I'm trying to be chill about this training cycle....while also of course nailing every workout and reaching my race goals in one triumphant December climax.
Ha! I know the second half of that sentence isn't possible for any of us imperfect beings. Still, when I noticed last week that I'd developed that tell-tale tickle in my throat, I tried to pretend it (it being "coming down with a cold") wasn't happening. Then, thanks to two nights of bad sleep due to a stuffy head, after which I had to admit that it was happening, I tried to be smart about it. My husband Dan (who is not ruled by emotion or race goals) told me to sleep in and maybe take a day off from running. I took part of his advice. I slept in on Monday, but ran later, on my break at work. For a few days after that, the thing seemed to be in remission. It was still there, but it didn't get any worse. I felt tired, but I was still getting my runs done, and mostly at the usual level.
On Thursday, I was able to grab a nap, but I woke up from it still tired. And yesterday--a fun day full of running friends in town for the Denver Rock n' Roll Marathon and Half (Kathy! Erin! and Erin's coach!), spectating at Jill's son's high-school cross-country meet where I also got to meet Marcia and then dining with our wonderfully nice next-door neighbors--left me literally....speechless.
My voice died last night at about 7 p.m. It hasn't come back 20 hours later. The kids and husband are all whispering back at my whispered comments to them. My throat is so sore I'm speculating about strep. On top of that, my chest is tight, I have a painful little cough, and I've spent most of today (during which I was supposed to go cheer for everyone in the Denver races) in bed asleep or sipping Annie Chun's Noodle bowls, reading about my friends' races and missing two other parties my family was invited to. I had a run on the books (90 minutes with progressively higher heart rates) that I was really looking forward to but now am missing and (depending on what Darren tells me and/or how I feel tomorrow) may have to skip altogether.
My questions are these:
1) Could I have avoided this had I taken a day off as soon as I knew I was getting a cold? And by taking a day off I mean not only not running but also calling in sick to work and sleeping all day. Dan thinks so, but to me it's so hard to say. The rule of thumb we've all heard is that it's OK to run through colds as long as you hydrate and as long as the cold is above the neck, which this one seemed to be for most of the week. I didn't really break that rule.....did I?
2) Does this really have the awful and dire implications for the Detroit half-marathon and the California International Marathon that I'm fearing in my current dark mood? It's one thing to miss a run. It's another thing to miss a LONG run. And when your long runs aren't all that long yet, you need 'em more than ever, right?
3) How do those of you out there who are smart deal with training illnesses? Because while I hope this is the only one I have to deal with until December, the reality is that I have small children who just started at a new school. There will likely be more sickness in my house this fall (and perhaps this whole academic year).
Like it or not, this isn't going to be perfect. Doesn't it stink to not be perfect?