March 30, 2010

Running Sick. Running Yourself Sick.

It's always a tough decision when you have a cold or are feeling 'under the weather' (nice British phrase!) whether to run or not. I usually carry on regardless, I never like to have anything unexpected interupt my training and I figure that if I can manage to run then I should and that running can even help clear out the lungs a bit.

Right after Chuckanut I got a sore throat which steadily by the end of last week turned into a cough. Now if I wasn't a runner I'd have been none too bothered - ok, a slightly annoying cough, not quite so much energy but other than that I was pretty ok. But as runners I think we are generally pretty in tune with our bodies and I was definitely feeling a little lethargic and sluggish yet still getting some good runs in when I felt great. However by the end of the week I was definitely feeling worse and oh no - it was coming up to the weekend when I needed to get my long runs in! I am definitlely getting a little paranoid about my upcomning first 100km on May 1st so had really hoped to log some good long miles this weekend. As it turned out I aimed for 4hrs on Sunday and headed back in the door after just 2. I was too tired and just struggling and couldn't get my legs going. I told myself that it was ok to go home as I would go the gym later, which I did - and logged 2hrs power walking at 15% incline on the treadmill! What!!! Ok, I know that was a little crazy but I figured it was time on my feet, something rather than nothing and mentally I felt better for it. Plus the treadmill is suprsingly ok when dancing along to Ricky Martin! Monday (the 2nd day of my weekend) I again ran 2hrs on the road, it felt easier than Sunday and I could have carried on but told myself not to push it and turn back. So I headed home, grabbed an hours sleep and then hit the treadmill for 90mins at zero incline and easy pace. So all in all, not the weekend of long runs I had planned but I still got some decent training in. But today I am not sure if I feel ill or whether it is now just the drugs! I am rarely ill and hate to take drugs but once a in while it's the smart thing to do. This invariably means that I stumble to drug store, really ill and am totaly bewildered by the array of expensive promises to make you feel better. In my ill state I forgot that if a medication states 'may make you drowsy' then for me that's pretty much 'will knock you out cold into an outer body experience for 24hrs or more'. Before my run yesterday I took some cough medication but don't think it had really kicked in by the time I was running. Today I took it before work and ended up being a computer staring zombie all day. After work I figured that I would be good for a 2hr run but soon at the door I realised that I was in some druggie-haze! I really had to plough on through and focus, though in another weird way my legs just kept, albeit heavily, moving. After 75mins I called it quits. Afterall there does come a point when the quality/ quantity aspect of running can get totally out of whack!

From this I think I have learnt that running when sick is ok, until you are sick to the point that you need to take medication and then it's best to rest! Likely I have got a quite few rest days ahead of me as my mum arrives for a visit from the UK tomorrow so I'll be entertaining and being the tour guide :) And even with all my doubts I do, deep down, know that even if my 100km doesn't go great I am pretty sure I can make it over that finish line even if a few training runs haven't gone to plan!


  1. Ellie, sorry to hear you have been sick. Take it from me (I have been sick quite a bit lately), sometimes you have no choice but to take a rest, and you might as well just enjoy it. I have no doubt you will will do well in your 100k even with a few days off!