn't trying to write a blog over the weekend, but it was unsettling to type my URL and have nothing come up. Also, it can impact search engine rankings if you are down for too long. There was nothing I could do but wait, and I'm thankful I was able to figure out the source of the problem relatively quickly. Not knowing why it was down would have driven me insane. (I never received any kind of notification, I went into my Google console and figured it out for myself. Some communication would have been appreciated!)
My sore throat got worse and worse and on Saturday I found myself physically fatigued, which hadn't been an issue previously. One of my friends happened to have an extra at-home Covid test so Greg went to her house to retrieve it. (She left it on the front doorstep for a non-contact exchange). I tested negative on Saturday night.
Having had two negative Covid tests, I was pretty sure I didn't have Covid, but I definitely was ill. My main symptoms on Saturday were sore throat, loss of voice, dry cough, body aches, weakness. I didn't have a fever.
Given my history with mono, I was worried that this could turn into mono. Mono is not a virus, but a syndrome that is caused by a virus. So any virus could bring about mono. This has been my main Covid concern from the beginning: if I got Covid, would it turn into mono, taking me months to recover? Perhaps my body doesn't recover from viruses normally - it takes WAY more time.
Not much changed on Sunday. I still couldn't talk and I still felt totally wasted. Greg, meanwhile, felt completely normal. And he was taking great care of me. I couldn't eat solid foods because my throat was so sore, so he made me soup and oatmeal.
On Monday, I decided to take the second test from the BinaxNOW kit that my friend had given me. And this time it was positive. Yikes. Well, I guess if I was going to be this sick it might as well be Covid to give me some natural immunity in the future. So much for the J&J booster! Greg got the Moderna booster, and that is supposed to be more effective.
Now it's Tuesday and I have made progress. My throat is less sore, although it's still tender and swallowing hard foods makes me cough. I still woke up coughing multiple times in the middle of the night last night. I can talk again, although it's a strain to talk at my normal volume level. To summarize:
- Severe sore throat
- Pain with swallowing
- Dry cough - coughing fits lasting 5 minutes at a time
- Inability to eat solid foods and loss of voice
- Body aches
- Fatigue/weakness (although not tiredness)
- Bumps on the skin of my back and butt
- Nasal conjestion
- Runny nose/sneezing
- Loss of taste or smell
|We had a bed on the beach!|
I am registered for the Shamrock half marathon, which was supposed to be a PR attempt. Now that is looking less likely so it might be a Covid Comeback race instead of a PR. I am also planning to run Boston, but I kind of don't care that my training for that has been interrupted. I know I can run a solid marathon on as little as 8 weeks of training and with Boston I don't care about how fast my time is.