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Hanging in there

It’s been an unnecessarily rough few weeks. I kept thinking, Oh, I really ought to write about this, and then I’d try to figure out how to say what I wanted to say, and it was a muddy mess. And potentially more than I’m comfortable disclosing. So maybe I’ll begin to sort through this stuff in the next few weeks and try to lift some of the weight from my shoulders.

I discovered this week just how horrendous seasonal allergies can be. Broadleaf maple trees, otherwise known as “Oregon maples,” are my latest nemesis. Since they’re unavoidable — I live in the state they’re named after — I’m doomed. Back in Ohio, I’d experience what mainly felt like a mild cold, usually at its most irritating during weed pollen time. As I ran under a line of broadleaf maples the other night, tromping on their flowers piled on the sidewalks and streets, I felt my throat tighten and my nose instantly turned into a spigot. I coughed and coughed and couldn’t breathe, and then my eyes started to itch. An inhaler sure would’ve been nice to have on hand! The rest of the time I’m just dealing with a sore/scratchy throat, swollen glands, and a persistent cough. This would be less of a worry if I didn’t have a marathon on Sunday.

This Sunday. A day and a half from now. Ack.

This morning I felt lousy enough to consider calling off work (but didn’t). I spent the morning contemplating the idea of switching from the marathon to the half marathon. But you know what? I realized I had no intention of racing it anyway, and with the prevalence of my new favorite trees, I was just going to go out there and enjoy the gorgeous weather and scenery. My fellow Portland running chicks are out there to challenge time goals, and it’s so easy for me to get caught up in that mindset and start comparing myself to them in the millions of ways that female runners do. In my dream of dreams, I’d like to break 5 hours. Back in December when I registered for this, I anticipated a much more regimented training plan. I was gonna aim for 4:30! But my health has been just lousy enough for me to not feel well enough to run and work out as much as I’d like to. Ah well. I sure did enough running in the first half of 2011 to earn some downtime.

And now for a kitty story! So as you may know, Frank is a superb snuggler. It’s been really difficult for me to get out of bed in the morning, not just for the usual reasons, but because Frank is snuggling aggressively and will bite me if I try to get up. Well last night, while lying on my back in my burning throat coughing poor breathing state, Frank climbed onto my chest and settled in with his front paws pressing on the bottom of my throat (which is quite raw from all the hacking). The next thing I knew, he’d lowered his head onto my shoulder, nestling in between my hair and my neck. I leaned my head in that direction to return the snuggle, and ohh, soft kitty cheek on your face is a little like heaven.

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