Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Distracted driving

All night long last night, I kept waking up because my throat was so sore. I still wasn't feeling congested (good thing), but my throat continued to feel worse. I kept hoping I would wake up in the morning, and I would feel back to normal.

Today, I wanted to focus solely on getting better as soon as possible. I drank a quart of water right when I woke up, and then I gargled with warm salt water. I took some Airborne, and ate breakfast. I was trying to decide whether I should run or rest today. I was scheduled for a four-mile easy run, and I really didn't feel like I was sick enough to skip it.

I've always used the rule of thumb that if you're sick from the neck up, it's fine to exercise; if it's from the neck down, then rest is best. Since it was really just my throat that was hurting, I chose to run. Running always makes me feel better, no matter what is going on.

I dressed in what I'm probably going to be wearing at the marathon on Sunday, and headed outside for a four-miler. Rik and I talked over the weekend about our pacing plan for the marathon, and we agreed to start with the 4:30 finish time pacers (a 10:18/mi pace) and then fall back if it feels too fast. So today, my goal was to get a feel for the 10:18 pace, and try to run at that pace the whole time.

I only looked at my Garmin after each mile split, and I did great the first mile--then I went a little too fast for the last three, but I'm glad that I felt good enough to do so! My throat didn't bother me at all while I was running, probably because I breathe through my mouth and my throat gets dry anyway.
My last few runs have been progressive runs, which is good--meaning that each mile was a little faster than the mile before. I wasn't deliberately trying to do that, but it shows that I still have some energy in the tank when I finish. However, I will be completely shocked if I somehow manage to pull a 4:30ish finish time! I would just like to get under 5 hours, and I would be just as happy with 4:59 as I would with 4:30 or even 4:01 ;)

While I was running on the shoulder of a busier road this morning, I heard a car coming up behind me. I got over as far as possible to the right, because I know drivers don't really pay attention (I see people texting and driving ALL THE TIME while I'm running). The car got closer, and when it was right next to me, the driver floored the gas and made the engine rev really loudly while the tires squealed. I looked to see the car swerve toward me, and then swerve again away from me, like they were trying to scare the shit out of me--which it did.

Why would anyone do something like that?!

Just recently in a neighboring city, there was a woman who was standing in her driveway watching her daughter get on the school bus before school. A car came down the road, driven by a 17-year old girl who was distracted while driving (not sure what the distraction was), and ran over the woman in her driveway, killing her. Isn't that awful? I feel bad for everyone involved, including the teen driver--that would be a very harsh lesson learned.

I always try to be very aware of drivers while I'm out running, and I try to make eye-contact with drivers before I cross in front of them (even when I have the right of way). I forgot to write about this during my last 20-miler, but I was almost hit by a car about 3 miles in. I had pushed the button for the crosswalk, and when it changed to the walk sign, I started running slowly across, watching the driver who was waiting to turn toward where I was running (to make sure she saw me). I got halfway across when she gunned it and came at me FAST. I jumped backwards, and she was so close that I hit my hand on the hood of her car to get her attention, and only then did she see me.

Anyway, I guess my point is that running is a dangerous sport! ;)

I spent the rest of the day lying on the couch drinking tea almost non-stop. The thing that has worked the best for my throat so far is ginger tea. I actually combined a few remedies into one--ginger tea, honey, and apple cider vinegar. It wasn't the best-tasting tea I've ever had, but it worked wonders on my throat! I felt almost back to normal for a little while after drinking it. Estelle kept me company on the couch.
Estelle never sits on my lap (or anyone's lap). She hates to be held. But she somehow knows when I don't feel well, and she becomes a lap cat. She did this after my surgery, too.

I'm really not feeling any better than I was this morning, so I am probably going to be spending tomorrow on the couch, too.

37 comments:

  1. I can't believe that! I have a hard time listening to music while running outside because I am always afraid that I wont see/hear a car coming. I always like to keep an eye on passing cars for similar reasons!

    I hope you start feeling better before the weekend!! Take it easy!

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    1. I've found running on bike paths are the safest--that's where I do my long runs. I do have to cross a couple of streets, but other than that, the only traffic is from bikes or other runners!

