Torture, Part Two

This is the long-awaited (indulge me) sequel to Friday’s post (This Morning’s Torture) that you can read here. The torture did not end with the run. Afterwards, my allergies were off the charts all weekend. I must have breathed in every single bit of pollen in the state of New Mexico, which is feasible considering how heavily I was gasping for oxygen from start to finish. Soon after my jog, I was sneezing and wiping my nose non-stop. I know I tend to exaggerate but “non-stop” was pretty (somewhat) literal. I rubbed my red Rudolph nose to the point that the skin was attractively peeling in enough layers to make my neighbors think a family of rattlesnakes was molting nearby. I was miserable.

I thought getting some aerobic exercise would bring me added energy. For some odd reason, I have been feeling fatigued lately despite getting plenty of sleep. However, instead of feeling revived post-exercise, I was drowsily doped up on Benedryl. Despite the warning not to operate a motor vehicle, I had no choice but to put my and my children’s lives at stake by downing the drugs prior to school pick up. After continued agony and a second helping of meds, I was passed out on the couch before the boys were asleep themselves.

The next day was not much better. I switched to Claritin so I could be awake and functioning. I was skeptical that the less than pea-sized pill could perform the miracle required. Sure enough, I had a tissue in contact with my nostrils so often that I was seriously tempted to leave twisted wads of it stuffed inside even while spending the day in public places.

Albuquerque must not like me. It wasn’t bad enough that I was a snotty, sneezing mess. At lunch Saturday I had a serious battle with a chair. The chair won. I have four flesh wounds to show for it. To add insult to literal injury, a bird pooped on my head while I was recovering from my chair battle. REALLY?! I think the only thing keeping me from clinical depression this weekend was spending time with family and friends. Otherwise, I’d have to add some Zoloft to my drug regimen.

After all this, I found myself this morning unable to get out of bed. NOPE. Guess again. I found myself gearing up for another RUN. I don’t think temporary insanity is a side effect of antihistamine for most, just me apparently. There was also the significant role that many of your encouraging comments played. How could I let you down? Instead, I found myself singing, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and my inner She-Ra (or Kelly Clarkson) emerged.

I briefly considered running indoors on the treadmill in the safety of a pollen-free fitness center. But I much prefer the great outdoors. With running, I need all the help I can get and the distraction of going somewhere outside is what I need to last more than a millisecond. Arguably, running around the block isn’t really going anywhere, but psychologically I need to not feel like a hamster in a wheel on the treadmill. I knew it was risky. Being the thrill-seeker that I am (as in “Oh, yeah, I’m not going to eat the recommended servings of fruit/veggies today” thrill), I was ready to live life on the edge. After a rebellious dose of Claritin, I was on my way. Shortly after starting, I saw landscapers mowing the apartment complex grass thereby producing even more allergy irritants in my air. This She-Ra thought, ‘Bring it on, Chaka Khan!’

Maybe it was the fact that I went counter-clockwise around the block that my mostly uphill run on Friday became only halfway uphill this morning. Maybe She-Ra took over my mind and body. Maybe Albuquerque deemed my harsh hazing to be over. Somehow I made it. I not only made it, but I contemplated crossing the street at corner three and running down the other side of it to extend my jog by 40 feet. But sound reason won. Let’s not be hasty and overly ambitious by stepping off the challenging enough block.

This time I ran past another runner. No friendly greeting from him. His head was down, and he had ear buds in. I’m pretty sure he was letting Kelly Clarkson sing him to victory and also could not spare the precious breath to pant hello. When I made it back full circle, I had not only survived but dare I say it? I felt good. I was tempted to permit another shopping trip for running clothes. (I only have two outfits to run in and since I sweat profusely enough to turn a drought-plagued land into flood plains, I would like more to launder less. Or more accurately, I would like to justify shopping.) I thought next time (NEXT TIME?!) I am going to cross that road and maybe venture towards adding the unthinkable additional block to the route. “Ain’t no stoppin’ us now!”

I am not running for President. I will not make any promises. A sobering look at my history makes it more likely that with two runs in four days, I will not be due for another run until 2020. For now though, I will enjoy this minor victory whether it transforms into an actual habit or disappears into a distant memory. Thank you for your support. I could not have done it without you…and Claritin…and Kelly Clarkson…and She-Ra…and the now real possibility that miracles do still happen.

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One Response to Torture, Part Two

  1. kelly walsh says:

    I feel your pain. I had one month of mild allergies in the midwest and now I have 8 months of severe allergies in Tucson. Sometimes I can’t keep my eyes open to drive cause I’m sneezing so much. What saved me is Nasalcrom. It and claritin together works wonders without any drowsiness. You have to use the Nasalcrom about 2-3 times a day. After a week you’ll notice that you are no longer sneezing and no runny nose. Keep up the running…you’re awesome

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