Training versus Illness / Memories of Boston

This week, I got sick.

After a great (fun and fast) Spring Run-Off last Saturday, I was feeling pretty great. I felt really tired the next morning, but not sore. Then I went for an easy run — it was warmish out, but I definitely under-dressed — and I came home and felt horrible. My partner had been sick all weekend with what we thought was food poisoning. But maybe it was a virus, because when my immune system dipped after the race and that chilly easy run, I picked something up. For two days, I had chills, I was nauseous, and all I wanted to do was sleep.

Nothing hurts a fully addicted runner like a couple of forced days off.

Of course, running addiction being what it is, I still really wanted to run. Thankfully, I pretty much literally couldn’t. I sat out a UTTC Masters workout on Monday, then took a day off easy running. By Wednesday, I was feeling somewhat decent, and decided to try out a treadmill run. It was mildly unpleasant, but I made it through. I ran a somewhat sluggish track workout Thursday night (followed by a very fun pub night), by which time my flu-like symptoms were morphing into a chest cold. This never got particularly severe, but my usual Mount Pleasant tempo on Saturday felt harder than usual. It was still kicking around for the track workout tonight — there was still plenty of phlegm to jettison — but I’m mostly over it.

Any lessons from all this? Well, obviously it was smart not to train through a serious virus. Also, the two days off seem to have totally healed the hip flexor thing that was bugging me before I got sick. It’s annoying that this cold is still slowing me down, but I bet I’ll feel incredible when it’s totally gone. If I could hit my usual paces tonight with phlegm in my lungs, I bet I’ll be a little faster without it.

Today was the Boston Marathon, so I’ve obviously been thinking a lot about last year. Mainly, I’ve been thinking how thankful I am not to be running it again this year. Last year’s winter training was a real slog — genuinely not enjoyable — and it would have been just as bad this year, which was equally brutal weather wise, maybe even worse.

I’ve said everything I have to say about the race itself. But thinking about last year finally prompted me to buy the photos. I’m pretty cheap and I’ve generally resisted buying race photos, but starting this blog has given me some incentive — and, a year on, running that ridiculously brutal edition of Boston feels a little more momentous.

So here’s a little slideshow.

Boy I look miserable here. And wet. And cold. I actually felt pretty decent throughout this race, so this is probably just a case of the camera catching a momentary grimace. At least my shoes look vibrant.
This is a little closer to how I remember feeling — not joyful, exactly, but fine. This is at the 24 mile mark.
No idea where this is from. I really held my arms up high before Coach Mike told me to drop them. I’ve been working on this a lot over the winter, but I think I still hold them high when I’m straining…
In this one, the guy behind me looks so destroyed that I look pretty cool by comparison. Pretty sure this is in the last mile or so.
I know this is the last mile, because that’s the Citgo sign! This is a great pic — makes it work the pricey download!
Boylston Street, maybe? This is definitely my favourite photo of the bunch. The neon shoes are truly glowing.
My foot’s on the finish line… and I ruin the photo by stopping my watch 🙁 The fact that I remembered to do so definitely indicates that I ran a controlled race, though.
Yep, it felt pretty great to finish.
That great!