That can sometimes be a hard question. Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, but I figured it was maybe caused by us turning on our heat for the first time this year and all the dust it stirred up. I did my 8 mile run after work last night and besides having to stop a couple times to use the bathroom, I felt pretty good.
I’m not used to running in the evening, but I got home and made dinner quickly and walked the dog and was able to relax before going to bed. However, once there I didn’t sleep. I tossed and turned for hours because my throat was so dry and scratchy that if I didn’t swallow constantly it would itch or I’d start coughing. I finally feel into sleep off and on because I remember having dreams but I’d be surprised if I got more than a few hours worth of quality sleep. I woke up tired and stuffy. The hot shower this morning felt good, but honestly I’ve been dragging all day at work. I packed my clothes to run after work again (I didn’t want to run in the morning since I had just run and I had a lunch meeting) but now I’m having second thoughts.
The general rule is above the chest its safe to run when you’re sick. But does it really do good? I’m not so sure. Especially when lacking in sleep and my body probably hasn’t recovered fully from yesterday’s run. So often I just “push through it” and run. I have been going back and forth in my mind today. Justifying why I shouldn’t run, followed by guilt, followed by justifying why I should still run. In addition, my left calf that bothered me over the weekend felt good yesterday until about mile 7 and then it tightened up again and was tight all night/today. So then I bargain with myself some more, telling myself to still run, but just get in less mileage. So instead of 7 miles, only run 5 and keep the effort real light.
Then again, logic says to me that an extra day of rest is not going to HURT me and may even HELP me shake this thing faster. To be completely honest the last thing I feel like doing right now is running. I feel like going home and getting warm and maybe even taking a hot shower/bath and getting to bed early. But will I feel guilty? Yes.
So, what is the right thing to do? Well, I looked at my calendar tomorrow to see when I could run, and wouldn’t you know I have another lunch meeting. So what if I took today as a rest day and ran Wednesday-Friday instead? I’m hoping that on Wednesday I’ll feel much better. It still requires me waking up at 5 am and going running tomorrow but maybe it will do me some good to relax and take it easy tonight. I can still walk the dog so I don’t feel totally lazy.
Tim and I have our anniversary this week too, on Thursday and I really don’t want to be feeling this crappy by then. I just hope I get some good sleep tonight and that my throat doesn’t feel like this. Its pretty bad right now. I’m downing so much water just to keep from coughing all the time. I’m breathing through my mouth because breathing through my nose, itches my throat.
A runner will never be truly satisfied and happy if they don’t get in their weekly planned mileage. Just a fact.