Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Running With Snot. It’s Okay.

Even though I still don’t have a voice and my cough sounds like I smoke 40 packs a day (If one more person calls me Marge Simpson…), I ventured out for an early morning run. I wanted to see if:

  1. I still knew how to run
  2. I could blow the best snot rockets of the century given this past week’s illness (I could!)

Try not to be jealous of my rat’s nest, straw-like hair. If you want this style you need to not wash or brush it for three days and maybe spill some Nyquil on the ends for good measure.

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I’m not going to lie. It was cold.

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So cold I could not work the camera and did a very interesting video instead:

(Sorry. You can’t get back those 3 seconds)

Yeah, yeah. What’s this crap for scenery? Why can’t I live in a concrete jungle?

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Here is the famous blogger self portrait. The one where the blogger tries to show the scenery, but then spoils it all with her red, sweaty, sickly face.

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It felt good to be out. My energy level’s on the rise and the couch and I were getting way too intimate. You  can only observe life for so long before you need to jump back in.

How Do You Know If You’re Too Sick to Run?

So, indeed, there is a rule of thumb about when you should run/exercise when you are sick or have been sick.

  • It’s okay to run or work out if your symptoms are from the neck up (usually cold-like including sniffles, scratch throat, light cough)
  • If you’ve got more flu-like stuff – body aches, heavy cough, fever – take a few more rest days
  • When you have a fever, your body is already working harder (heart is pumping harder, body is trying to regulate temperature). Working out with a fever could just make the whole thing worse as you further tax your body.
  • Trying to run with a sinus infection is a really bad idea (exercise can stress the condition and can even lead to pneumonia). Take a good 72 hours before trying to run after having one of those.
  • If you have a cold or are recovering from illness, lower your expectations big time. Pace and distance should be decreased. Going just a few miles at a mellow pace might fatigue you. Don’t be disheartened. You’re still healing! Give yourself a full week or two.
  • Remember, you're not a pro athlete (and if you are, why do you read this blog?). The pros tend to have round the clock doctors and might be able to get out there faster after being sick than you. Don’t sweat it. They’re paid to do that. You’re not.
  • If it’s not going to set you back, running is the best way to raise your spirits after you’ve been sick.

Have you ever set yourself back by running while sick? No. Not yet.

What’s the coldest temp you run in? I like to stay on the positive side of zero. No negatives for me.

SUAR

 

Info above from:
Should You Run When You’re Sick (Runner’s World)
How Sick Do You Have To Be (WSJ)

54 comments:

  1. I have. I thought I was better and then went out for a run and set myself back a couple of days. Ugh.
    I live in Canada, I'll run in weather that would freeze the balls off a polar bear. I don't mind the cold, as long as the sun is out. It could be -20 but if the sun is out, I'm a happy camper.
    Glad to hear you're on the mend!!

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    1. Freeze the balls off a polar bear... I love that one! I'll have to use it when I'm running in my negative temps. I agree with you about the sun... it makes such a difference!

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    2. Ran the Polar Dash 1/2 in Minneapolis yesterday. It was -4 at the start, but the sun was out and there was no wind. So it was bearable. The second 6 mile loop, though, was miserable. It warmed up to 5 but the wind picked up and it clouded over.

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    3. funny, it is that cold in Ottawa today....-27C. My hubby looked like he was going to rob a bank when he left for his run 30 mins ago. Me I preferred the treadmill today, not running outside if it below -20.

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  2. I love love love cold weather training...and just wrote a post about how I swear I run faster in cold weather. I know when to stop as soon as I hear the rattle and rasp in my chest. A chest cold for an asthmatic is always ugly.

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  3. You posted this at the perfect time! I just tried to run yesterday after a week of being sick. It was dreadful! My chest hurt, I blew more snock rockets than I can count, I had to stop for a few coughing fits and my head was killing me. I made it about 3.5 miles and called it a day. Today, I'm going to try the elliptical. I'll be sure to use kleenex. Nobody likes snot rockets at the gym.

    I hope you continue to feel better and better!

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    1. Not sure what a SNOCK rocket is, but you catch my drift.

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  4. I don't think you had a sweaty, sickly face! You do have beautiful white shiny teeth!
    I live in Florida. The coldest I have ever encountered was probably 20 degrees. Sometimes its so cold I have to look down to see if I remembered pants.

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    1. ha! that's what i was thinking, too. wow, beth has nice teeth! lol!

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    2. They're dentures. I'm really 80 years old.

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  5. Thanks. I needed to hear from you today. Getting acu tomorrow. Sinus infection and chest cold I can take. Loss of all taste and smell--unbearable.

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  6. I'm with you in the marge simpson sound-alike world :( I'm usually pretty conservative w/ my running while sick (as in, almost none), but this time was different. I was just shy meeting 1400 miles for 2012, so.....yup, ran w/ a fever. I'm pretty sure that set me back a little bit.

    I've smartened up since then and going back to my conservative ways (while I celebrate that 1400 miles of course!).

