True or false: I had a terrible week of training last week.
If you guessed true, you’d be right. I felt “off” pretty much all week. I struggled during almost every workout. And I didn’t even finish most of them. As it turns out, I’m sick. I didn’t realize it at the time, of course. But it almost brought my training to a screeching halt for a few days and definitely left me scratching my head trying to figure out why I was feeling so awful. At first I thought I was just tired. Then I blamed the weather (it rained here for a week straight, I swear). Alas, things came full circle and my cold actually showed up four days after the fact. I was running sick all week without ever realizing it.
Running Sick: Spring Training Week 16
Tuesday — 3 miles + strength training
Tuesday was great! I had super easy miles. It was cold and dreary so I opted to run on the treadmill with 40 minutes of strength training after. It was nice and I felt really accomplished — particularly after a very light week the week before.
Wednesday — 4.16 miles
Wednesday is when everything started going downhill. I woke up not feeling great. I was super fatigued. But it was sunny and the forecast for the next few days was filled with cold rain so I knew this was my one shot of decent weather. I sucked it up and went out for some miles.
I had a weird run-in with a questionable character in the park where I was running so my planned strides were out the window at that point. I’m sure the guy was harmless but let’s face it, I don’t trust anyone these days. Better safe than sorry, no?
Afterward, I picked up my daughter from school. Just that morning I had given her a pair of new shoes. When she saw I was in running clothes, of course she wanted to test them out with me. We ran together for about a tenth of a mile. She did great! I, on the other hand, was totally spent.
Thursday — 5.5 miles
I rode the struggle bus again on Thursday. But at this point I still wasn’t showing any outward signs of illness so I chalked it up, yet again, to generalized fatigue. I ran 5 miles before I picked up my daughter from school, and planned to finish on the treadmill with 3 miles for a total of 8.
Something to keep in mind for myself and for you: when we aren’t feeling well, our bodies aren’t working as efficiently as they need to. This is the perfect set up for injury. What happened? I gave myself shin splints. I called it at 5.5 miles for the day.
Sunday — 8 miles + 2 cycling miles
For once in my life I was smart and took two days off in a row. I felt better Saturday afternoon. But by the time Saturday evening rolled around, I started feeling super fatigued again. Something was clearly not right in my body. I went to bed at a reasonable hour and woke up early to coach the next morning with a planned 12 mile run afterward.
I opted to take my bike and ride with my runners in the morning. It was a good compromise. I never felt overexerted (except for a brief few moments going up a hill) and I skipped the strength exercises I usually do with my runners. But I knew I wasn’t 100% when I got home. I took a nap and then hemmed and hawed about running.
My friends didn’t let me off the hook — between me wanting to enjoy the sunshine and them egging me on to go with them, I ended up going out for a couple hours. I actually felt pretty good while running. But on the way back I knew I was toast. Remember that tidbit about setting yourself up for injury when you’re not feeling 100%? Yep. That happened again. Shin splints gone, but I tweaked my right tibia. It’s still uncomfortable today so I’ll likely go in for an adjustment this week. Not cool.
Moral of the story here? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If you’re considering running sick, don’t. It’s not worth it. I’m hoping I’m dealing with the tail end of this illness. I’ve got some major mileage coming up in the next couple of weeks in preparation for Grandma’s Marathon. Looking back, I realize now that I was still in the sweet spot for having a compromised immune system after a hard effort distance race. In my defense, it’s May. I thought we were out of cold season!
The Cleveland Marathon weekend is fast approaching. I’m looking forward to one of my 5K groups graduating with their end of season race at the Cleveland Marathon 5K and then I’ll be pacing one of my friends at the half! And hopefully I’ll get to meet Lisa in person, too. Should be a pretty awesome weekend — assuming I’m not still sick. God forbid…
TALK TO ME!
How many days did it rain last week where you live?
Have you taken extended time off from being sick or in recovery after a race (or both)?