On drugs. I’ve been taking ibuprofen, cough suppressant, a bronchospasm inhalant, Robitussin DM, cranberries, and loads of water. I squirted saline solution up into my sinuses so much it clogged my ears, made me partially deaf until nightfall. I slept an hour, maybe two, the night before. Everything has a sort of dreamlike quality today. Occasionally I see lizards slithering into cracks in my peripheral vision. This is the deep flu, the voodoo valley. The day was an indomitable search for the horizontal position. I made the kids nap for two hours so I could snatch an hour for myself. I slept again in the late afternoon, baby in the crib, older kid immersed in a video game, for another hour. I began to have short bouts of sweating. None of this is actually running, but it has everything to do with the quality of my running. This is an obstacle, a challenge, no less formidable than a mountain, a boulder field, a blistering 10K pace.
After dinner, I had the chance to run. I got about 5.5 miles in a pouring rain. The ibuprofen and other drugs had me hot and weak, dizzy and weird. I kept a slow pace, like a dray horse. The sun shone, the air was hot and busy with crackling lightning and thunder, and the storm rolled in quickly. The angle of the rain fell so sharply that my left ear stayed dry for about a minute. I could feel heat coiled about my head like a snake. The rest of my body delighted in the giant, cold drops splattering down. It was a heavy downpour that lasted about ten minutes, long enough to fill the roads with deep puddles and ponds. I ran through them. Them shoes be clean, dang it.
I came home and resumed the drug regime to give my body some relief from the stress of fever and sleeplessness. The only time I don’t cough is when I’m running. The forty-five minutes I ran today was a strange sort of oasis in a desert of pain, my Xanadu.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
— from Samuel Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan”
Poetry, boom! Put it in a brandy snifter, classy.
Juneathon 2014 total miles: 70.8