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  7. I thought it was cold her (35 degrees), but I guess it's not too bad!

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  8. You are awesome! I really enjoy reading your blog! :)

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  9. I just ran in negative something today... my husband's truck said -12F about an hour or two before I started running. 17 sounds downright toasty. I think the coldest I've run in is -10 or so. It's not too bad when you're used to it. I didn't know it was bad to run with a sinus infection! I've done that a few times. I'll remember next time to rest. I love your blog, especially because I am not a pro athlete. ;)

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    1. Negative 10!?!?!? You're hardcore. I want to be you someday ;-) It doesn't een get that cold where I live.

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  11. Glad you're starting to feel better. I haven't run on too many super cold weather days. Sometimes running when I have a head cold makes me feel a little better -- helps get the extra snot out.

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  12. If I'm actually sick, I'm probably not going to run...even if those rules of thumb indicate that it would be an okay thing. I did that "push through everything" when it came to working out when I was younger. Now I have to "push through everything" when it comes to parenting...that takes enough of my energy :P I need to save myself for the kids at this stage in my life.

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  13. I’m not sure if I would have taken to running as fast as I have if I had started in the heat of the summer. I ran a sunrise run at 27 degrees on Monday and loved it. Of course, it’s not the temperature out here near the ocean, it’s the moisture in the air that cuts through your clothes and makes your skin hurt. I look forward to getting back into some Colorado air later this year. Happy healing.

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  14. It was about 17 degrees when I was out running yesterday, and 20 when I was out running on the 29th. I think this winter is the coldest I have been out and about. I am not that big of a fan of this cold weather. But I am not a fan of the heat, either. I would like the 50's back again. :-)

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  15. Two years ago for some (really stupid) unknown reason, I did a big trail race 2 days after a bad bout of stomach flu. Not only did I think this was a good idea but I was thrilled that I'd be running 3lbs lighter than usual. :o
    I ended up with a really bad case of abductor tendonitis due to my being dehydrated. Set me back several weeks, but in the end that injury is what got me into triathlons seeing as I could only swim or bike for 6 weeks.

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  16. Our group ran 10 miles in -4 temps last year, but we were running toward a breakfast buffet so we kep saying we were "running for pancakes" and that seemed to help. This morning it was 3. If the sun is out (not this morning) and it's not windy, it's not so bad.

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  17. 15 degrees I think is the coldest I've run in and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

    After stupidly running with a viral infection and really setting myself back, I've learned my lesson. Now I'm fairly conservative about running if I'm sick.

    Glad you're on the mend!

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  18. Good timing on this post. I'm just getting over 4 days on the couch with a cold. I am a big proponent of rest days when I'm sick.

    10 degrees is the coldest I can recall running in. Now, that's East Coast temperature. The humidity in the air makes the cold feel much colder. I just ran in my midwest hometown over the holidays. It was in the teens, but didn't feel all that chilly. Huh.

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  19. Ugh i've totally made myself sicker by running when I shouldnt have. I did that right before my last half marathon and ended up having to run the stupid thing with bronchitis...so i fully support the taking days off business!!

    Glad you're feeling better!

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  20. I always tell people I love running in the cold, but that is relative. Here in So Cal, cold is about 45. The coldest I've ever run in is about 30 degrees and I loved it!

    My husband is a pro at snot rockets. He's downright scary when we're mountain biking together!

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  21. I have gone back to training too soon after/while being sick, it’s always a hard line to walk. The coldest I will run is above zero but that includes wind chill that can really make the difference for me. As a Colorado transplant I am still kind of a wuss about cold. In Oregon it rarely gets below freezing.

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  22. As long as it's not the flu, I run. And I'm with you about the cold factor, as long as it's above zero I'm out there. Feel better soon!

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  23. If it makes you feel better, your teeth are very pretty in the pic.
    I have run in the 20's. NC didn't see much lower than that and AZ doesn't either.

    The Kidless Kronicles

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  24. I will run in the twenties. I have to admit that I was being a complete pansy and running on the treadmill at the gym today. When Good Morning America came on I was checking out the temps in Colorado. Your temps were higher than ours here in Wisconsin. We just visited Loveland in July (I have been to CO several times in my childhood) and instantly feel in love again. I didn't get to do as much running as I would have liked to while I was out there. It was a little hard to ditch the family while on a "family" vacation.

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  25. This summer while on a week-long road trip at altitude, I got super snotty and had this gnarly sinus affliction. While we were visiting my sister in Colorado Springs, we had the bright idea to do the Manitou Incline (have you done this before? I bet you have!).
    I was feeling confident as I'd done it twice before during other visits... Let's just say that it was one of the worst things I could have set out to do with a fever, on a hot day! My sister and I had to retreat at barely 1/3 of the way up. And afterwards at the Cog Railway ladies room, my sunglasses dropped in the toilet. What a great vacation memory :)

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  26. To answer your second question - here in Wisconsin, we run at 20 degrees and colder! You can't blow snot rockets because they freeze in your nostrils. Boogercicles?

