Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Running Through a Sea of Phlegm

My son Alistair was kind enough to pass on a lingering cough that he's had for the last week or so. I thought I'd dodged the bullet, but started coming down with symptoms on Sunday. I've had a full-blown, throat-racking cough ever since, accompanied by nasal blockages and general phlegmy nastiness.

I love you buddy, but you got to stop passing on your germs!

This week is a pretty key week in my training cycle - falling four weeks out from a target 50-mile race (Fruita) and 12 weeks out from Big Horn - and I had really wanted to accumulate some big miles on top of 80+ miles last week.

So far I have struggled through a seven miler on the treadmill and an eight-mile hill run, which was a monumental struggle. Despite a general lack of energy yesterday on the hills, I was able to get around and found that the run helped clear a lot of the crap that had been blocking me up. I mean I was blowing out some trophy-sized rockets.

After getting out there and suffering through the run yesterday, I concluded that the benefits of the run outweighed the negatives of draining my body of the energy it needs to fight the virus. I figured there were three big benefits from yesterday's run:

1. My system felt like it was processing less oxygen and therefore might be simulating an altitude run. My breathing felt similar to runs I do at 10,000-11,000 feet.

2. I cleared a bunch of crap from my system and felt notably better for the next couple of hours, plus I worked up an appetite that had been lacking all day.

3. Although it took about six hours to convince myself to get out the door, in doing so I was able to scratch another little notch in the mental-fortitude bed post that I'll be able to draw from when times get tough in June at Big Horn.

Probably all bogus, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. Sorry to hear you got the crud. If it's what I had (sounds like it), it might only reduce some mileage and length of intensities, but not too substantially cut in.
    Something started growing in my sinuses. A nasal rinse did an amazing job. Blowing alone isn't enough. The illness is viral, but there's always a chance of also getting some bacterial side-affects. I've had to rinse twice a week and that has kept away the build-up.

    Good luck in your training.

  2. Thanks, Jeff! On second thoughts, running through this might not be the best idea. Just got back from a run and I've never felt so drained. Might just have to give into it.

  3. I totally agree running (cycling too) helps with most colds. As long as the cold symptoms are constrained to above the throat, I force myself to go out and run or bike for the same reasons you site (particularly #2). Usually only 20-30 minutes, but the times I've been forced to go longer (e.g., for one marathon and another time for a double century), the colds were pretty much gone by the next day. Too bad the colds really slowed me down during those events. :(

    Glad you are feeling better than earlier in the week!