Going into our first of three 20-milers this weekend out in Barrington, I was genuinely nervous. I tried to control what I could to ensure a good training run–going to bed early, having a good dinner, fueling appropriately in the morning–but no matter how many marathons or 20-milers I’ve done, that distance commands respect (and forces a bit of humility onto everyone). Fortunately, temps were good, with little wind and no precipitation, so we finished in just under 3 hours. And we had a blast in the process. Rock on.
Fast forward to later Saturday and early Sunday, and the cold that I’ve been harboring since sometime last week seems to have gotten exacerbated. Though my nose, at times, has been rather spigot-y, or my throat feeling like it was getting scratched out of commission by an angry feline, I didn’t feel any of these pains when I had run last week or last weekend. I decided to take off Sunday and not do my usual easy 3-miler, and now, Monday evening, it looks like I may listen to my head (as opposed to my relentlessly happy moving feet…) and NOT run home, thereby forgoing my 7 miler tonight. I’d rather have a cold, deal with it, and have it leave my system in 5 days as opposed to kinda-sorta-linger around for 10.
Sometimes it seems the jury’s out on how to tell if you should run when you’re feeling under the weather. Some guides say not to run if your ailment is below your neck; others say you should run through your pain so as to learn how to deal with adversity. This guide gives you a step-by-step questionnaire that you answer to help you arrive at a decision… but ultimately, what it comes down to is listening to your body. Listen to yours, and you’ll figure it out.
If nothing else, remember that not running for one day (in an effort to promote preventative medicine) is FAR better than not running for weeks (due to not heeding your body’s warning signals and cries for help!!).