It’s the forever ongoing debate in our house: “when is it not smart to run”. Whenever I am tired, have a headache or otherwise feel under the weather, my husband’s first piece of advice is “Do NOT run”. My unfailing response is “Get a f****** grip, of course I will”. Or something to that effect. He probably is right, at least on some occasions, that I should not be dragging myself out when I am feeling less than 100%. Or less than 50% as the case may be. But I just can’t make myself skip a run if I can still move. So when the toxic 6-year old passed his Headcold From Hell to me last week, my first thought was “I can still run, I will just bring extra tissues”.
Having spent most of the night before my Saturday morning run awake (hard to breath when your head and sinuses are blocked with sticky snot) I crawled out of bed, did my exercises and hit the road. I had expected it to be a miserable run that I would probably have to abort mid-way. But no – miracle of miracles, it was actually an almost easy-feeling 23km! Yes, I did bring the extra tissues and was glad I did – I saturated 3 sheets of Plenty when I normally only need one. The running seemed to get all the goo flowing out and my head actually felt pretty clear. However, after I had had a shower I could feel myself starting to feel much, much worse. Sunday I dragged myself to the gym and did my usual 1h on the Stair Mill and 1h on the lateral elliptical. The run had been easier than this! I was sweating much more than usual (and I sweat a lot) and felt pretty bloody miserable. But stubborn is as stubborn does.. Boy, was I glad when the workout was over though!
Monday morning, after a third night of only a few hours of sleep due to stuffy head, I was fixing my hair and managed to put my back out. Think of the worst cuss word you know and say it in your head (no – shout it out loud!) 10 times. And then 10 times more. I admit, I sat down and nearly had a cry feeling all “woe is me”. Here I was; hit with what I can only assume was man-flu, for it was so bad, and now I have put my back out like some geriatric I that moment felt. I could walk but every now and again the wrong movement would make the back spasm and a bolt of pain hit me. I got a heated belt for my back and spent the day sat in the office with sweat trickling down my butt crack, drinking hot echinacea and overdosing on sinus sprays. To say that I was feeling a bit sorry for myself would be putting it mildly.
A fourth night of bad sleep followed; not only did I have a stuffy nose and aching sinuses but now my back was also so sore that it hurt to turn. I had to lie on a towel because the intermittent waves of profuse sweating would soak the sheets; what can I say – I am a sexy beast. At sometime during the night a storm started to blow and a wind as strong as anything I have ever experienced was rattling the windows. Oh well, it would blow itself out before morning I thought.
Tuesday morning, tripping over the bags under my eyes I (carefully) crawled out of bed. The first thing I did was pop a handful of Neurofen, rub Neurofen on my back, topping it with Bio Freeze spray. I got the kids sorted and did my exercises. Hmm.. The back felt a bit better, I could even do my squats as long as I kept my back straight. Promising (and thank you Neurofen!). I was still going to run, no question about it. The storm was still raging and the wind was getting stronger if anything. My head was still full of cold. I was tired. But I had a run to do. As I was walking my son to school I tentatively did a few metres of running to see if my back would hold. I had topped up on the Neurofen, both pills and gel, and there were twinges but no outright spasms. It would remain to be seen if I could do the full distance. Waving him off on the school yard, a gale of wind whipped up and everyone was pushed back by the sheer force of it. I had a moment then, wondering if I was absolutely insane. But a funny thing about running; it’s a bit like a hot shower – it makes you feel better at least while you’re in it/doing it. I am not saying it was an easy run; far from it. The wind would not stop blowing and I felt like I was in a tumble drier. It was alright if the wind was behind me – I was practically flying – but running into it was so, so, so hard. Despite trying to run as strongly as I could, I would be slowed down to almost walking pace. Sidewind next to a busy road nearly got me killed as it pushed me towards the cars… I did the run, 24km, but if there ever was a run that the head ran – this was it. Naturally my headcold has taken a turn for the worse but I can feel it considering a retreat. I bloody hope it will anyway – gym tomorrow!