Sick and nervous

Ever since getting back from Denmark, I’ve been even sicker than before. No surprise, I suppose – biking around without adequate gear on in 30 degree temps, drinking a ton of beer while sick, and then spending 8 hours locked in a metal tube with plenty of other germy people will do that to you. With the National Marathon coming up on Saturday, I knew I needed to recover… but that’s been harder than I thought, and now I’m starting to panic.

Today, a coworker asked me how I was feeling, and I told him that I was really nervous that I was still going to be sick for my race on Saturday. He responded, “oh, but you’ve run races sick before, haven’t you?” I thought about it… and I actually don’t think I have. So then I started going through my marathon list and taking stock.

In my 62 marathons, I’ve:
Gotten sick from drinking the water in a marathon
Hurt my knee at mile 6 and walked the last 20 miles
Fallen asleep while running
Run the day after heatstroke
Run after pulling an all-nighter
PRed after only 4 hours of sleep
PRed after getting food poisoned by Bobby Flay
And, oh wait: run in the rain with the flu!

I had totally forgotten about being sick for the New Hampshire Marathon. The best part, according to my race recap and the follow up report from the marathon I ran the next day (yes, I am crazy), is that I actually felt even better after running. A marathon cured me! Hurray!

But now this begs a question. I have been laying off the workouts this week in an attempt to rest up. This morning, I got up at 6am to workout, got as far as getting dressed and doing my entire 15 minute warmup… but skipped the actual weight lifting in favor of a one mile interval run and then calling it quits. I reasoned that it would be better for my body to focus on getting well than to tax it by destroying muscle for it to rebuild. But was that just laziness?

I am really getting nervous with the marathon approaching on Saturday. As a pace team leader, I don’t have the option of slowing down or taking it easy; it’s my responsibility to lead my group in right on time. In all the marathons I’ve paced so far, I’ve come in right on time… and I don’t intend to screw up now. That’s a lot of pressure!

I can’t remember ever being this nervous before a marathon before, except perhaps my first one. Even then, I don’t think I was half as nervous as this!

What do you do to help you recover from an illness in order to run? And what are your tips for getting over your nerves?

Comments

  1. Yikes! It’s the perfect storm. I would sleep, sleep and sleep some more. It always seems to work like a miracle drug. And it might help the nerves too, you never know. I know exercise works too, but I agree that taxing your body is probably not the wisest move. And stock up on EmergenC. Hopefully it will expedite the getting well process. Good luck!

  2. I have two tips to help fend off a cold. One, get some Listerine (the minty kind is okay), and gargle as often as you can. Two, drink hot water with lemon and honey (you can add tea if you want). The honey is the important part, so don’t omit it to save calories! I’ve always exercised through colds, but it wouldn’t hurt to take it easy and get plenty of rest. Feel better! And I’ve always loved Copenhagen, glad you had a nice time! It’s a beautiful city.

  3. that’s funny! I had food poisoning before last Sundays Half Mary and running cured me too!

    I will be at Mile 6 cheering Saturday.

    I drink a special blend of honey lemon ginger tea I have mastered over the years to pre-race recover and for nerves… beer.

  4. Oh no! Bad timing. Resting is probably good – just take it easy these next couple days. Hopefully all will come together for you on race day. Good luck!

  5. definitely choose rest over pushing your body right now. you’ve finished marathons in pretty much every condition known to mankind. you’ll totally rock this one too. I’ll cheer for you at the finish!

  6. Lots of sleep, honey and lemon, raw garlic (if you can stomach it!) and lots of big nutritious meals! Your ability to do well during illness is amazing, but aside from races, it’s definitely best to just rest in order to recover.

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