Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 66 - Runny nose

I've noticed lately that every time, and I mean EVERY time I go outside, my nose starts to run.

Just a little bit. Just enough to require a tissue. Or in a pinch, a sleeve.

Even today, with the temp peaking over 50F, there it was, just a little dollop of snot, dangling, precariously.

"Why does my nose run like this?" I asked myself, out loud, garnering stares, glares, and just a hint of disgust from the patrons of the breakfast joint.

What purpose can it possibly serve? Is my nose trying to create a mucous-based ice dam to close off the flow of cold air? Or is it simply trying to annoy the host organism (me) to the point it just stays inside?

Determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious nasal tomfoolery, I consulted the source of all information... the interweb.

The best answer I found was on a health web site targeted for children. Perfect place to learn about snot:
When you're outside on a cold day, your nose tries its best to warm up the cold air you breathe before sending it to the lungs. Tiny blood vessels inside your nostrils open wider (dilate), helping to warm up that air. But that extra blood flow leads to more mucus production. You know what happens next. Drip, drip, drip.
Ha! I was right. No useful purpose. Unintended consequence, like global warming, and pregnancy.

Another example of an unintended consequence is something like, say... you're a runner, and you don't stretch like you should, and day after day you tighten up just a bit more, and eventually your stride is all hinky, and that causes you to strike the ground funny with one of your feet, and it starts to get a little ouchy.

This consequence of not stretching was definitely not intended. The intended consequence was a few minutes more sleep. Or getting to my meeting on time. Or having a chance to enjoy my lunch, as opposed to shoveling food in. Those consequences worked out fine.

This new one, though, the unintended one, is not fine. It's not an injury. Not yet. It's a warning sign at this point. Only because I've actually learned my lesson after years of doing the exact opposite of the right thing when it comes to warning signs. The exact opposite of the advice I'd give someone else.

Today, though, my foot felt... good. Normal.  Still, I didn't want to push it.

That's a lie. I did want to push it. The weather was perfect. Dog was stoked. We were out at the incredible Northview Christian Church cross country course. All signs point to "Yes".

Just short of half way through my 5K, the course turns back toward the finish. I was feeling good. My muscles were warm. The dog was finally settled down.

But... I pulled the chute. Better to cut short today and not aggravate the foot.

How mature of me. The dog was not impressed.

Good running,

Numbers: 1.4 miles - foot feels better, but still being careful.