Monday, July 18, 2011

Surviving July: 7/14

I used to love July.  My birthday is July 7th, My Aunt's Birthday is July 6th, my best friend's birthday is July 8th, and July 4th is America's birthday, and the month was always filled with long summer days that seemed to stretch out like a giant lazy yawn.  But, over the last two years, I've begun to wonder if July isn't my albatross -- a burden to be suffered through as penance for my years of sloth and inactivity.
In the poem, an albatross starts to follow a ship — being followed by an albatross was generally considered an omen of good luck. However, the titular mariner shoots the albatross with a crossbow, which is regarded as an act that will curse the ship (which indeed suffers terrible mishaps). To punish him, his companions induce him to wear the dead albatross around his neck indefinitely (until they all die from the curse, as it happens).

Last July, I was dealing with plantar fasciites and was unable to run.  I had to watch other people enjoying the month with tons of out door activity while I trudged through some boring laps swims in an over chlorinated pool at the Y.  This year, the month is slipping away from me because of the after effects of a nasty bout of the flu, which leads me to wonder if the gods are not forcing me to wear July around my neck for all the July's that I needlessly wasted in the same fashion that Coleridge's Mariner was forced to wear the Albatross that he needlessly killed.  Honestly, I doubt that I am cursed, but it has been a cruel coincidence that I've been out of action for the last two July's.

Thursday's I tried to get back to running, and it was a giant shit-show.  It wasn't as bad as Sunday's run, but that isn't saying much.   I ran the same course and just felt awful.  I was able to run 2.81 miles at something akin to a snails pace, and it hurt.  My lungs weren't as constricted as on Sunday, but they still didn't feel anything close to normal.  My legs were also garbage -- tight from inactivity and sore from laying about too much.  And, most distressing was my lack of energy.  I was completely fatigued after 2 miles and was only able to go farther because it was mainly downhill.

Now, I would be lying through my teeth if I said that getting sick and being unable to run hasn't led me to suffer some minor bouts of depression, but mentally I feel like I am handling it alright.  I've had the flu before, but it that was during my sedentary life, and I wasn't effected by the lingering effects of the flu beyond the annoying lingering cough.  But, now so much of my inner well being is tied to running and being active that I am keenly aware of linger physical toll that a bout with the flu can take on the body.  I have been reading lost of articles about post flu symptoms and recovery, and everything that I am going through is normal.  Although I am still tempted to get down on myself for being lazy, I know that this is physical and not mental.  I need to give my body time to recover.  This is nothing compared to the effects of mono or my concussion, both of which took over six months to pass, so with some patience, I'll be back at it in time to start my training for the half.  But for now, July needs to be endured.

Do any of you have a bad luck month where injuries or illnesses always seem to strike?


  1. Glad you are feeling better, but sorry that the effects are long lasting. You might try just walking/hiking and intermittently running when you feel like it to build back up.
    Keep your head up, young man, each day is a new day.

  2. Thanks Jessie,

    Just trying to keep mentally strong. If I can keep my head together everything else will be just fine.