Recovery (Aka: The Week I Fell Apart, Physically).

I don’t know if this is delayed-onset fatigue brought on from last week’s race, but the past few days have been TOUGH for working out.

First there was the cold. Last week I noticed that Owen had a runny nose and was rubbing his eyes. I assumed that he had a touch of seasonal allergies, given the pollen dust I see on my car every day. I even put Children’s Claritin on my to-pick-up-from-the-store list.

And then I started to feel imminent doom: the combination of dry throat and the feeling that you are swallowing glass.

I removed Children’s Claritin from my list.

I follow a simple rule when it comes to running and colds. If the cold affects anything that is ABOVE my shoulders, then I’ll run. I might take it slower, and have to stop more for, er, nasal-cavity elimination, but I have no issue with running.

Anything that includes lungs, or aches and pains, or fever – I stay home. Period.

This cold, though annoying, was a Runnable Cold.

But then.

90-degree heat and humidity which moved in on Thursday. Or Friday. I don’t remember; it’s so hot my brain is melting and I can’t even think anymore. Honestly, what the FUCK, mother nature? Can’t we have a couple of in-between 70s, 80s in there? We have to go from 42 degrees and raining last Sunday to 95 degrees with 95% humidity? Seriously?

No wonder I’m sick.

Yesterday morning I went out, early, with the goal of running an hour. I was in light clothing. I carried my handheld water bottle. I was hoping for 6 or 7 miles; within 2 I knew it wasn’t happening. I was tired and a little dizzy, and my muscles screamed at a pace that is usually pretty comfortable for me.

So I called it at a reasonable 5 miles and went home. To the blessed air conditioning. I spent the day cleaning and doing errands and laundry and whatnot – but I wouldn’t call it a physically TAXING day.

Nonetheless, by last night, my IT band was SCREAMING at me whenever I walked down the stairs. My quads ached, and I had a random shooting pain in my left calf. I was exhausted and went to bed at 8:30 last night.

As an aside, is there anyone else like me out there? I, apparently, do not have the DNA required in order to “sleep in.” I would MUCH prefer going to bed when it’s still LIGHT out than trying to force myself to sleep late in the mornings. Jeff makes fun of me incessantly for this – I hate being up late and cannot sleep late.

Also: seriously, body? We’re falling apart NOW? I haven’t felt IT band PAIN in more than a year. My calves, though tight, aren’t usually painful without good reason. This week has been a very low mileage week, and I’ve been keeping a Be Kind To My Body pace.

I swear this is delayed-onset recovery; it’s taken me a week to actually feel like I am tired and need a rest.

So I am taking another rest day today. Because it’s still nasty swampy hot out there, and my head aches from the cold, and I’m tired, and honestly, there’s no sense in pushing it.

The good news is that my house is clean, and there’s pulled pork going in the crockpot, and I’m nice and cool hanging out with the puppy. Finley knows where it’s at – licking, laying on, and sleeping on the air conditioning vents is one of his new favorite summer hobbies.

To sum up: I’m tired and sick this week. It’s hotter than Hades outside, and I’m a little bitter.

And a question: Am I the only one who prefers to go to bed early, or sleep in late? Please tell me I am not alone here.

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Puppy Love.

I haven’t written in this space for so long, I might have actually forgotten HOW to write.

(Seriously, people. I opened the “New Post” page this MORNING. It is now 6pm and I have been sitting here, staring at this page, all day.)

And yes, I spruced up the place too. The picture at the top is one of my favorite places in New England – Acadia National Park.

___________________

So. An update then?

Well, the biggest life change we’ve made since I last posted: during the week of the Boston Marathon bombing, I saw an article about a couple of golden retriever therapy dogs, who had visited Newtown after the awfulness in December and then again in Boston that week.

I think it was that Thursday morning, as I sat in traffic trying to get over the Tobin Bridge, when the thought struck me.

I want a therapy dog of my own.

Now, mind you, this didn’t come out of nowhere – last fall Jeff and I started discussing the idea of getting a dog. For many reasons, it seemed like a good idea. Since, given our history, Owen is likely going to be an only child, we thought it would be good for him. A dog would be a good playmate, a companion for him has he grew up. And, too, we thought it would teach him responsibility.

But really, it’s because I miss having an animal. We’ve lived a year now since Puck died and I missed having that unconditional love; someone who is ALWAYS glad to see you.

Except we couldn’t decide on a breed – lab or golden? Or whether we wanted to get a rescue dog, or a shelter dog, or what. And then, well, the WORK involved scared me.

But in that moment on the Tobin Bridge, I told Jeff (via phone, of course) that I wanted to get a puppy. It was great timing: it was spring, Jeff is working from home until the end of June and I’ll be home most of July. Really, there was no reason NOT to move on it.

Well, except for one thing.

Confession: I kind of don’t really LIKE puppies.

I know, that makes me an awful person. I mentioned it, once, to my neighbor. Her reaction was as if I told her I was an axe murdered. All she could say, over and over, was:

Who doesn’t LIKE PUPPIES?

I don’t. I mean, they’re cute and all. But they’re slobbery and chew on everything and jump up on people and pee on floors and steal your stuff and have I mentioned they chew on EVERYTHING? Over the years of living with my parents, I think my mother brought home 2 or 3 puppies. And I hated them all – they bonded immediately with my mother, tolerated me, and then chewed all of my stuff.

And the other thing: I believe that there are Cat People and Dog People in the world, and you are one or the other. I, personally, am a Cat Person. Out of all the animals in my house when I was growing up, it was Rusty cat who was my favorite.

But Jeff’s allergic to cats and I kind of am too. Plus I wanted a running buddy. And really, at the end of the day, dogs LOVE EVERYONE. Cats? Not so much.

So anyway. The desire for a dog won out over the reservations, and we found someone local who had golden retriever puppies. And we got one – a little boy we named Finley Huckleberry.

And he’s so sweet. He was the one, out of the three puppies we saw, who patiently waited for Jeff to give him a pet before he came over to me, while his brothers nearly mauled me with happiness. Despite Owen trying to get him to jump on him, he just laid down and watched the three of us. And the first few days, he didn’t make a sound – just slept and ate and wagged his tail and whimpered when we put him in his crate.

He’s a puppy though. And a golden, who are notorious eaters of everything.

Really, I thought people were kidding when they said that they’d eat everything. I had heard stories of dogs chewing through wood and drywall and whatnot. But hell, not all dogs were like that, right? Right?

Nope. Finley does, in fact, eat everything. Moss. Leaves. Sticks. Rocks. Mulch. Dandelions. Bamboo. Grass. Plastic. Shoelaces. Wood. The stuffing in his toys. Paper. Labels. Tinfoil.

It’s like he views the world through one question: Is it edible?

Also something I had heard but did not really BELIEVE: having a puppy is EXACTLY like having a baby.

Except worse, because when you have a newborn you can stick a nipple in his mouth in the middle of the night and you don’t have to be OUTSIDE. There was one night when I was outside in 40 degrees with a pokey baby dog who, you know, hadn’t actually figured out how to do his business on command, and I really questioned what the hell I was doing. Why did we get a dog again?

But then, you know, now that he’s sleeping in his crate, through the night, and he greets me at the door all happy and loving and wants to bring me all his toys to chew on in my lap and when something scares him he whimpers and comes over to me for a snuggle…

How can you resist this face? 🙂

Maybe I AM a Dog Person after all.