Tag: notrunning

Running On Empty, Thinking You’re Full

One of the hardest things about running is making yourself go out when you’re tired, or when you need to push yourself to a longer distance during training — running when you don’t feel like it, in other words.

What’s even harder is when you want to run but you can’t: your body won’t let you.

I came down with a cold on Sunday. It wasn’t an especially bad one, but the early stages made me feel tired and light-headed which is always a sign to me that I need to rest. I had been planning on doing a seven miler and I had been ready for it the day before, but even as I was stumbling around before breakfast on Sunday I could tell that my body was telling me it was a bad idea. I took Monday off too, because I still felt weak.

Yesterday I needed a run. I was getting twitchy at my desk, and although I was still feeling a bit coldy, it wasn’t affecting me mentally so I figured I would be fine. The problem was time: I was looking at my meeting schedule wondering how I was going to fit in a run.

Then I realised that I was looking at the wrong calendar, and all my meetings had actually been cancelled for the day.

So I picked up my bag and went out.

I’d been running for about two minutes when the doubts I’d been supressing my fitness became unavoidable: this was a bad idea, my body was telling me. I felt completely boneless.

Is there a lesson here?

If there is, it’s one I haven’t learned yet.

There are lots of things that cut into my running: injury, illness, other commitments. I can work around the other commitments and I can manage injury, but illness is hard because it not only weakens my body, but confuses my already poorly calibrated sense of what my body can do at any given time. I mean, there are times when it is really obvious that I’m not going out, but there are other times on the shoulders of illness or when I’m only a little bit sick that I try to do things I can’t actually do.

At least I still try. I should probably worry when I stop trying.

But for now, I think I will try and run on Friday, hoping that the cold has buggered off by then.

Leave a Comment

Running Down

On Friday, I talked about the media-consumption benefits of being horribly ill. Well, it’s not all benefits.

Half a Goal

One of my goals this year was to participate in* the Hood to Coast relay with a team from my day job. Things were going pretty well with the training, with a decent run in the Shamrock 15K and a good build-up to the Helvetia Half Marathon. I ran my twelve mile training run that I like to do before the big race, the one that is actually significantly more gruelling than Helvetia itself despite being shorter.

I was tapering, and feeling good about the race.

I fell ill less than a week before Helvetia, on the night of the Sunday prior. When I was writhing on the sofa I kept thinking “this could still work – it’ll be a 24 hour bug, and I can eat myself back to strength before the race”. That was a long night.

Even on Monday, when I started the Doctor Who binge, I was still harbouring some sincere belief that I could take part in the Helvetia run on the Saturday. I just needed to stop feeling ill and get back to eating again.

That belief was shaken on Tuesday, and entirely evaporated on Wednesday: if I was so ill that I couldn’t even drink enough water, then getting my strength back for Saturday was clearly impossible.

Even getting to packet pickup was hard. I have the T shirt, at least.

A Slow Recovery

When I could move around again, it became apparent that while I was no longer ill, I also was not recovering fast enough. I could run, but not far. My muscles were weaker, and my cardio conditioning had been completely undermined. It was going to take some serious work to be fit for Hood to Coast, with only a couple of months left to do that work in.

But there was no space for that work to occur – two months would be enough if I could expect normal weeks, but between the day job crush and my imminent disappearance for a holiday in the UK there were no normal weeks on the horizon. My plan had been to be fit for HTC before departing for Britain so that I could maintain, but recovering fitness while visiting family is not a very likely proposition.

So I dropped out of Hood to Coast for this year. It’s still on my list of things to do, but I will dedicate more of my time to getting fit over the winter so that the training will go better, and hope for an illness-free season.

Good Things

No one else I had contact with got this illness – most especially not my family. That was a huge relief.

Also, I lost weight which I have kept off – I was down ten pounds at one point but that was mostly dehydration, but I am five pounds lighter.

Not the healthiest way to begin a weight-loss programme, but it’s lemonade all the same.

The Final Straw

While we were in Britain, I twisted my ankle and landed hard on my knee – exactly the kind of injury I was always worried about going into HTC.

I hate my ankles.

What’s Next

I do have another race this year to prepare for – the Beat the Blerch half marathon up by Seattle in September. I have about two months to get ready.

Best get training.

[*] I hesitate to use the word “compete” in this context.

Leave a Comment