Too Sick to Run? How Do I Know? – Day 31
There is something really frustrating about being ‘almost sick'. I have had this lingering cold and it's enough to make me feel crappy. I don't feel too sick to run, or bad enough to stay in bed and abandon everything. At least the day started this way. The morning started off with a great, comfortably paced run. I hoped this was just a minor, fleeting cold that has passed.
Give it Three Miles Before Ditching a Run
That's pretty much how I approach my runs. I've had way too many of them where I didn't feel great or wasn't in the mood and after a few miles it turned out to be an amazing run. So I give it three miles and if it still totally sucks, that's my cue to reassess. Today was no exception as I didn't feel that bad this morning. Just a bit stuffy in the head and nose, but otherwise fine.
As you can see, I felt quite pleased with myself when I got back from my run. There was nothing eventful about the nine miles and I felt pretty good afterwards.
Then It All Started To Roll Downhill
I had my coffee, took a shower, got to work and the day pretty much took a turn from there.
I fumbled through the morning, made it to lunch time and decided I was walking away from anything I had to do and going back to bed. Then I got a phone call and had to sort some things out and a few hours rolled by.
I wasn't really hungry and picked at my lunch. Now my mind was turning towards my nutrition. You know how you have to figure everything out, yet your brain doesn't want to play? That's where I have been today.
Much of the afternoon was spent trying to ward off thoughts of holding double standards; saying I'm eating well and then skipping a meal because I just didn't have the energy to eat. And my head hurts. It's hard to enjoy your food with a headache. Yet there was this nagging somewhere in my mind … what about the carbs, what about your protein? How can you run if you don't eat …?
I guess that's when I knew I wasn't well. I realized I didn't care. All I wanted was to put on some comfortable socks and go to bed. Oh, and drink lots of cold things. Juice, Nuun, seltzer water. Anything cold.
Everyday Life is Part of Training
I don't like things lying on a back burner. They really cause me a lot of unnecessary stress, but that's just the way I'm wired. If I know something needs to be done, I want to do it and check it off the list. I also don't like to rush a task and not complete it properly. So when I catch myself thinking “I don't care” it's a clear signal that it's time to step out.
Most of my day was spent feeling a rising sense of panic as I slowed down until everything came to a dead halt. Tasks and chores were stacking up around me as I fell further and further behind.
Everything has to have some sort of balance. It needs to fit. My problem is that I can't quite fit everything that I want and need to do into the hours I have in a given day. When there's too much to-do list left at the end of the time, it starts to pile on and something has to give. I am careful to make sure that I don't put training before my family. Or my job. That would be bad! But when everything is happening.
Wake Up. It's Time to Rest!
My husband gave me the jolt I needed to bring me back to reality this afternoon. When I'm not well or I'm sleep deprived, I lose perspective.
Standing in the kitchen, I was staring mindlessly at the DayQuil bottle and the little cap in my hand. If you are not in the US – I don't know if this is something you get everywhere else – it's a liquid cold and flu syrup that tastes as nasty as any of them, but it works. I wanted to pour some into the cap and drink it. My mind knew what I wanted to do, but the signals just weren't going to my hand.
He said to me: “You can't take care of everything yourself; and if you don't take care of yourself or let us take care of you, then you won't be able to take care of anything.”
He's right, of course. I was too tired to think and felt the burning tears rolling down my face as he helped me put some cold medicine into the measure, watched me swallow it. That was the point when we both knew I was done for the day. Mid afternoon and I was good for nothing.
He steered me to bed. I slept.
If I hadn't woken to get something to drink I probably would have slept until the morning! For someone who modified a training routine around the way my body recovers, I completely missed the signals here. I have been so focused on recovering from training that I neglected to take into account what an impact
Too Many Stuffs
When our daughter was a toddler, when she got overwhelmed or couldn't find something for the clutter, she would throw her hands up in the air, give an exaggerated sigh and say: “Ugh! Too many stuffs!” It pretty much sums up that feeling of being overwhelmed.
Training takes an incredible chunk of time out of your life. I used to just count the time I was on a run; you know … the time that shows up when you stop your watch or app. Ninety minutes. Check. What I realize now is that it takes time to get ready, warm up (I don't count my warm up into my run because much of it is not actually running), the run itself, some stretching …. And then I take a photo after the run and need to wait about 20 minutes to stop sweating so that I don't defeat the purpose of the shower I'm going to take.
Add in some foam rolling, keeping my journal notes up to date, and usually some other kind of workout and/or a second run. All of this means more showers, more cleaning up and of course, more laundry.
Apparently I'm a slow learner. Eventually it dawned on me that maybe I would be more productive if I just stop and rest first. Bed time tonight is at 8 pm or earlier. It's an order. And life will go on tomorrow, along with the too many stuffs, which will all still be there for me.