That's the pollen count for today. The offenders are Hickory and Grass. Looks like I only have problems when the pollen count is in the high to extremely high range with grass being listed.
I checked the pollen count this morning before I planned my workout. I figured it would be low with all the rain we had yesterday but sometimes that can kick it all up and make it worse. But apparently we had enough yesterday that it washed it all away. At least that is the story my lungs and sinuses are sticking to.
But since I did --in my opinion-- a rather hard run (17 miles) yesterday I figured my legs might not be too enthusiastic about another hard run.
So I went to the Greenway and took hills out of the equation. It was in the 70's--which isn't terrible-- but it was very muggy down there. Even still I ran the whole trail out and back (12 miles) in an hour and 37 minutes. 8:10ish pace. That is a guesstimate since I stopped twice at the light at Kimble Bridge and for water 3 times at the water fountains--I didn't carry anything with me --well except my knife from which I have a lovely abrasion from. Oh and, of course, my ipod and cell phone and inhaler. My holy running trilogy.
The first mile felt horrible and it didn't help that before I even got to the first mile marker 2 people passed me. They only got about 100 feet in front of me and it made me feel better that the guy turned off before the 2 mile and then the girl turned back at the 2 mile--it would have bothered me to chase them for the whole 6 miles out and I would have risked blowing myself up.
Anyways, after they turned off I was alone for awhile and found my pace. I stopped at 3 miles for water since that is where the facilities are. And note, the fountain at the North Point trail head (where I started) does not work. Even though I thought I was going slow I was still at the 3 mile at 23 minutes (which, I know that is still slow to some people but I was aiming for 25 minutes). So I pulled back and at the turn around I was at 50 minutes. I stopped at 7 miles to get another sip of water and ran on. Stopped again at 9 miles before crossing Kimble Bridge.
In the 10th mile my mind started to wander--I was thinking about when I use to be a gymnast and how graceful and powerful I use to feel when I did flips and leaps and stuff and how I don't feel that when I run but was thinking how cool it would be if at the end of a marathon I had the energy to butterfly across the finish line. Not that I can do two aerials in a row anymore but it could be something to work towards. Of course, this line of thinking had everything to do with the song I was listening to: Another Scarlet Butterfly.
Right, I know. Definitely a caterpillar these days.
So anyway while I was off in reverie this guy passed me. And I looked him over: a bit heavy, little older, very sweaty. And first I thought, oh just let him go. And I considered it while I picked up the pace and hung on his heels. Yeah, sorry buddy, I thought, I got too much left in the tank. But then that good non competitive angel on my right shoulder (evil is always left--psst, re the part on etymology) said Nat remember that you want to ride your bike. . . Yeah whatever, (brushed her pansy ass off my shoulder) dude is going down.
He seemed honestly surprised to see me. I knew that he was going to try and put me back in my place just from the sideways glance he cast me. And everybody knows that if you pass someone after they passed you then you better be ready to bring it. snap, snap
So now my run became serious work. It was hot and I was thirsty.
I passed a few other people but started to feel myself wanting to fade to that comfortable pace again. Then all the sudden I realized I was being harassed by a bee. I am so scared of bees. Both my parents are allergic and since I seem to be allergic to most things I just assume I am also allergic to bees.
I swatted it away. It dive bombed me. I picked up the pace. It whipped in front of my face. Damn bee. I tried slowing but then I could actually hear the buzzing over my music. So I started sprinting--all the while I am whipping my hands all around my head. I think I was yelling too. I kept pushing and pushing the pace. I totally felt like my lungs were going to burst but I was so worried that if I got stung I would go into anaphlytic shock instantly because of how hard my heart was pounding. I assured myself that my inhaler would most definitely save me. Then I chided myself that is it an inhaler not an epi-pen. Idiot. You are going to die. Run. Run. Run!
I don't even know when or how or if I out sprinted the bee but when I got to my car it was gone. And when I looked behind me I saw none of those other runners. Not even the guy who probably didn't know that we were racing but we were. And at any rate, seeing how to them it probably looked like I just up and started bolting down the trail while wildly waving my arms it is probably a good thing no one was there when I finished.
Since my time was limited I got my bike out, pulled on my bike shorts, traded running shoes for bike shoes, grabbed my water and Cliff bar and took off down the trail. I gulped down half the water instantly, ate half my Cliff bar and relaxed. I am telling you. Run first, then bike. Feels like a nap by comparison when you get on that bike after running. It was so nice to sit down. Yeah, my quads were like what the fuck are you doing woman but they chilled after a bit and I enjoyed my ride.
I did one loop (12 miles) and realized I had time to do at least to 18 maybe 24 if I pushed it. I had finished my Cliff bar and refilled my water bottle so I just tried to maintain. It was getting really tough. The cardio was there but my legs started to feel heavy. The wind started kicking up and the sky got a little ominous. There had been tons of people out earlier but is was getting quite sparse. I checked the time and gauged my energy and decided to turn back at 4 mile marker which when I was done would make my ride 20. I pushed as hard as could and made it back to the car in plenty of time. I could have gone to 24 but I figured now I will have time to eat lunch. There was no one in the parking lot when I racked my bike so it is just as well as I left. I don't like being out the trail by myself.
At any rate I am very happy with my workout. 2 hard days in a row in the peak of allergy season. Maybe 13 isn't such an unlucky number after all.
Oh, and pray for me. I have the Cuddle Club here for a sleepover tonight. That's right, four seven year old girls. They have only been here an hour and every single one of them has cried at least once and there has been 2 twisted ankles, a skinned knee and not nearly enough kindness or "respect" going around--at least that is what I heard Carmella say. Oh geez, they've got Hannah Montana blasting. . .