To Run or Not to Run, THAT is the question.

It’s been so long since I posted!!!  Sorry for this lengthy training recap….but it’s a must 🙂

Wednesday’s Workout:
The Plan: 1 Mile Slow; 4 Miles @ 8:40-8:50; 1 Mile Slow
The Actual: 1 Mile @ 9:23; 4 Miles @ 8:27; 1 Mile @ 8:59

Thursday’s Workout:
The Plan: Rest or Strength
The Actual: 1 Hour Vinyasa Yoga

Friday’s Workout:
The Plan: 4 Miles Slow
The Actual: 4 Miles @ 8:56

Saturday’s Workout:
The Plan: 14 Miles Steady @ 9:20-9:40
The Actual: 14 Miles @ 9:44

Sunday’s Workout: Rest Day!

Today’s Workout:
The Plan: 1 Mile Slow; 12×0.25 @ 8:00-8:10 pace with 2:10 min recovery; 1 Mile Slow
The Actual: 1 Mile @ 9:22; 12 x 0.25 @ 7:30 average (woohoo!); 1 Mile @ 10:02; Total Distance 7.39 Miles @ 9:02 Avg Pace

Today’s question is whether I should have ran…obviously I did but SHOULD I have?  I mowed the lawn at the end of last week which flared up the allergies which kindly turned into a full fledged head cold and some tightness in my chest.  YIPEE! (pause for sarcasm to register)

I slept pretty well last night and woke-up feeling better but definitely still feeling like yuck so the question was, with speed work on the schedule today, should I run.  First step, OBVIOUSLY, was to check the 10-day forecast.  Tomorrow’s forecast is for heavy rain so that was an obvious no-go and postponing anything more than that threw off my whole week.  Second step, decide to run and just see what my body lets me do on the speed work.  As you can see above it did pretty darn well – maybe I should mow the lawn before races????  Honestly, what that average above doesn’t show you is that I got the chills and felt like I was going to spew everywhere around the 9th interval so how I pulled off today’s workout is still a mystery.  Although, I don’t think I did any real harm or gave my immune system knock, I figured it was worth some further research and sharing with the rest of you.

Here’s what I have learned about “running while sick”:

  1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  We’re often so set on our training plans that we forget there are options outside of them.  If you’re a regular runner and have been for awhile, stopping cold turkey for a few days may actually make you feel worse (as long as you aren’t suffering from a fever or the “neck rule” – see below).  That being said, maybe instead of your “scheduled” workout you take it down a notch i.e. walk or pool run or do yoga instead.
  2. The “Neck Rule” is solid advice but not a rule. “Symptoms below the neck (chest cold, bronchial infection, body ache) require time off, while symptoms above the neck (runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing) don’t pose a risk to runners continuing workouts.” Mark Bloom, Should You Run When You’re Sick?   Again, solid advice, but not a rule.  Whether you have a fever or sinus infection may make even an “above the neck” symptom worth a couple days off.  Proceed to numbers 3 &4.
  3. Living by the postman creed, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sniffle, nor fever shall keep me from my training schedule.” may get you out there today but at what long-term cost?  Pause and honestly determine whether running today will keep you from running for a week later.
  4. Quality is better than Quantity.  Listen to your body and see how that matches up with the day’s workout.  If you’re going for your longest distance or fastest pace with even just a head cold, you’re still not a 100% and holding-off by just a couple days is probably a good idea.  When you’re doing something new or different in your workout, the whole experience of that workout is going to have both physical and mental effects on you when you’re done.  If you have a great first-time ever speed workout, you’ll go into your next one with excitement and a feeling of determination.  However, if you feel totally zapped after the workout, you’re probably not going to be too excited to get back on the horse next week.
  5. Good news!  If you do decide that running is still an option you’ll get really good at snot rockets and hocking loogies!!!

You’re probably thinking, Allison, don’t you have some kind of sinus issue?  Yes, I do.  However, there’s no coughing, fever, or overall fatigue so I think I’m good.  Plus tomorrow is a yoga day since Susan is on vacation.  I figure some good stretching and detox will be good for the system.

Summer doesn’t mean we’re free from illness, plus fall and winter are FRIGHTENINGLY close so keep your eye on the prize, whatever your’s may be, and remember to push your body to BENDING not breaking.

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