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Week Two: What do you do when a sickness gets you down?

I’m done with week one of my half-marathon training and I’m feeling so good right now (as well as strong, empowered, and inspired to get my running back on track)! Even though I sign up for this races willingly, and usually as spur-of-the-moment decisions, I’m not always sure what the road to race day will entail. Last year about half way through my triathlon training, I took a step back and thought, what did I get myself into? Maybe I should have started with a sprint distance or something not as extreme. But ever since I’ve accomplished that race, I know I can do anything I put my body toward trying.

So week one of my half-marathon training is done and I'm in the middle of week two, but not without a small struggle. I woke up Sunday morning prepared to meet my running buddies in Central Park for our 6-miler—in marathon training, Saturday and Sunday are always your longer-distance days; during the week your runs are no longer than five miles. Let me explain how my mind works, when I commit to something, like a marathon or a new project at work, I don’t just do what I’m expected, I try to go above and beyond, sometimes I’m a bit of perfectionist—so if I’m training and I have to be up early to run, I skip going out and I give up sweets, alcohol, or staying up late; anything that can put a damper on being the best that I can be. But I woke up Sunday feeling achy, congested, and more throat feeling a bit sore—the first signs that maybe I’m coming down with something. I chose to sleep in and skip my early morning run and do it later in the day on my own.

When it was approaching 8pm, I still hadn’t done my 6-miler. I never know what’s best to do when I know I have to train but I’m just not feeling 100%—some say to work it out and get your heart going for a little extra energy, and sometimes that does work. However, others may say to listen to your body, take the day off, and pick up the next morning. I usually do both, depending upon how sick I’m feeling. But, I really wanted to finish week one of my training and start off on the right foot with this new challenge (13 miles is going to be a lot harder than I expected—I’ve been feeling winded after just 4!).

I remembered something a reader once told me (a woman in one of our Success Stories): that if you dedicate just five or ten minutes to working out, and you still aren’t that into it, then take the day off and get the rest your body (and mind) needs. That being said, I headed to the gym to try this thought out and after two miles I felt strong and prepared to do my full six miles. I’m still not feeling well today, but I'm going to continue with this mantra–give it a try and if I can't continue, at least I tried!

What do you do if you're not feeling well, but you know you have to train for a race?

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