Sesame’s Training Log – 12.31.17

Last week was the eighth week of the marathon specific phase of my training for the First Light Marathon. I’ve got less than two weeks to go now and I got a nice little head start on the taper phase by coming down with the flu and bronchitis last week. You win some, you lose some. I’m not sure if we are counting this as a win or a loss at this point. We shall see …

Here is what my training looked like the week of 12.25.17 – 12.31.17:

Monday – Easy: 6.25 miles (8:54 pace)

I met two of my girlfriends for an early Christmas morning run, before the day got hectic. It was chilly out and we had a great run. I started noticing on my way back home that my throat was sore. I don’t know why I didn’t notice it earlier that morning except for that perhaps my brain was not fully functioning at that hour. As the day went on, I felt progressively worse and worse. The sore throat got worse and I ended up with a headache, earache, fever, chills, nausea … you name it, I had it. I went to bed around 6 p.m. Christmas night and didn’t wake up until after 8 a.m. the next morning.

Tuesday – Off

When I woke up Tuesday, I still felt really bad. I fell asleep in the car on our trip home and proceeded to take a 4 hour nap once we got back to the house. We were able to stop at the doctor’s office on the way home and I didn’t test positive for strep or the flu (at least the strain that was tested for), so that was good news! I was convinced that I would be cured with a little more sleep (and perhaps some steroids).

Wednesday – Easy: 8 miles (9:03 pace)

I felt like a new human when I woke up Wednesday morning. I didn’t feel 100%, but I felt so much better than the day before. It was amazing! All of my aches were mostly gone and I was left with some good old congestion. I was originally supposed to do a workout on Wednesday. It would’ve been a one mile warm up, a 10 mile aerobic threshold tempo and a one mile cool down. I talked with my coach about it and we decided that it would be best to postpone any workouts until I was fully recovered. I did an easy run on the treadmill instead. I felt surprisingly good. I had plenty of energy and it opened up my sinuses a bit I do believe.

Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:45 pace)

I felt good when I woke up again Thursday morning! Whew. I really thought I had kicked this thing. I did an another easy run on the treadmill around lunch. Unfortunately, by Thursday evening, I started feeling really crummy again. My headache was back, my throat was sore again and I was coughing like mad.

Friday – Easy: 7.5 miles (8:15 pace)

Being the stubborn runner that I am, I tempted fate and ran anyway Friday morning (and outside at that). This was by far the worst decision that I made all week. By Friday evening I was full-blown sick again with all of the same symptoms, adding back the fever and chills. It was miserable.

Saturday – Off

I went back to the doctor Saturday morning and she said that I likely had a strain of the flu that didn’t show up on the first test and now, on top of that, I also had bronchitis and laryngitis to boot. Yipee. I did my best to rest as much as I possibly could. I kept the fluids going and was basically worthless for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday – Off

Sunday was more of the same. All the rest. None of the running. I was originally supposed to do my last long run of the training cycle (a 20 mile moderate pace long run). I’m not worried about missing a long run at this point. I know that my endurance is where it needs to be. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little worried about missing an entire critical week of training though. I’ve still not decided whether or not I will race the marathon or not. I’m just taking it day by day and hoping that the decision will become super apparent at some point relatively soon.

Total – 29.75 miles

Anyone have experience racing after being sick? How did it affect your performance? On one hand, I know I will actually be a little bit more rested than I would’ve otherwise been, but I also know that my body will likely not be fully recovered to the level of fitness where I would’ve been had I not gotten sick in the first place.

I am a running and racing enthusiast. I love racing everything from the 1 mile to the 50K! I work as a CPA in public accounting. I enjoy running (obviously) and spending time outdoors (especially near the water). I am also a big fan of coffee, naps, puppies and sunsets.

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  1. I got sick about one week before my A-goal race in 2016, Somehow I still pulled off a time I was really happy with, and I wasn’t too miserable in the process, but I coughed and blew snot rockets the entire 26.2. I’m pretty sure everyone around me was grossed out, I was grossing myself out! But, though I still had congestion, I didn’t have any fever or chills in the 72 hours before race day and I otherwise felt pretty good. I would not race if I had a fever, I don’t think it would be worth it. Hopefully your recovery goes quickly, get lots of rest and drink tons of EmergenC. <3

  2. I had bronchitis about 4 weeks out from my February 2017 marathon. I didn’t miss any mileage but skipped a workout and did a slower 22 miler than I otherwise would have. It was far enough out that I was just fine. On the other hand, I ran a marathon with bronchitis in 2010 (before the race I thought I just had a cold or I wouldn’t have started), and it was TERRIBLE — I ended up doing another a full 26 minutes faster 6 weeks later when I was healthy.

    I think you have enough time to get back to full strength if you’re feeling alright now. You’ll gain strength/boosted immunity during your taper and that goes a long way also! My main advice would be to go by feel on race day; when I did the terrible sickly marathon I ran by pace instead of by feel, even though it felt too hard early, and I paid dearly.

  3. Longtime (35 yrs) runner, first-time poster. That thing about “don’t exercise with symptoms below the neck?” So, so true for me. Sore throat, sadly, counts as below the neck. Some of the worst results I’ve achieved from ignoring that rule include pneumonia and just weeks of being sick. Sadly, I think my mom was right: you should have 1 full day of feeling 100% fine (esp. after anything with a fever) before you go back to regular activity.