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  2. When I run I usually end up on paved trails, but there are a few roads on it, thankfully they're not that busy!

    Hope you're feeling better soon! :)

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    1. Yes, paved trails are nice! That's where I do my long runs.

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  3. I'm sure you've thought of this, but maybe an urgent/quick care visit to swab for strep throat? Just a thought (from a random Internet person :) ), but it doesn't really sound like u have a cold. And antibx for strep usually are fast-acting, so u might feel better in time for your marathon. Again, sorry to give unsolicited advice, just pulling for you to have a good marathon. :)

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    1. Don't be sorry, that's a good idea--I've been thinking about the possibility of strep, but I haven't had a fever, or spots on my throat (I keep checking), so I don't think that's what it is. And now I'm getting nasal congestion :(

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  4. When you are running or walking, you should be facing the traffic for those very reasons. Only if you are on a bike should you be going with traffic! I see people doing this all the time and I think, "You're doing it wrong!" and I want to pull over and tell them...but I don't. So I am telling you:-)

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    1. I always face traffic when running on roads. On this particular road, however, there is a paved shoulder that is specifically designated for pedestrians, and it's only on one side of the road. So I didn't have a choice :)

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  5. Good luck on your marathon! I am on day 3 of the Insanity program. Your blog was a large factor in my choosing to get up and change my life. You are very inspiring. Thank you.

    My Grandfather (We called him Papa) was hit by a distracted driver and killed in a Walmart parking lot this Labor Day. It was heartbreaking. He was 92, he had just had coffee with his buddies, walked the mall, and then gone to Walmart. He had parked his car and was walking up to the entrance and was struck. It was heartbreaking. And really just unacceptable. The driver was just not paying attention, Papa had done nothing wrong. It is not how his life should have ended. People have no idea, how one small choice can impact so many lives.

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    1. I am so sorry for your loss. How horrible. In NY it's against the law to not be using a hands-free phone and I scream every time I see someone with their hand to their head, gabbing away. WHAT is SO important??? Not so many years ago we didn't HAVE cell phones, now people can't breathe without one.

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    2. That is absolutely heartbreaking about your grandfather! I'm so sorry for your loss. I worry about my kids in parking lots--they're "too cool" to hold my hand, and they keep telling me, "I'm watching for cars!" But they don't understand that just because they see a car coming doesn't mean the car sees THEM. It's scary how quickly something awful like that can happen.

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  6. My sister is running a marathon this coming saturday, October 20th.... Her's is called the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon... Is that the same one you are running? Her and a friend are running. Not sure what her expected time is, it's her 2nd full marathon. I think the last one was right at 4:30.....
    Cant wait to hear all about it. :)

    Chris Newmark
    JourneytoHealth Newmark (on facebook)

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    1. I've heard good things about that marathon! I'm actually doing the Detroit Free Press Marathon on Sunday. (I hope, anyway. If this cold doesn't keep me from running!)

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  7. Just wanted to stop by to say how much I enjoy reading your blogs. Hope you feel better for your marathon and that you do great. I also have to chime in about Estelle. I also have a tortie who does pretty much the same thing you've described. She's normally not the most affectionate cat, but when someone in the family or another animal is sick or in pain, she's got the hugest compassionate side I've ever witnessed in another animal. I've always thought it was because she was orphaned young, but maybe there's something in her breed. I've had quite a few cats in my lifetime and though some were generally much more affectionate, none ever showed the "human compassion" that she does.

    Tina

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    1. Thanks for reading, Tina! Isn't it interesting how cats have personality traits just like humans do? All three of my other cats are VERY affectionate, but not Estelle!

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  8. I never heard of the cider vinegar treatment! You learn something new every day! Hope you feel better today!!

