Tag Archives: rest

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)

From Cold Meds To Running Shoes

1 Feb

For the last week or so I’ve had a cold.  It snuck up on me with no warning, last Tuesday afternoon.  On Tuesday morning I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill.  I had a great run – very fast (for me), averaging 4:57 minutes per kilometre.  I felt fine while I was running, my heart rate was not elevated, and I felt great when I was done.  I went off to work and had a good morning.  While I was on the subway coming home, I suddenly got that feeling of pressure in my face that usually heralds a cold.  By the time I went to bed that night, I had cold sweats and felt absolutely awful.

Since then the cold has ebbed and flowed.  Right now, it is flowing.  My throat hurts, my head is throbbing, my nose is running, and my eyes are oozing.  I look – well, let’s just say that I don’t look my best right now.

As always when I get sick, I have been fretting about my inability to run.  I have been thinking about the races I am registered for and wondering how I will train for them if I’m sitting here with a snotty nose.  The truth, of course, is that this is only a cold, and it will be gone a matter of days from now.  I will no doubt be doing short runs again by the weekend, and by next weekend I will in all likelihood be well enough to go for a longer run with my running club.

Despite the fact that I always turn into a pathetic crybaby when I have a cold, my attitude has made a more positive shift this morning.  Yes, I’m still fed up with the cold, but I’m feeling excited about running again.  It’s a positive kind of excitement.  It’s not the kind of excitement that says, “Go out and run no matter what, even if you feel like crap.” It’s the kind of excitement that says, “Rest and get better, and then you’ll be able to really enjoy yourself when you’re back on the road.”

So that’s what I’m doing.  I’m resting, drinking orange juice, taking vitamins and supplements.

My anticipation to get the running shoes back on is a great incentive for me to get better.