Tag Archives: long run

Outrunning A Cold

2 May

I am participating in the 2012 Wordcount Blogathon, which means one post every day for the month of May.

A lovely view of the lake eases the pain of a 23km run

Two weeks ago, I started to feel a cold coming on. The timing was dreadful: I had a 10K race coming up and I was aiming to break my best time. As the race approached I suddenly got obsessive about eating healthily and taking vitamins. Anyone who knows me will know that this is not usually the case. I can get up at five on a Sunday morning to go for a 20km run, but I am oddly undisciplined when it comes to my diet.

Race day came and went and apart from a little bit of nasal congestion, I was fine. I found my zone and ran the best race of any distance that I have ever run. I left my previous 10K best time in the dust and had lots of energy left in the tank when I crossed the finish line.

At some point during the half-hour drive home from the race, the cold that had been waiting in the wings finally struck. As I basked in the glow of a race well run, I stayed home from work for the next two days, with my head feeling as if it had been run over by a herd of stampeding bulls.

Although I managed to drag myself into the office on the Wednesday after the race, I was still not well enough to run. Technically, I could have: running lore holds that as long as all symptoms are above the neck, it is safe to run. I knew better than to try, though. When I’m sick, I need to rest. If I don’t, I just get sicker and prolong my recovery. I decided to save myself for the long training run I had scheduled for Sunday.

By the time Sunday rolled around, I was feeling a lot better but by no means recovered. Looking at the calendar and seeing that my next half-marathon was just a month away, I decided to head out for my run anyway. I had the foresight to shove a few tissues into the pocket on my fuel belt – I knew I would need them.

The thing that really got me going that day was the sunshine. It was such a perfect day for running, and if I hadn’t gone out I would have wasted my time staring wistfully out the window. Instead, I put on my hat and a light running jacket that would end up being removed after the first kilometre, and I hit the road.

Two and a half hours later, I limped back into my driveway, hot and exhausted. My legs were feeling every step of the 23km I had just run, and I was ready for three things: a hefty dose of carbs, some coffee, and a long afternoon of lying on the couch.

Every time I had to move for the rest of the day, I grimaced in pain. But I felt good about the miles I had put in, and the fact that two and half hours in the sun had given me a touch of colour.

And my cold? Well, it’s still trying to linger. And I’m trying to bully it into submission, so it slinks away, never to return.

(Photo credit: Kirsten Doyle)

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Toronto Women’s Half-Marathon: Training Week 1

6 Feb

Monday

It’s a good thing each training week starts with a rest day, because there’s no way I would have been able to run today. I was struck down by a vicious stomach bug for all of yesterday and into today. The last time I felt this sick was when I had a listeria infection four years ago.

 

Tuesday

I was supposed to do a 5km tempo run today, but could not manage it. For a start, I still wasn’t really well enough, and secondly, there was a crisis in the office that had me working through lunch. By the time I left for the day, I felt like throwing up again. So much for starting my training program with a bang.

 

Wednesday

I took running clothes to work with me today, and went to the gym at lunchtime. I still wasn’t feeling all that well, but I had no choice. Anxiety has been eating me alive this week, so I had a choice between running it off or letting my head implode. So I hopped on the treadmill and did a tempo run at the target pace. It went really well – better than I had expected – but I couldn’t manage the full 5km. I flaked out after about 4km. Considering how sick I’ve been, I felt OK about that.

Thursday

The run I had planned for today evaporated with the phone call I received in the early hours of the morning, informing me that my beloved aunt in South Africa had very unexpectedly died. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I was like the walking dead. I ended up staying home, as did my older son who was sick.

Friday

Despite my body screaming at me in protest, I got up early this morning and went out for a 6km run. It was perfect. It felt so good to be out there, running on the open road. I may have been sick earlier this week, but you’d never have known it today. I think my two-week lead-up to my training made a real difference.

Saturday

I thought of doing my scheduled Saturday run today, but chose not to. I don’t want to miss out on tomorrow’s long run, and since I ran yesterday, I’m worried about overdoing it this early in my program. Besides, I had tons to do. I am flying out to South Africa on Tuesday, and there’s a lot that needs to be done before I leave.

Sunday

I came this close to bailing on my long run early this morning. I started telling myself that I didn’t have to get up early – I could just go running later on. But I squashed that talk, laced up my shoes and headed out the door. And I am so glad I did. I ran 12km and enjoyed every single one of them. I wasn’t exactly a speed demon, but on these long runs, I’m not supposed to be. This was as perfect as a 12km run can possibly be.

Conclusion

My first week of training did not exactly go as planned. I missed one run and both of my strength training days. But considering all that was going on this week, I feel good about what I did accomplish. Finishing off the week on a high training note was fantastic, and I deem this week to be a success.

The next two weeks will be challenging because of my upcoming trip to South Africa. My friend and coach Phaedra assures me that because it’s so early in the program, this disruption will be easy to work around.

Now, it’s time for me to finish my packing. I will be taking my running gear with me across the Atlantic.