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    1. I hadn't either, but a reader suggested it, so I figured it couldn't hurt to try ;)

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  9. It's so funny how cats sense when you're ill and want to comfort you when they're not usually that friendly. I had a Siamese who was like that. She was one mean cat. She bit. You could pet her once, and that was it! But when I was sick, she would come around and want to be petted and sit on my lap. Everybody but me hated that cat. She lived until she was 18--too ornery to die I guess. I still miss her.
    That is scary about the near misses with cars. A co-worker and his wife were out walking this weekend on a bike trail that they made from an abandoned rail line. It is asphalted. A bike hit the co-worker's wife and she hit her head on the asphalt and is still in ICU. Very scary indeed. Be careful.

    Hope the throat keeps getting better. At least if it doesn't get any worse, evidently you can run through the pain now. My son has been battling a sore throat, he didn't have his tonsils out as a kid, like his two big brothers. The doctor says his tonsils are huge, and they get infection in them repeatedly. I suppose he should have them out now, but I heard how much worse that surgery is as an adult, than when you have them out as a child.

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    1. I never got my tonsils out either--I wonder if that's a problem? My brothers and sister all still have their tonsils as well.

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  10. Sorry to hear you are sick! That just plain sucks, especially right before a marathon. I have a relative and a couple friends running that marathon this Sunday. Hope you feel better soon!

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  11. I've been trying to become more aware of cars around me while driving. In a few weeks it will be dark by the time I can get a run in and I think I will start wearing only one ear bud so I can hear the cars around me. I know there's been times where I've been driving and haven't noticed a runner or walker and it's scary for both the driver and the pedestrian. Some people are just plain ignorant though and don't even care.

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    1. Be careful! Do you have a reflective vest? I bought one at a Ragnar race, and I love it for running in the dark!

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  12. People can be such shits. I was running on a bike path one time. A cyclist came up behind me and screamed, just to scare me. WTF? Why do that? What is wrong with some people that they get pleasure out of being malicious to other people? I don't get it.

    Sorry about your throat. My father always suggests gargling with salt water.

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    1. I know, I don't understand where that "thrill" comes from!

      I tried the salt water (my dad always suggests that too). It gave me a little relief!

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  13. Sorry about you being sick! It seems like it's going around a lot lately.

    Be safe out on the road while running! I'm from Iowa and a cyclist just got hit the other day on a bike path because a teenage driver was texting and swerved off the road!

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    1. That's scary, especially when there is a designated bike path! The texting and driving is awful. I see SO many motorists texting while driving when I'm out running, and they are easy to spot because they swerve a lot.

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  14. I had a very sore throat about a year ago, the doctor I went to see told me that I should try Oil of Oregano, just a few drops from an eye dropper, 3 times per day. Apparently, if it's a viral infection, oregano is supposed to help. Just thought I'd pass this on if it might help.

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    1. I've never heard of Oil of Oregano... interesting! But I do love oregano!

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  15. I don't know what's wrong with people, but I think there are people out there who intentionally antagonize runners while they drive their cars. I have been on isolated dirt roads and had similar problems with drivers. I guess they think they'll "teach us" that the roads are only for cars?!

    Good luck keeping the germs in check. I'm running the Detroit Half this weekend. Fingers crossed you can run the marathon!

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    1. Good luck with your race on Sunday!! If you happen to see me in that mass of 30,000 people, make sure you say hi ;)

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  16. Oh, I hope you feel better soon!

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    1. I'm feeling much better this morning! :)

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  17. I'm so glad you banged on the hood of that car. Running on the roads are scary - I stick to sidewalks whenever possible, and refuse to wear headphones for that reason!

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    1. It IS scary. Now that marathon training is done, I'll be going back to my old routes, which are less trafficked.

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  18. I've had a sore throat to and my first 5-mile race is this weekend. I've been downing the tea like crazy. I'll have to try the ginger tea with honey and cider vinegar, though! I know rest and fluids are paramount!

    Thanks for the tip on making eye contact with drivers. I really watch closely when I'm at a an intersection, even in my residential neighborhood or when someone is backing out of a driveway, but eye contact is smart.

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    1. I don't know if there was any merit to the cider vinegar, but that little concoction gave me instant relief from my sore throat.

      Another little tip when you're out is to give a friendly wave to motorists who deliberately go out of their way to avoid coming close to you. I always do this so they know I appreciate it, and hopefully they will remember that and do it in the future as well!

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