There are only a few days out of the year that I take completely “off” from running or training. And, this last week I took four rest days in a row! (You’re welcome Fitbit friends!) Yes, 4 in a row! It was not Christmas Day, vacation, or the day after a big race- nope. I was sick with the flu! Completely down and out . . . it took all my energy to get up and down the stairs let alone gear up for a run. I was a sad, mopey and smelly sight. They say, as long as you don’t have a fever it’s ok to exercise but, for me, the jury’s still out on this one. Even once my fever subsided I was out a few more days.. All of this got me thinking:
How do you know when you’re too sick to run?
1. When a NyQuil cocktail excites you?
2. When you’re already breaking a sweat in bed?
3. When you can’t walk the dog? And running with your dog makes you nauseas just thinking about it…
4. When old race shirts are the only thing you can muster to put on? But they only remind you of racing and you just end up feeling worse about losing fitness
5. When going up and down the stairs FEELS like the stair master? And, you wonder, “Can I count that as a workout?”
6. When you can’t help but think about all the good sodium in your chicken noodle soup going to waste on a fever not a run (dammit!)?
7. When you realize that Medicine head + Fever aches feels a lot like heat exhaustion paired with a 15mile run?
8. Cough. Cough. Cough. “I could probably do a mile?” Wait, I can’t breathe. That’s right.
9. When all of your downtime (sick time) is spent researching your next race in order to feel productive? Then before active.com loads the page… Snooze…zzzz
10. When Soup and Ginger Ale never tasted better? Especially when it’s delivered from dear runner friends who just “get it” … (and know where the gluten free aisle is!)
Yes, there does come a time when we just need to “call it” and let our body heal. But, it’s these moments when I cannot, that make me want to lace up my shoes the most…