Sunday, January 20, 2013

Working out while sick... the verdict is in.

I'm no doctor.

But I have been running long enough to know what my body is/isn't capable of and when to call it quits.

That day happened on Friday.

After having an upset stomach on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I kind of figured by Friday that working out wasn't such a good idea.

After a fun swim workout (serious, no sarcasm), I did my first real run workout since Snow Fun Run (5x 2min at 6:30pace, 2min at 6:10 pace, 2min at 6:03 pace, 2min at 8:00 pace) on Tuesday.  My stomach just had an empty feeling...nothing I ate seemed to solve that problem, so I figured I'd just workout anyway.  The run didn't quite agree with me, though, and I visited the bathroom quite frequently during that whole 40minute stint (sorry if that is TMI).  I ran with the LifeTime Fitness Run Club that night and surprisingly felt fine.

On Wednesday, I biked and ran, despite having that empty-nothing-can-get-me-full feeling in my stomach again.  Working out was much more successful than it was on Tuesday, but I did decide to start taking cold medicine just as a precaution.

Thursday was worse.  Unfortunately, it was also the day of our Faculty Basketball Game.  My students REALLY were looking forward to this, and despite my never playing basketball in my life, I knew I had to play.  I took some ibuprofen and hoped adrenaline would get me through the game.

It did.  And I even scored three 3-pointers in the process.  TOTALLY worth it when my students continuously talked about the game on Friday at school.

Thursday night, I had a Tastefully Simple party to go to at a friend's place.  I had never been to one of these, but figured my stomach wasn't upset while playing the game, so I had to be okay.  I was glad I went as it was SO much fun catching up with everyone, but I definitely paid for it on Friday.

My stomach hurt, my throat hurt, I was a mess.  So, I came home after school and literally laid on the couch for 5 hours straight.  Looking back on it today (36 hours later), I actually kind of enjoyed just doing nothing.  The pain sucked, but I caught up on quite a lot of reality tv!

I woke up Saturday morning, seriously hoping that I would be able to run.  I had a 15mile run planned with 4x5minutes at 6:10 pace in the middle.

Naturally, I ran on the March Madness course.  Every one of my 4 segments was on one of the (many) hard hills on the course.  My lungs were BURNING on the warmup, so I kind of figured this would be a long, hard run.

Surprisingly, by the time I hit the 4th and final segment, I was feeling SO good that I actually ran a full mile (6:09) instead of just the 5minutes.

Now, I would never recommend doing something like this to anyone.  It definitely wasn't smart, but I've run while sick and failed miserably before, so I knew what my limit was.  I knew that a day of rest (something my body rarely gets) was enough to kick the cold/flu bug out of me.

With the flu being worse this year than ever, it is very important to take care of yourself.  If you miss a workout or two in January, WHO CARES? All that matters is what you do come race time.  This is a super important lesson that I have learned the hard way many years.  I'm stubborn and hate nothing more than taking a day off of working out.  If you get anything out of this post, please know that your health is much more important than getting a workout in...chances are the workout won't even be that good (and could possibly cause more damage).

Knowing your limit is SO important when it comes to training while sick.  Sometimes, you just need that workout to remind your body that it can fight off the cold/flu/whatever.  But, it is a very fine line.. a line I have been on the wrong side of many times.

Being healthy again today, Ryan and I went into the city and did a LONG, HARD computrainer bike workout with our swim guy, Bill.  It Was Awesome.  3hours/50miles of a workout.  The last time I rode for 3 hours was maybe two summers ago, so today was huge.  Today was the first day that I really got PUMPED about my attempts for Kona (it's constantly overshadowed by my goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials for the marathon).

Hopefully more tips to follow in my next post now that I'm healthy again.  Stay warm and healthy!

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