Friday morning, on my day off from running, I woke up knowing that something felt off. You know that feeling you get in your body right before you are about to get sick? Yeah it was there in full swing!
I guess I should be thankful I am getting my fall cold out of the way now instead of getting sick the week of my marathon, but I still dreaded what I knew was coming on.
I focused throughout the day on hydrating and taking as much Vitamin C and Zinc as I could possibly get in. I was at least hoping to try and shorten this as quickly as I could.
Saturday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn (3:00 AM) and got in my run before I think my body could even tell that I wasn’t feeling well. Sometimes you just have to trick yourself to get it in, right?
After I was finished, I went back to bed, and when I woke up the sickness had hit my head on! I knew there was no way denying it now. The biggest worry for me was the long run I had coming up on Sunday morning. I just wanted to stay in bed for most of the day like this little girl.
Sunday I felt okay. I had gotten 10 whole hours of sleep, which was UNHEARD of for me! I went out to the trail to begin my run and after just 4-5 miles I could tell it wasn’t going to go as well as I had hoped. I turned to watch face off on my watch, and decided I wouldn’t even worry about pace. I just wanted to focus on completing all 14 miles.
I ended up doing 14 miles in just over 2 hours and averaging an 8:51. Honestly, I was very happy with my pace because I figured it would be a lot slower. It was only about 5-6 seconds off my normal target for long runs so I can’t complain!
Running when you are sick is a tricky thing. There is a fine line between pushing too hard and knowing you are okay to run through it. Here are some of my tips for running when sick:
Know Your Limits
I know typically that as long as my sickness is in my head, meaning just a head cold or sinus issue the most likely I am okay to go ahead and run. If I have a fever or something more serious, then I will take off and allow my body to rest. You have to know what the limits of your body are.
If your body is fighting off a sickness, the most likely you shouldn’t push yourself too hard. Even though I had a time goal in mind for my long run, I knew since I was sick it was better to not push too hard and just go out there and get the mileage done. If you have a workout planned, don’t be afraid to alter your plan or push it back a couple days and run either. You don’t want to push yourself too hard.
Get Your Rest
Even if you decide to go ahead and run, make sure you are getting LOTS of rest. I never sleep 10 hours, but I knew my body needed it so I didn’t fight it when I kept wanting to go back to sleep Sunday morning. If you can, rest even when you know there are other things to do! Of course, this isn’t always possible but rest is very important to get your body back to health.
Even though it is often really hard to drag yourself outside to run, it actually can do your body wonders! Each run even though it was difficult made my sinuses feel so much better! It re-energized me and gave me a little boost of energy for the rest of the day. Sometimes even when we are sick being outside in the fresh air can be the best medicine!
Cut Yourself a Break
Get sick especially when you are in the middle of training for something is tough. There is never a good time to get sick. The biggest thing I always have to remind myself is to cut myself a break. Sickness really tires the body down, so if I don’t hit a workout or I have to go much slower than expected it is OK. You have to know your body’s limits!
Do you run when you are sick?
What do you do when you feel a sickness coming on?