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After spending a few days watching my 3 and 6-year-old nieces, I was looking forward to some me-time in the form of slow long runs this weekend. But then I discovered the little ladies left something for me to remember them by. Saturday morning I woke up long before sunrise gasping for air. My throat was so swollen it felt like it closed completely.

There was no going back to sleep so I set off on my earliest run ever without pausing to question if running with a sore scratchy throat that made it hard to breathe was a good idea. Sometimes it helps. This time not so much. I turned back after less than 2 miles making this one of my shortest runs in a long time. The entire day was a perfect-for-running taunt –  cloudy and cool with a few drizzles here and there. Oh, well.

My sister took me to the nearest store to pick up something for my throat. It was like a Target on steroids. She disappeared in the clothing section and I had a second moment of utter panic that day after standing in the middle of a blindingly bright aisle not sure how to find the medicine and periodically forgetting what I was looking for along the lines of: Dish soap? PJ top? Why is Halloween stuff out? The log lady from Twin Peaks may have to be this year’s costume. Wait, what am I doing?

Then I transformed into a geriatric when “lozenge” and “throat drops” fell from my vocabulary and the only thing I could think to ask a worker was: Where are the suckers?

Thankfully Burt’s Bees Honey & Pomegranate throat drops are miracle workers when combined with bottomless mugs of hibiscus tea. Today I’m better. The fever is gone, air passage mostly cleared and all that remains is a ticklish scratch at the back of my throat.

Long run, take two:

This morning I started out just as a blanket of clouds blocked the sun, dropping the temperature from warm-getting-hot to pleasantly cool. I was going to turn around one town over, making this a 2.5 mile run so as not to push my throat, but I felt so good I kept going over the drawbridge to the end of the next town over, which adds up to about 5.5 miles out and back. By the time I turned around my lovely thick clouds were gone and the sun was beaming.

No problem, only a little over a mile to go. I see the drawbridge go up when I’m still a good distance away and think how lucky because by the time I get there it’ll be down. My lucky day. Only it doesn’t go down. I get there a few minutes later, long after the big boat is through. The man working the bridge is incredibly apologetic saying simple that the bridge won’t go down. Maintenance was on the way, but who wants to stand under a hot sun waiting for maintenance for who knows how long when you’re already heated up and have no water?

To get back I had to run around the lake through the town about an extra 1.5 miles to the main street that runs parallel. 1.5 miles doesn’t seem like much, but I felt every step of it. This is the first time the bridge has broke and left me stranded on the wrong side, but the possibility has often popped up in my ‘What if?’ moments. I’m glad my legs were strong enough to keep moving even when the rest of me felt like it was shutting down. Least now I know it’s a scenic detour with a few dead ends that you don’t realize are dead ends until you see only water ahead.

Glamorous beach hair at its messiest