Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Running while being sick SUCKS


I’m sure the title of this post is one of those “duh” type moments, right.  It is sort of like complaining about how you burnt your hand on a hot stove. “I touched a pan that came out of a 450 degree oven and it got burnt! Owwwwww”.  Yeah, tell me something I didn’t expect, dummy.  What’s the next revelation?  I looked into the sun for 30 min and now I’m blind?

On Friday, I went on my first post-sickness run. (Yes, I do realize that I make it sound like I had the plague or that sickness where your arms fall off.  Zombie-itis? Leprosy?)  Let me tell you – these were the hardest 5 miles that I’ve ran in a very long time. My legs were tired, my belly was full, and I could NOT catch my breath. Of course, I didn’t exactly set the run up for success like I should have.  Since my lingering cough is the worst in the morning, I decided to wait until mid-morning to go for a quick run.  Of course, I didn’t plan on eating a hungry-man egg and biscuit breakfast 30 minutes before and certainly shouldn’t have had 3 cups of coffee.  Between super tired legs, a belly of sloshing eggs and coffee, and a head full of snot I was a HURTING unit.  But, 5 miles done and done.  Painful.

Since then, the runs have been better – but certainly not well.  I did 7 miles on Monday and 7 miles this morning.  I had hoped to get a double digit run this morning, but I was up with a dry, hacking cough (the fact that I had taken Day-Quill instead of Ny-Quill before bed probably didn’t help?) tossing and turning until 12:45am and didn’t think that running 15 miles on 3 hours of sleep was a good idea.  But, what do I know. . . .

I’ve found that running with a cold is a lot like drinking and the resulting hangover.  There are many pre, during and post phases:

I love that there is a dude w/ dreads and
a dude in a suit in this picture
Pre-Run: (FINE, I’ll stop watching Law and Order reruns and go out) Getting the motivation to go out running while sick is always hard.  I don’t feel all that well, my nose is plugged, and my lungs feel cruddy.  However, in the back of my head I WANT to go.  I know that it’ll be fun while I’m doing it.

Mid-Run: (Shots? Hell yes I want to do shots!) Actually running while sick is great!  My head clears and usually by the time I run my lungs are clear (or, the running knocks everything loose and I hack it up).  The fresh air and sunlight feels good against my skin and my body temp raises in a controlled manner to help fight the nasties. Usually by the end of a run I'm thinking to myself "I'm cured!!"

Post-Run: (Oh My God. I’m never drinking again) Ah yes, but once I stop running everything comes crashing down.  This cold I get a dry raspy cough, my nose almost immediately stuffs back up, and my arm might actually fall off on account of the zombie-itis or whatever that I am certain I have.  It is rough.

However, just like drinking, I’m certainly not going to stop running while I’m sick.  At least, once a few days of being sick have passed and I have a chance to complain about how sick I am and certainly no one in the history of the world has been as sick as I have been.  That is what guys are supposed to do, right?

What are everyone’s rules on running while sick?  Do you use the above/below the neck rule?  If you can walk you can run?  Never do it?

23 comments:

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

I think the rule is, if you spend all your time whining about how you wish you could run, you should go for a run and shut up about it. But if you don't feel good enough to complain about not running, it's probably best to continue not running.

Beth S. said...

I've always heard that it's ok to run while sick, but I'm not gonna lie, I'm a baby when it comes to working out or running while sick. If it's just a head cold I'll usually go to the gym and just try to get in some kind of activity. Anything beyond that I want soup, chocolate, a big comfy blanket, and Law and Order reruns. :-)

I think it all just depends on how you feel. I know that is not helpful in the slightest, but it's true. I don't believe anyone should feel like they HAVE to run while sick, but if it genuinely makes you feel better or you miss it, then why not? Even if it's just a mile or two, or heck, even just a short walk with the family, I think any activity would help while sick.

ltlindian said...

Exercise when sick (colds, not vomiting sick) make me feel soooo much better. So yes, I make myself go.

Runners Fuel said...

I completly rest my body while too sick. I seem to get worse if I workout while being sick. Rest is best for me. Hope you feel better soon!

Shane said...

Hmmm...makes me want to see how the sick and drinking can counteract the effects....hear me out. So your sick, start your run with two shots, take a flask and tip it back each mile. Upon return you'll be feeling to good to feel bad, than before it fades pound some nyquil...fall asleep and sleep both of them off. Wake and repeat. Seems like a logical approach to me.

bobbi said...

I am laughing at your pre-, during, and post-run descriptions. SO TRUE!

Chicken said...

If I run while I'm sick (head cold), the coughing NEVER goes away. If I wait it out, then I feel so much better running. I'm always hacking stuff up regardless, so might as well just do it!

Molly said...

Did I miss you posting about IM AZ? (You mentioned a few posts back that you were going to write about it)

Jamoosh said...

Unless the sickness has me confined to a bed, I run!

Quix said...

Definitely depends on how I feel. Usually, I find that rest while I feel the worst, and then cross training (bike, elliptical, etc) is better for me until I am at least mostly better. Running while sick does indeed suck.

Missy said...

I rest a day or two if I feel really bad, I never run if I have a fever.If its just a cold I will go out for a few easy miles.

Colin Hayes said...

I don't go by any steadfast rules, although I probably won't run when I have a fever (which I rarely have), or if I can hardly breathe, or if walking up the stairs forces me to stop and catch my breath. I did run w/the stomach flu once, unknowingly, and barely made it home before breakfast came back for a visit.

pensive said...

For me, it all depends on my heart rate. If I feel my pulse go up with normal everyday activities, then I don't run. If I can go about my sickly life and my heart rate sits and stays like a good dog, then I can run. At least as much as said pulse plays nice.

But then again, I am more attuned to the biofeedback stuff than most people. And you are funnier than most people, including me. So you win.

Running Moose said...

Above the neck, I'm out running. Why? No kleenex needed!! I'll take it easy- no fast runs nor long runs. Below the neck? Well, I'll probably go out, but not too hard at all and for less miles than usual plus an extra rest day or two. If it lasts a while, I take a few days off until it clears.

Jen said...

my rule is to run if I don't have a fever and if my chest isn't on fire. If I have a fever and my chest is on fire I lay down and nyquil myself into a coma until I feel better.

I hope you feel better soon. Running while being sick really does SUCK

Running Through Phoenix said...

hey, you are really close to 2000 miles for 2011. that will need a post.

Robyn said...

http://www.gocomics.com/frazz/2010/01/30

Mary IronMatron said...

The only time I don't run is when I have a stomach flu. Throwing up and running just isn't a good combo.
This is just the post I needed today as I try to get my ass out the door. My nose is running, I keep sneezing, my eyes are watering and my head is pounding.
Should be a good one.
Not looking forward to the hangover, but how much worse can it be than it is now, pre -run?

Jess said...

Depends on the sickness, and my energy level as it relates to my desire to brag level -- ie, writing a blog post about how badass I am for running while sick.

I really need a graph to demonstrate it to you.

Suzanne said...

Run it out...always...always.

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

I like Rose's comment.

For me -- I run if it's just the sniffles or a headache. I skip it for fever, chest cold, or if I'm so exhausted I can't even complain about not running.

Feel better soon!

Kathy said...

I'll run sick and swim sick as long as I'm not feverish and/or achy. I think I might be well enough to run today I think my fever broke yesterday but swimming is teh best when sick. Even with a head cold and chest cold I can swim. Running I need the fever to be gone. I don't do biking unless I'm well. Just to dangerous out there not to be ontop of your game (that's what SHE said :)).

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

minus the fatigue this summer or an injury...I run. Not much above or below the neck will keep me away