Tag Archives: illness

Stuffed Up for 10k Race Day

Tomorrow is race day.  I have the Heart of Ghent 10k and am hoping to PR.  Unfortunately, it’s not looking too good.  Yes, the weather should be great and my legs are feeling fresh.  My head, however, is all stuffed up.  After a rough weekend of travel and little sleep in Morgantown I woke up earlier this week with my usual sore throat and ear ache.

Any time I ever get exhausted it happens.  I get stuffed up in the ears and sore in the throat.  My sinuses are great, my body feels fine, plenty of appetite but my head is filled with cotton balls.  For 30+ years I’ve known to expect the inflammation and tried to prevent it.  I failed this time.  Maybe I stuffed upought to have my tonsils out?  Either way, I’ll live.  It’s just bad timing this round.

As part of my ‘get better’ effort, I took the week’s workouts easy with just light speed work while sucking down chicken noodle soup and ice cream.  My speed work was solid.  My body weight strength workout was good.  I felt very positive about the workouts citing my stuffed up-ness.  I’ve tried hard to get lots of extra sleep and saw an improvement yesterday.  Writing this I’m closer to 80% than 100% and hoping to be at 98% in the morning.

I really want to hammer (PR) this race since it’s my last ‘long’ workout before my goal half marathon.  I’ve worked hard all summer for these next two races and really want them to go well.  My training is there.  Hopefully I’ll be able to give it a chance to show me what it can do and no matter what, I know I’ll give everything I can out on that race course tomorrow.


What do you do if you’re stuffed up for a race?

Feel Sick? When to Take a Day Off

It’s been a while since my last post and it’s not that I’ve been avoiding everyone!  I’ve been a little bit under the weather, taken a break from training and had that foggy brain thing where I can’t think of anything useful to share.  But my brain is starting to come around, even if my sinuses aren’t, and it’s a good opportunity to talk about what to do when you feel sick.

I was fortunate enough to have an entire week of rest/recovery scheduled after Rock n Roll Arizona when my fever broke out and I was forced to lounge about on the couch for two days.  Not everyone is.  Colds, the flu and sinus infections can strike without warning or being wanted.  Inevitably, feeling crappy makes getting the day’s workout done more difficult.  Hello?  Nap, please!  Even harder than taking one day off is taking more than one day off.  Running, feel sicklifting, stretching, it’s what I do.  Working in a gym makes it especially hard to walk out at the end of the day without getting sweaty.  Here are a few rules I use to decide when it’s time to bail on the gym and climb into my comfy bed.

Use the ‘neck check’.  Symptoms above your neck, like a slightly runny nose, sinus pressure, headache or dry, itchy throat, are OK to get sweaty with.  If you’re coughing incessantly, having bouts of chills, battling digestive issues or suffering from other ‘below the neck’ problems, stay at home!

Recognize that a fever is different.  It’s true that a fever is an ‘above the neck’ item, but it also goes hand in hand with one or more of those ‘below the neck’ symptoms that make you feel sick.  A fever means your body  temperature is already increased and bringing it even higher with exercise can be very dangerous.  Getting a good workout is almost impossible when your body can’t regulate temperature, breathe properly or hold fluids.

Recognize that fighting through a few days of poor training workouts isn’t going to be an effective way to train.  Letting your body recover as quickly and wholly as possible before getting back to work will leave you right where you left off.

Of course, the last place I want to be when I feel sick is outside in the cold.  The cold, damp winter air is just going to make things worse but if I’m still desperate to get a session in, and so are you, you could always go anyway.  Makes changes to your plan if you feel less then 100%.  Decrease the intensity of your session, stay very on top of hydration, steer clear of group classes and clean all equipment with sanitizing wipes before letting anyone else work in, share or use after you.

Of course, the best way to know you won’t miss any gym days with a head cold or the flu is to prevent them altogether.  Washing your hands consistently, using hand sanitizer and getting a flu shot are both great preventative measures.


Do you workout when you feel sick?  When do you stay home?