After my allergy episode I had to find a way to continue to train without being exposed to pollen. I don’t belong to a gym and don’t think I ever will. I understand the benefits of a gym, especially with an indoor track during allergy season, but I have always enjoyed exercising outside. I’m not sure exactly what it is about running outside but I love it. I don’t use headphones and never have either. I think it is because I enjoy hearing the sounds of the world. I enjoy hearing the wildlife, cars on the road, boats on the river, even other runners and bikers on the same path. I think most of all though I enjoy “feeling” the run. By that I mean, being in tune with my breathing, my body, and my mind. I think above all it is a feeling of being alive. Regardless of whether a particular run seems easy or hard the “feeling” is still present. The “feeling” can probably best be described as a feeling of personal and immediate freedom.
When my allergies prevented me from exercising outside I was upset but I had to figure out something so I could keep moving forward with my training. I decided to train at home in my living room. Obviously I could not do any running in my house but I could continue the rest of the circuit workout. Since I wasn’t running I went ahead and added some additional core exercises to my workout. Thankfully it was only about a month that I was confined to my living room for workouts. By the way, I never thought a person could sweat as much while working out in the air conditioning.
The day before Easter was the Crescent City Classic (CCC) in New Orleans. I had signed up several months before but knew it would be difficult since I hadn’t run in over a month. For those who don’t know, the CCC is a 10k race through the streets of New Orleans starting in the French Quarter at Jackson Square and ending in City Park with a nice semi-shaded portion of the course along Esplanade Ave. The CCC is a race like no other. A lot of people participate in the CCC more as a party instead of a race. Along with the water stations along the course, racers can also find free beer stations, margarita shots, Hurricane shots, Jello shots, and even mimosas. The CCC is also known for being one of the fastest 10K’s on the planet as it is a flat road course normally run in ideal weather conditions. This year the weather was scorching and I believe ended up around 90 degrees with high humidity as well. The good news for me though is the pollen level had finally started to decrease and I would be able to run the CCC.
I had no real goals going into the CCC this year as I had not run in over a month and certainly did not feel prepared at all. At the 2 mile mark I felt like I was dragging my feet and my shirt was completely soaked. I hit the 3 mile mark at 30 minutes and felt exhausted. It was also at this point I saw a woman in a rabbit costume go running by me. If I had any spare energy I probably would have laughed at myself. I walked several times during the race but I told myself over and over, “Keep Movin’ the finish line is ahead and you can’t make it there if you stop!” I crossed the finish line in 1 hour and 12 minutes. I was satisfied.