To be sick and be training for a big race is not fun…
Not fun at all.
It doesn’t matter what the race is – the stress and decisions are the same. Do I do my planned run even though I’m sick? What if I’ve been up all night coughing, unable to sleep? Is a rest day better for my body than pushing through training?
It’s confusing and stressful. And this is how I spent the past week: sick and stressed out.
My big race is coming up, and I tried to push through. I really did. But when I did, I took a turn for the worse. It started with plugged up ears, and progressed to a sore throat. I’m fine, I said. I did a 4-hour bike trainer workout, a 30-minute run, and then went to work on my feet for six hours. The next day? I was kind of wrecked but thought I felt well enough to run.
I pushed through a 12 mile run in the midday heat of summer. Rescuing turtles as I ran.
I finished out the run with my Great Dane Daisy, and we both decided it was too hot for that.
And then I took a turn for the worse. Coughing. Up all night. Feeling run down and basically… terrible. There were several days in a row I could barely get through the day, let alone work out. I got myself to work and coughed through meetings. I got a little behind on things but managed to power through the week and caught up by week’s end.
It happens, I know. But just when I was trying to get in a good groove for “peak weeks” of Ironman Lake Placid training, getting sick derailed me.
But there were some bright spots in this challenging time!The kids are 11, 7, and 5 and are doing great. My oldest graduated from elementary school, and it was a special day. My youngest graduated from Pre-K. We had a special evening out together one night, where he proclaimed “I like dates!”.
When I started to feel better, I made it to track with my women’s group that I love so much. A few miles on the track at a moderate pace completely wore me out. Five weeks. Five weeks until my first Ironman. I have got to start feeling better, I thought to myself.
And I did. By the weekend I made it outdoors with a group to ride 90 hilly miles. The total elevation gain was 6,053 so I’m told it’s comparable to Lake Placid. The second loop was tough with the hills, but I made it through okay. I don’t think my endurance was in tip top shape after being sick most of the week, and not sleeping much.
And I know that a lot of the success or failure of Ironman has to do with nutrition. I’ve been working with a nutritionist and doing Metabolic Efficiency Training. I like it because it’s not all-or-nothing with carbs, it cut my sugar way back, and it seems to make sense for my body and my training. I haven’t eaten a dessert in 6 weeks and I’m fine with that.
I have things I really love for breakfast, like protein/banana mash and smoothies while I commute. I’m kind of obsessed with NOW Foods protein powders and have been using them just about every single day since I went to the NOW Foods Influencer Fit Immersion back in April.
So the nutrition is going well but I have some things to tweak after that ride in terms of fueling and hydration.
But honestly? After the 90-mile ride, I did a 3 mile run. It was hard. Then I went to work for the rest of the night – a concert and a reception.
And the next day I did not feel great. So my long run didn’t happen. I kept trying but by the time I felt better it was almost 100 degrees outside and I was worried I would take a turn for the worst if I tried it.
Cue the freakout about training, just when I was starting to feel better.
But is rest better than pushing through? There’s no way to know the answer definitively, but I felt like my body could not do it without repercussions.
So I got in a 4 miler on Monday morning to start the week off and I’m going to try to stay on track this week.
The ups and downs of training are part of the journey. When I get to race day and look back at all I’ve been through, I’ll think of weeks like this. Sick, tired, juggling work and training, significant events with the kids, and it will all be a blur. But I’ll get there.
This weekend I’ll head up to Lake Placid for Ironman Lake Placid training camp and I can’t wait! Hopefully I’ll be 100% healthy this week and able to feel my best for the weekend of training.
Do you push through training when you’re sick or give your body extra rest?