Respect The run: Running Sick take 2- even a bad run is a good one

Most of my runs last week were rough, but I’m still glad I did them.  Monday was fine, the first time on the up route, the one that has some hill work.   By hill work I mean requiring me to  raise my knees higher any longer than for the dips in the curb to get on and off the street.  It was a 4 miler and it actually went really well. The hills sucked but he weather was decent and I broke an 11 minute pace.   My legs were tight from  that small amount of hill work, they chose to let me know this in the middle of Wednesday’s 5 miler.  Wednesday always seem to bring the best weather and the most brutal run of the week.  This week Wednesday brought me a tickle in my throat working its way to a full blown cough, 20  mile winds and a 2nd trip on the 5 miler route that turns around in the parking lot of the church Babu and I got married in almost 12 years ago.   The weather was awesome enough to entice me to dig the running skirt out of the drawer and slide on the body glide.  Technical difficulties with fiddling with Runkeeper caused us to start at the very back of the pack.  I just couldn’t seem to put anything together; my breath was hard, my  heart rate was climbing and my legs were not happy about Monday’s run.   We made our way through it but he wasn’t feeling the best either and we don’t have very much fun together running when we are both one-sided. When it was over we high fived like we always do at the end of a run and I knew two things. One- I was  probably getting sick Two- My body was begging for a date or 4 with the foam roller.

Side Bar:  If you think running with your mate is all romantic and will be super bonding conversation time I laugh while I tell you that happens about 20% of the time.   Another 20-40% is “You’re not very fun to run with are you”  and/or “This running this very one-sided for you isn’t in?” time.   Babu is right on one of those counts.  Running is and should be a one-sided sport.  Running is nothing more than a battle of you vs. you.  Maybe the Kenyans are trash talking each other on the course but every person who runs at the for kicks level I do is nothing but supportive out there because we all get that we are all battling ourselves.   Near as I can tell the rule of the road is go on ahead if you are able and I am not.  That gets a little sticky with a spouse or maybe even a running buddy that is also a really good friend.  Babu and I  have been running together for a while now, only due to his recent back injuries and my recent increase in ability have we gotten on a more even running field. Always in the past he has been better than  me and usually trained at his own pace group unless it was just the two of us. Then he would choose to stay with me in the races.    I’d still say he is the better runner of the two of us but  we are in this weird sort of no mans land where you just don’t know who will be the better runner on any given run.  We are fine tuning our run communication  emotional expectations.   The rest of that running together is spent just running some version of near each other and plowing through mile after mile together, they best we each can while trying to engage and support the other at whatever level they require that day.

Friday rolled around and I knew I was actually ill.  I had a 10k training race in prep for the Mini Marathon in May and I didn’t want to miss it. I debated, but in the end decided I would foam roll and stretch out as mush of the pain and tightness as I could and run anyway.  I decided I would get up at 5:45, med up  to dry out my nose and stop my cough and sweat it out.   I knew going into the race it would likely be a rough run.  I have cursed all Saturday weather this year with wind and cold and yesterday was no different.  Wednesday’s 20 mile winds combined with 25 degrees and a course full of every hill our flat downtown has to offer.   Even in the excitement of the race start our first mile was 12:30.  My heart rate was fine, but I was getting light-headed and my body ached.  I kept running  and by mile 3 my hips and knees felt like someone was stabbing them with every step, if I slowed down to fast walking my leg muscles tightened and screamed at me. I finally told Babu about getting light-headed and slowed down to walk.  I am sick, I shouldn’t be out on this course right now. He agreed.  This is going to sound crazy but I was still happy to actually be out on the course.   Slowing down to that walk allowed Babu and I to have one of those rare 20% of  runs were we engage in couple conversation bonding time.  I’m glad that I now know what it is like to have a bad run on cold medication, if I choose to do it again I will adjust accordingly.    I’m happy that I got my push-ups out of the way before the race and didn’t have to worry about them when I got home.  I’m not all that thrilled that my body feels worse after my 1:22 10k  than it did after my first 13.1.  But ultimately I am still happy that I completed those 6.4 race miles, even if half of them were walking and all of them “sucked”. I will also admit I’m a little anxious about Monday’s run, but hopefully a few more dates with the foam roller will alleviate those concerns. And maybe even if Monday is still rough, Wednesday’s pending 6 miles will feel like nothing compared to Saturday’s 6,4.


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