Steve wasn't able to run with us due to a little injury so he mt. biked the canyon and went a little further up the single-trek trail. He got a picture of the notorious big horns that fill the canyon:
Though the view was amazing and the company awesome, I was dying running - I was struggling for air. I was really getting frustrated with this whole lack of ability to run, which has been the case for months now. But to back up a couple days, I woke up Thursday with a headache that'd been brewing for a few days to where my head was about to explode. Come Friday, I couldn't breathe and I threw in the towel and headed to the doctor for some drugs, certain I had yet another sinus infection. Nope. He told me that allergy season is just over-the-top intense right now, worse than Colorado's ever seen, and what I needed was an oral steroid to get rid of the crud sitting in my sinuses causing all the inflammation. ACK!! I was afraid; I heard a lot of whacked-out side effects. But I was desperate so I dove in and by Friday night, I was seriously nauseous and light-headed. I consumed almost an entire box of Cheerios to combat the feeling, which sightly helped, and added some unwanted poundage. UGH. Just what I DIDN'T need! Saturday I woke up feeling slightly better and decided I'd go to Athletic Training class (you know, the one that NDS teaches, the one that almost deprives me of my existence me each week). Thankfully, class wasn't as much cardio as it was muscular strength. Don't get me wrong, class was still a killer (60 30M sprints with about 2 seconds in between each. And that's no joke!! Along with major core stuff, inch worms, pushups, and drills) but I wasn't using my inflammed lungs as much as my muscles. With the crazy steroid now in my blood system, I was really struggling by the end - my stomach was doing somersaults. When Sunday came to run the canyon, I felt a little better but going up the first 6 miles was just not making my body happy and once we turned to come back down the canyon, I was really light-headed again. My friend, Dennis, had come out to run the canyon, too, and the speedster he is, he was done well ahead of us (me! I was totally holding Kathleen back!). He started running back up the canyon to find me and ran the last mile I had left with me and helped drag my sorry butt back to the car. It was really nice talking to him again and catching up some, it's been a long time.
I was frustrated at first, there's no other word for it. My running's been in a total rut since well, eternity, and this sinus stuff was exacerbating the whole situation. Kathleen was really sweet and filled with words of encouragement. She reminded me my life's stress will soon pass and I had good strong running legs (I think she used the word "shapely" legs - bless her :) ), they were just currently in a slump and their potential is lurking right behind the surface and would breathe fresh air soon. In the end, I actually saw my overall pace and it wasn't as bad as my lungs were making it out out be. I think she's right, this icky stuff will soon pass.....I GOT to spend a great morning in a great location with some great people. I have nothing to complain about!!! Sometimes the only choice to make in a moment is the choice to have a grateful heart where you can get up every day and do the thing you love the most; despite the fact you may not be feeling 100%. I feel I can now look something as daunting as a 12-mile run up a canyon while on medication that makes me nauseous straight in the eye, and thank God for the challenge. By choosing to be grateful, I can change the entire energy flow of a situation from dread to wonderful. What a great adventure!
While I was in the midst of a lung attack in Waterton Canyon, twin #2 was up in the mountains, ready to tackle Mt. Sherman (one of the 52 14,000' peaks Colorado possess. Yeah, I'm totally blessed to live here. Aside from that nasty pollen in the air!). Brendan's a little obsessed with mountain climbing and he's watched one too many documentaries and read too many books on climbing all sorts of technical mountain peaks, so his vocabulary constantly resembles something climbing related. He somehow talked his dad into camping at the base of the mountain Saturday night, where, mind you, it's still well below freezing (we're talking total tent camping here folks! That's what climbers do, you know - they camp. I've done my share of camping - from car camping to backpacking a lot of the Colorado Trail back in the day. But that was back in the day. I've done my time, thank you....hello Marriott with feather pillow-top mattresses!!!). He went to bed that night at 8:00 and got up at midnight to start climbing (did I mention he's watched too many climbing Everest documentaries???). No real purpose to the midnight thing other than that's what the climbers do in Everest and well, that's what he wanted to do: emulate as much hardship as real climbers do. And he never complains. Except later that afternoon when he was over the top tired and I told him he had to mow the lawn.
All I can say to this tent thing is um, NO thanks!!
Starting up Mt. Sherman, elevation 14, 036, at midnight.
Arrived at the top at 5:30 a.m. It's not Mt. Everest, but it is still very pretty!
btw, the picture at the top is one B took as he witnessed the sun rising.
And we've made it to the top!!! Yay, B!! Though I can't say I share his passion, I'm so proud (and very impressed) that he tackles these 14ers. He absolutely loves it....and I understand his love :). This is his adventure, and what an adventure it is!
I have finished the steroid today and I have to say, I'm actually feeling pretty good. I'm still congested in the mornings and at night, but the severe hammer pounding on the inside of my head has lessened by about half and I can breathe most of the day without my nasal spray attached to my hip. I've had two pretty awesome runs since the canyon: yesterday I ran about 5 miles of hill repeats at MP (still slow, but felt oh so much better than the last time I attempted this) and today I ran 5 miles with each mile progressively getting faster til I was at 1/2 MP. Each felt incredible. A couple good days of running, some awesome weight training/core workouts, AT class really doing some amazing things, and my eating WAY better controlled - I think this running thing is slowly coming around (even my heel is about 50% happy. Maybe that steroid helped the heel???? )
All I can say to that is - YAY!!! I hope it's around to stay. I'm ready for my next adventure!!