I thought I was over this head/chest cold that I've had for almost a week now, but I learned yesterday that this certainly was not the case. I didn't feel great when I set out on a run into The Indian Peaks Wilderness, but usually I'm able to run for an hour or two and get warmed up and generally feel a lot better the longer I go. I had about 4 hours to run yesterday so I chose a route up over a 12,500 ft. pass and down the backside. I figured I'd go for 1:45, turn around, and be back to the trailhead comfortably under 4 hours. I felt OK climbing up to the pass at the start, and OK going down the backside (about 2,500 ft. up and 2,500 ft. down), but when I turned around to retrace my route I felt horrible right away. I had no energy and felt like I couldn't breathe. Probably a result of my sickness as well as the high altitude which I am still not fully adjusted to. When this run was all said and done I had done 18 miles with about 5,000ft. of climbing, a very typical training run for me, the type of run I have done dozens, if not hundreds, of times in the past couple years. But never has a run this short felt so long and hard to me. By the time I finished I was completely exhausted and depleted.
It doesn't feel good to feel so weak right now, but this past week has been a very humbling experience that I think I can learn a lot from. Running feels really hard to me right now. This isn't a great place to be, but after a 14 month stretch in which running has felt shockingly easy I suppose I was due for a rough patch. My intention now is to work to find ways to turn this "rough patch" into a positive experience, something that I really haven't had to do since my DNF at Miwok last year.