Down for the Count

EverY few years I get really sick. The kind of sick that takes me down for days, barely able to shower and get dressed, let alone continue to live like a human being. In grad school, it landed me in the hospital for several days, and since then, I’m usually extra cautious when I can’t get rid of a cold or a cough.

For over a month I’d been struggling with a cold that would get a little better and then hit hard again a week or two later. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get rid of it, and depending on the week, it was having a huge impact on my ability to run. Two weeks ago, on a regular visit to my allergist, she tried to convince me to have her prescribe me something. I told her I thought it was just a cold, and just needed some rest. She said she was okay with that, but that if I wasn’t feeling any better within a week, to call her.

That weekend I ran for almost 3 hours in the snow. It was badass. Then I traveled for 2 days, and attended a holiday party in which I bought new running shoes (yes, those two things go hand in hand in my circles).

I woke up Thursday morning feeling like I had been run over, and not because of the champagne the night before. I couldn’t breathe, my head was stuffed up and my sinuses were on fire (at the same time, I’ll never understand how this happens), and the thought of putting clothes on and going to the office made me tired. I called my allergist, and thankfully she didn’t just prescribe me something, but had me come in, and by the time I left I had antibiotics, a short course of steroids, 2 additional inhalers, and an offer for an in office breathing treatment before I left.

My delicious ramen beside my small personal pharmacy

I was right. I was really sick. Sinus infection, and bronchitis, and she was afraid of me getting a secondary pneumonia infection. Before I left we talked about my airflow, making sure I was using all of the various inhalers regularly, and my final strict instructions of no work or workouts through the weekend.

This is my “I feel like death, I’m basically wearing pajamas under this, and I’m still cold” look.

I have to say I was afraid I would go nuts, but I’ve been so exhausted the thought of doing more than just walking to run a few errands was outside the realm of possibility. I’m glad I finally went to the doctor, and that I’ve been following orders, but am still feeling terrible, and exhausted. Although I’ve eaten every carb known to man, my energy levels haven’t increased.

Normally, I’d use this as an opportunity to get in some extra rest, but I’m 4 weeks out from my first marathon. I need to be getting in some good mileage! I’ve already had a super low mileage week, and am very worried about 20 miles next weekend. My body needs rest, but my legs need to run. Has anyone invented a machine that let’s you sleep while you’re legs pound out miles? I’d like one dropped off tomorrow please.

Have you been really sick leading up to a big race?
Advice for the sicky?
Who rocked crazy treadmill miles like Karen this weekend?

13 thoughts on “Down for the Count

  1. I’m surprised I haven’t caught anything from the kids. I am around germs all day and usually colds/ the flu/ stomach bug go through classrooms quickly. I think I’ve build up a decdent immunity to it but I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets me in February (that’s usually when I go down).
    I’m glad you took time to rest and let your body heal. I hope you are feeling much better this week! 🙂 xo

  2. kristenk

    Oh no! I hope you feel better soon! I know how it feels to be sick but also feel the need to go out and do stuff. But I think that’s what gets me so sick in the first place! My mom always told me that when your body gets super sick, sometimes it’s just telling you that you need to rest. I think if you follow your doctor’s instructions you should be up and running in no time at all!

  3. BethC

    REST!!! 🙂 You have built up a really good base and at this point it’s probably more important to let your body heal. Also, anecdata: I have a friend who got the flu right before a marathon and didn’t run at all for three weeks before the race. He got a major PR because his training up to the sickness had been good and his legs were SUPER fresh on race day.

    1. Hmmm I like that theory. I’m hoping I can at least get some short slow runs or even walks in this week on the treadmill, and get a little strength work in so I don’t lose everything. And hey, steroids and strength work could be magical 🙂

  4. Aw, please rest! Don’t be too hard on yourself about it. I’ve never run a full marathon, but my understanding is that as long as you are getting in your long runs, you’ll be okay. If your lungs are affected, take the rest days.

    I ran a half with bronchitis (that just would not go the eff away) a few years ago and had to get a steroid shot the next day because my wheezing was so bad. Hope you make a speedy recovery.

    1. Thank you! I’ve held out on doing the steroid course because I hate them, they make me mean. But I know it will open my lungs up.

      And what in the world are you doing up so early? Aren’t you on the West Coast?

      1. Haha, no, I’m in Florida. Two of our other Scoot chicks are in CA though.

        My middle girl has allergy-induced asthma and when she’s taking steroids, we call her “Serena-Smash.” So, I totally get that.

      2. Sorry, there are too many of you 😉

        Ah yes. The last time I was on them, my boyfriend at the time asked my doctor in the hospital why it happened, even the doctor said it just amplifies the underlying personality. I was not impressed.

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