WWI Week 15: Making the best of a bad situation

I wonder what the attendance office ladies at Colleen’s school would’ve said if she’d been spotted riding her bike on Bluffton’s River Greenway Wednesday, when she stayed home sick from school.

Colleen's "disguise" for a sick day bike ride.

Colleen’s “disguise” for a sick day bike ride.

She was sick. But I told her if she rested all morning and felt up to it, she could ride her bike while Traci and I went for a 6-mile afternoon run. The way I see it, as long as you don’t have a fever, a bit of exercise is good on sick days. Moving air through your lungs can feel as beneficial as a breathing treatment. And when I ran my theory by my sister, the respiratory therapist, she didn’t disagree.

Nonetheless, I couldn’t help noticing Colleen donned a hat and sunglasses for her ride. She said it was to protect her from the sun — and it was warm, 80 degrees after a chilly spring — but I couldn’t help thinking of her accessories as a disguise.

As it turned out, the sickipoo didn’t have any problem riding 6 miles (though she crashed all afternoon afterward), but Traci and I struggled in the heat. We wound up alternating running and walking the last 2 miles.

Just a month or so ago this would’ve REALLY bothered me. But having read up recently on runners — including ultra endurance athletes — who routinely mix run/walk ratios into their workouts, it suddenly didn’t seem like that big of a deal.

If anything, it felt like a possible turning point. See, we’ve always assumed that Traci and her troubled hip couldn’t deal with the longer  distances I aspire to. So lately she’s turned more to swimming, and now she pushes me in the pool the way I push her in running.

As we ran/walked the rest of the way back, we agreed that maybe we could incorporate this strategy during some longer runs and see how her hip holds out. We could work on increasing our speed even as we mix in some short recovery walks. We’ll see how that goes.

Our workouts this week didn’t yield any major losses: Colleen was down a pound, Grandpa was down his usual half a pound, and Traci and I stayed the same.

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