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  27. From FL so we don't run in those temps. I was excited it was 45 on Sunday morning!

    Glad you're feeling better.

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  28. If I'm sick I won't run.
    I'd rather run in the cold than the heat. Coldest I've ever run in is about -30 C.

    I'm sure there are pro athletes reading this blog. Where else are they going to get the straight poop?

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  29. Y'all are all amazing - I don't run outside if it's below freezing - I know I'm a wimp but cold makes me cranky and slow!! I hate to be so sick that I can't work-out - glad you are back to running (hopefully no set-backs!!).

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  30. If you vomit in the first kilometre you're too sick. Except for when you feel miraculously better by vomiting and continue on regardless.

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  31. Here in Calgary, AB I regularly tackle -25C (-13F) runs during the winter. Try popping a few vitamin D everyday to help boost your immune system. I haven't had even a tickle in my throat since I began taking it this past summer.

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    1. Actually I gake a ton of Vitamin D everyday, but it didn't help me this time...I don't get sick often (this was probably the first time in two or three years) so I think I'm doing okay for the most part. Running injuries are another story.

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    2. Well there go my delusions of immunity!!! Get well soon!

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  32. i've probably run when temps are in the low 20's. i'm currently in sick mode. ran when i felt better and go more sick. ick. i've always been one to push it but right now my body is clearly dictating things.

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  33. I ran my first half with untreated strep throat...really, really bad idea!
    I have run while the temps were in the teens but recently moved from the northeast to the south so I won't be seeing that kind of cold anymore. I'd take the cold over the crazy heat of the south anyway

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  34. -20F in Bend, Oregon. Two pair of socks not nearly enough. All exposed skin wrapped. I wore my prescrip glasses that day, stupid idea: every exhaled breath went thru my scarf and onto the lenses. Blind!!! But it was 0430 so I had the roads to myself, right down the center line...

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  35. Snow Joke 1/2 Marathon Seeley Lake Montana. -23F on the drive to the race and -17F at the 11:00am start. Fleece outer layer froze solid! Good times.

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  36. It's funny you ran at 17, my rule is nothing below 17 because that's when my asthma kicks in and I start to wheeze. I have been spending a lot of time on the treadmill at the gym.

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  37. I haven't run too sick but I have run with a major hangover (1/2 marathon). The coldest I ran was probably around -25C (-13F). I only had to be rescued once because of the cold...when the Ipod stopped working because it was too cold and I took my gloves off to fix it I couldn't warm up again afterwards, and had to call for a rescue ride.

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  38. My rule of thumb for running when I am ailing from something is: If I am too sick to go to work, I am too sick to exercise, period.
    Thankfully, I don't get sick much, but did battle a 3 week sinus infection this fall that really had me miserable, and I sounded like I had corks stuffed up my nose, that took me too long to get over, and no running or bending over.
    Feel better, drink lots of liquids and sleep.

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  39. I live in CA, coldest thus far for my runs has been high 20s/low 30s (that's fahrenheit, not celsius), not too terrible and I usually strip down to a base layer mid way through.
    As for running while sick, I have several times, including a few times when I probably shouldn't have. I generally also follow the motto of "shoulders" and above is fine though I have run and come down with a stomach virus mid run (it's as horrible as you are picturing, trust me).

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  40. My motto is if I can't run, then I really am sick! I run with head colds--and have found that sudafed is my new best friend in those situations. Besides letting me breathe freely, it gives me a burst of energy.

    I didn't run this morning because the dreaded norovirus has visited my house. My 13 year old was up all night, giving new meaning to the term "violently ill". My house now smells like bleach. I pray that it stops with him.

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  41. We were in Denver over Christmas and I must say, running at that altitude is no joke! I was only able to get out twice and 3 miles was as far as I could go. Dec. 26th was my first snow run -so much fun! My hubby has been sick, started to feel better and thought getting out to run would be a good idea...not so much. Poor guy, it's moving down to his chest now and he has pretty much no voice left. Still, loved my 2 runs in Denver and hope to be able to go back when it's warmer and run some more, nothing like that scenery too.

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  42. lol When I went back to running in 2007 I ran through what I thought was a cold and only stopped when it was obviously pneumonia that had lasted 9 weeks. Whoops. I thought I was being wimpy.
    It's fairly cold in NS where I live. not all the time, but we have extremes. I have run outside at -25 C(that's -13 for F) with wind chill I cannot remember. It was a beautiful day but the run had to be cut short when my eyelashes froze together and my sneakers turned to ice blocks. Only managed 5 miles in it.

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  43. My cold weather record... 10 miles in -52 centigrade (-58 f)... were pretty crazy up here.. don't try this at home kids. :>)

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  44. Random question for you! Do you know the brand/make of your sunglasses? For some unknown reason my runner mom is convinced that she needs white (frame) sunglasses to become speedier... so therefore I am on the hunt for the rare white sunglass! Thanks so much! :)

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