Random notes

I’m fighting my way through my second cold in as many months. This latest one has been worse than last month’s. I think I picked it up at the Ravens/Seahawks game a couple of weekends ago. It has featured the worst cough I’ve had in probably several years. In fact, the cough was the initial symptom — I never got a sore throat. Sinus impacts have also been minimal — I had a stuffy nose for maybe 2 or 3 nights. It laid me up for a couple of days with fever, chills, and cold sweats, to where I thought it might be flu, but I think the fever went away too quickly for it to have been flu. Then again, maybe it was flu, but the flu shot I got in September reduced the severity. I do know that it wasn’t COVID, unless the test I took gave me a false negative. The main story has been the cough. In the beginning, it was wheezy and unproductive, but it has become productive in the past day or two, which has me crossing my fingers that it’s finally on its way out.

The other thing this cold has done is to completely sap my energy. After spending last Thursday and Friday lying around doing nothing, I managed to get the swimming pool winterized on Saturday, over the course of the entire day, with frequent breaks. Sunday, I tried running, and struggled to complete 3 miles at 12:30/mile. Monday (yesterday), I ran again, with only slight improvement: I was exhausted after 3 miles, but managed a pace of 11:30. The silver lining was that my form and cadence seemed pretty good both days, which tells me that my running biomechanics are improving, as I’m no longer sacrificing form for less important things like pace.

This morning, I took the new hard-tail mountain bike back out. It was my first time on a bike in a week. While I was slower than usual, and got winded more easily, it was not a bad ride overall. It was more enjoyable than either of this week’s runs, but that’s not saying much. I have to say that I’m really impressed with how well this bike performs on technical climbs. There’s a trail in the PVSP Avalon Area called “Water Bars”, which is a rocky ascent straight up the river bank, with a few wooden erosion barriers along the way (the namesake “water bars”). I’ve struggled for years to get all the way up this trail on my full suspension bike without stopping or putting my foot down, but I have never quite succeeded. Today, I tried it for the first time with the hard tail, and rode right up it. It didn’t even seem very difficult, and this was in spite of my being under the weather. I’ll still take full suspension any day for descents, but the hard-tail is the clear winner when it comes to going uphill. I just need to get back to the point where I can do it without getting winded!