In Sickness and In Health

I have a cold, kind of. I think. Right now I have a cough, feel tired, and feel like I have the beginnings of a stuffy head.

I am also a less than a week out from the Harder ‘N Hell Half Marathon.

These two facts are incongruous.

I’m writing this late at night from a hotel room in Bemidji (I’m here for a short hockey road trip) and I am either going to wake up with a full-blown, grotty, snotty, feverish illness, or I’m going to wake up feeling better. I can’t remember the last time I had a cold/sinus/whatever illness that didn’t cut me down hard, so I am thinking I’ll be miserable tomorrow.

Naturally this means no running. In fact, I probably didn’t shut myself down soon enough. I had a stressful past few weeks, academically, which culminated in a fantastic day on Thursday. I was full of adrenaline and riding high after my classmates and I nailed a presentation we had given (this sounds silly but it was for our senior design class and was kind of a big deal), and then Thursday afternoon I kind of crashed from the excitement. But still went out running for an hour and a half, in a bit of drizzle. After that I felt tired and cold, but not sick.

Friday I still felt ok, just incredibly tired. And I was sneezing some, but I thought it might be allergies. I was planning a very short run, until the night’s hockey game was canceled (there was a power outage at the arena, it was very bizarre) and I had significantly more time than I thought, so I ran 5 miles. My nose ran a lot but it always runs when I’m running. (Ugh that last sentence was stupid but I’m not sure how else to put it.) I found that I couldn’t really get warm once I was home, even though it wasn’t that cold in my house, and I ended up going to bed early and turning on my electric blanket to warm up.

This morning I woke up planning to run a short route before we headed off to Bemidji. I still thought I felt kinda ok, then I got up and realized that I should probably rest. Especially after I read the text from my friend who is running the race with me. He said he finished his run over the second half of the course in less time than he thought, and I looked at his time and it was… way better than what I can run. I am really glad he’s successful but also envious of the ease with which he runs. So I didn’t run today, which was a great decision because I’ve been feeling run down since the early afternoon.

I’m shutting myself down until I’ve shaken this illness. There’s no workout I can complete that will improve my fitness for this race, and I need my body to focus on healing itself. I hope that I’ll be well enough for at least a couple short runs later this week, but if I don’t run again until race morning, that’s fine. As long as I reach the starting line healthy and energized, the rest doesn’t matter.

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