I woke up yesterday morning feeling like my head had been stuffed full of cotton, and things haven’t changed much since then. My body is achy (which might also be due in part to the yoga I did yesterday), my head feels heavy, my sinuses feel inflated, and I’m exhausted. I know it’s just a cold, but still. I am feeling wiped out!
Based on pretty much everything I’ve ever heard on this subject (which seems to come up pretty frequently, I mean, it’s not called the common cold for nothing), it’s no problem to continue running when you have a cold. It’s only once you’re sick below the neck that things gets tricky. Runny nose? No problem. Respiratory infection? Untie your shoes and go back to bed. All that being said, though, I sometimes find it really difficult to run when I’m feeling this way. My lungs are clear and I’m not running a temperature, but walking feels hard. Thinking about the effort I would be putting into running makes me want to crawl into bed and take a long nap, during which I’ll inevitably end up breathing through my mouth because my nose is so stuffed up, and then get self-conscious about breathing through my mouth even though no one will really care. But that’s somewhat beside the point. What I’d like to know is, does anyone else feel this way? Just so run down at the outset of a cold that running seems out of the question, even though it isn’t really out of the question?
The hardest part is this: at times like this, I really struggle with the fact that I really, really want to be running, and not because I am getting paranoid about missing miles while I’m training for a marathon (although that is always a nagging fear), but because it just feels good to be running and I like doing it five times a week, and when I only do it four times a week everything just feels off, and the fact that I’m exhausted. At what point do you stop to listen to your body, and at what point do you forge ahead and figure that maybe, in spite of feeling like you’re too tired to put one foot in front of the other, you’ll feel better once you’ve run your 4, or 5, or 6 miles? To be honest, I have no idea. And maybe you can only deal with these things on a case by case basis.
Personally, I’m hoping that by taking tonight off, I’m setting myself up to be a bit more rested for the weekend, so that I can get my long run in, and get in another longish easy run without wearing myself down even more and ending up sicker longer. I guess that’s all I can really do. It’s sort of a gamble, so ultimately I hope I’m putting my money in the right corner.