October 9, 2014

How to Get Over Being Sick Fast: Marathon Taper Update

So I've been in taper town and everything was going great until I woke up sick yesterday. Yes sick, as in I'm supposed to run 26.2 miles on Sunday and I've caught a cold from my boyfriend.  Don't worry I already yelled at him!  

I also JUST realized it's my second blogiversary. The celebration will have to wait until after Sunday I'm afraid! 

Once I felt the scratchy throat and post-nasal drip in the morning I immediately broke down in tears. Tapering makes you extra emotional, don't you know?  My first thought was how I spent 17 weeks and all summer training for a race that I'm not going to run. Or one that I'm going to try to run and suck at/it will suck. I'm going back and forth between telling myself I'll be fine by Sunday and the race will suck.  Trying to breathe deeply and smile, most of the time though!   


Long runs:   

After hitting 20 and 22 miles, everything else feels like it's all downhill, which is the nice thing about taper. Until you get antsy, emotional, and start feeling every sore spot on your body and convincing yourself it's an injury. I've been feeling really tight on my ITB abductor/adductor areas that could not seem to go away no matter how much I foamrolled. I sprung for a massage on Tuesday and think it really helped loosen everything up. I didn't want to have randomly tight calves from the get-go like I did during last year's marathon. 
Alas, now I'm too worried about being sick to think about my phantom injuries. 

Week 15 called for 15 miles which felt strangely short after hitting the peak of training. For people training for the Baltimore marathon there was course run going on in the city so I joined in with my training group friends and only ran part of it.  As I ran around Lake Montebello it brought back memories of the Baltimore Marathon last year and I how awful I felt around those miles. I was reflecting and hoping that won't be the case this year. 

Week 16 called for 10 miles which always feels short yet long at the end of training. I felt a bit sluggish and heavy legs but I made it through.  It was followed by a big pumpkin iced coffee and brunch! 

Weekly runs:

Week 15 we did speedwork and again I was feeling kind of sluggish and heavy. I'm thinking maybe I was still recovering from 22 miles and not getting enough sleep. Week 16 included some hill repeats and my usual tempo runs. Less hills makes for a shorter hill workout, but doesn't lessen the intensity of it! 

Since I'm sick I ran an easy 4 miles on Monday, a 4 mile tempo run on Tuesday and nothing. I plan on not running the rest of the week and just RESTING. Maybe a quick shakeout mile on Saturday if I'm feeling better/to see how I feel. 

Thumbs down:  This is easy, that I'm sick! Luckily it's a cold that doesn't seem to have moved into my lungs or chest and there's no fever so I'm hoping it stays that way.  I'm taking every homeopathic immune booster I know (Airborne, Zinc, Echinacea, Elderberry Syrup, and Oil of Oregano) plus drinking lots of fluids and hot tea.   I'm hoping I'll be okay because I'm in the clear if I follow the neck and above rule (chest and below is no good for running!). I'm doing all I can to get over being sick ASAP. Of course if I felt it was something serious I wouldn't be running the race-listen to your body, people!

Here are my rules for getting over being sick (added to these ways to get better faster!)

1. REST. 
2. Lots of fluids, hot teas. 
3. REST-for real, no exercise. 
4. Be sure to eat even if you don't feel like it and give your body some fuel to fight whatever is making you feel like crap!
5. Multiple times a day take airborne or vitamin C, zinc lozenges, and echinacea tablets.  I follow the directions on the bottles (I'm not a doctor so do the same!). I also add in oil of oregano and elderberry syrup if it's getting serious because supposedly those boost your immune system too. 

Sick Before Race Day-Marathon Training Update

Thumbs up:  I have a few days to get some good sleep, continue my immune boosting regimen, and hope my body fights this thing before Sunday.  I just hate that it's putting a damper on my marathon excitement.  That's not really a thumbs up since I ended up a negative note. We'll say thumbs up is to visiting Chicago for the first time and having some deep dish pizza! 

I just wanted to share this awesome blog post about the 3-day carbload I'll be loosely following in case you have a big race coming up too. I'm following a 3-day carb load, not that fat load this time around.  

 How do you fight sickness before races or big events? Does tapering drive you crazy?


  1. Get some sleep and rest, and you'll be ready to go come Sunday! Can't wait for the race and maybe we'll run into each other.

  2. UGH!!!!! Sick! Not good at all!!!! Everything will work out and you will be nice and rested for Chicago and feeling great!!!

  3. Good luck!! Hope you are feeling better already.

  4. Great tips - I hope you feel better soon! Getting sick during taper time is one of my biggest fears! And happy blogiversary!

  5. Getting sick right before a big race is on of my worst fears! But luckily you still have a few days to recover and with some rest and doing everything else right I'm sure you can get over a cold by then! Good luck!!

  6. ugh. hope you feel much better, lady! i know you are going to have an amazing race on sunday - you've got this - no cold can hold you back!

  7. Great tips! I also religiously use the Neti pot. It seems to always help. Great job on your race!!! You kicked ass!