Coughing and Running

After feeling pretty rough on Saturday’s 12-miler, my recovery from this cold & sinus infection definitely took a hit. My cough got worse after it has been getting better, despite finishing a round of antibiotics. I felt 95% well aside from the fact that I was still coughing up…well, stuff. Green, clearly infected mucus with every cough. I definitely felt congested but had no pain or pressure – just the feeling that I couldn’t clear my sinuses.

So I finally went back to the doctor on Tuesday morning, this time to my primary care doctor’s PA. When I sat down, the medical assistant took my temperature and blood pressure, and was convinced I was having a stroke. My temperature was 99.8 and my blood pressure was a scary 140/100. I don’t think my diastolic has ever been higher than 80 when sick or 60 when healthy, but I had been coughing non-stop and also had parked a few blocks away and hustled in the cold to the doctor’s office building. The medical assistant kept asking me if I felt light-headed (no), and went to get me a bottle of water. She made me drink it before the PA came in, and sure enough, when he re-took both vitals, they were normal again. Temp was 98.0 (I usually run low) and BP was back to around 132/82 – still high for me but normal for someone who is fighting a sinus infection and full of all sorts of drugs.

My lungs sounded clear and the chest x-ray I was forced to get was totally normal, so the diagnosis was a lingering sinus infection that is causing post-nasal drip and thus the productive, wet cough. Continue reading


$2,000 Raised!


On Saturday, after I had stopped feeling sorry for myself because of one bad run, I hit my next fundraising milestone – the $2,000 mark! I’m actually at $2,030 officially thanks to some recent donations:

  1. Bill (not my dad), a supporter who found me on social media two years ago and has been following my running journey ever since. He’s a fellow New Englander and has been focusing on his own health & fitness, but recently experienced a setback due to heel pain, so here’s to hoping he’s feeling much better soon! Thank you, Bill!
  2. Lindsay, a former co-worker who recently left Bright Horizons, which was a total bummer to me. She’s kept in touch and is also a yoga teacher and trained for a marathon herself, so I am incredibly grateful for support from someone who knows what this journey is all about!
  3. Sadlo, my trainer. She’s been getting me healthy and strong since the day the doctors cleared me to return to exercise after this summer’s tibial stress fracture. While some of her clients go to her to get slimmer or more toned, she knows I am there to get stronger so that running is easier on my body than it has been. She is seriously the best trainer I’ve ever had, and her support means more than she probably realizes.

Continue reading

Long Run Crash & Burn with a Dose of Perspective

I ended my last post with:

On Friday, my new “take it easy” day, I woke up sore from Thursday’s run so I spent lots of time stretching and foam rolling, and did yet another yoga class in my living room. I had a salt bagel for breakfast, hydrated like a fool but also added salty snacks so I didn’t end up overdoing it, had a salad with grilled chicken for lunch and pasta with broccoli and turkey sausage for dinner, and even a single glass of wine! So basically, I did everything right, all week long, and even told Jess that I was going to have “the best run ever” on Saturday morning. So did I? More on that next post!

No, I did not have “the best run ever” this morning. In fact, I felt bad from the get-go but thought maybe my legs were just still tired, sore and tight from Wednesday and Thursday, and that they’d loosen up after a few miles like they usually do. Continue reading

Finally Feeling Better?

After 3 solid weeks of being sick, I’m finally feeling better. Yesterday I would have told you I was feeling 95%, but today it’s back down to 90% because of some recurrent and annoying post-nasal drip that’s giving me a sore throat. It’s always two steps forward and one step back, isn’t it?

I finally went to urgent care on New Year’s Eve, and the nurse practitioner was lovely. She said what I had was definitely going around – not the flu, thankfully – but that it basically needed to run its course of 7-10 days. I was only Day 6 at that point, so she sent me home with cough medication, nighttime cough syrup with codeine, and an inhaler, and told me to come back if it wasn’t better by Day 10. She said running probably wouldn’t make anything worse, and since New Year’s Day was going to be so sunny and warm, to try an easy run.

So on New Year’s Day, around noon, I went out for a run. I decided to run based on heart rate and nothing else, and did my best to keep my heart rate under 165, which is roughly 90% of my max heart rate. That meant running at a snail’s pace, essentially power-walking. But I hardly coughed during my run and it was SO beautiful out that I did 2 loops around the reservoir and back home, for a total of 4 miles. Continue reading

Sicknesses and Such

December has not been my month. Or my family’s month. Or my friends’ month. Or my co-workers’ month. Everyone has been so sick! It started out fine – with my first 4- and 5-mile runs. I also did my first pre-dawn run. But then I got some sort of food poisoning the second week of December. I had made healthy turkey tacos on Sunday, had some for dinner that night, and then packed it up for my lunches for next 3 days. I felt fine on Sunday, but after lunch on both Monday and Tuesday, I felt horrible. My stomach hurt, then I got nauseated, and then I got my #1 sign that I’m about to vomit – I got extremely tired and could not stop yawning. I did not get sick either day, and I did not think it had anything to do with my food.

So when I worked from home on Wednesday, I ate a second smaller serving, meaning I ate more of the food (turkey, salsa, cheese, avocado, and crunchy shells) as the previous 2 days. I got so unbelievably sick. Both ends. I was scheduled to donate platelets for the first time since my tibia injury (platelets are necessary for bone healing, so I couldn’t afford to give away any of my own), but I had to cancel my appointment. I couldn’t keep anything down. I was up all night puking, and had no choice but to call out of work the next day. I rarely take actual sick days where I don’t do any work, but I needed it. I felt better on Friday and actually had a great run mid-day (since I knew I’d have to be on a conference call well into the evening). Continue reading

First Official Run of My 18-Week Marathon Training Program

Sunday was the official start of our 18-week marathon training program. Since it was a rest/foam roll/stretch/ice day for me, and yesterday was a strength training day, today was my first run of the 18 weeks!

I set my alarm for 5:15am to run before work and guess what? I actually got up and ran! Well, I snoozed till 5:30 and tried very hard to talk myself into rolling over and going back to sleep, but guilt won. And then I didn’t exactly “get up and run” because Chip prefers long walks first thing in the morning, but I finally got out the door around 6:15am. I ran 3 miles as planned, but upped my running intervals from 3 minutes to 4 minutes, still with 1-minute walking intervals. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected it to be, except right in the middle of my run when I had a few hills to conquer.

However, 3 scary things happened on my run. Continue reading

My December 9th Fundraising Email

If you didn’t get my email yesterday, here’s an online version.

Dear Friends & Family,

Happy Holidays! There are now just over 4 months until I run the 2019 Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, which raises critical funds to benefit the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. So far, I have raised more than $1,400 toward my $10,925 goal. To those of you who have already donated, thank you so much!

As we celebrate the holiday season, I find myself thinking of the families who have one fewer reason to celebrate this year, and the people who will be spending what should be a joyous time undergoing cancer treatment and its potentially devastating complications. But just as the holiday season brings hope, so does the Barr Program. Continue reading