Well sort of. I have only ridden a horse once in my life, so saddle may not be the greatest analogy.
What I want to do is document my return to running after being sick for 2+ weeks and I how I am approaching it. Honestly, I hope this isn’t useful to anyone because I wouldn’t wish my illness on anyone (well, almost anyone).
So my last run pre-sickness wasn’t pre-sickness at all in retrospect (which seems to be the only way I learn these days). I just didn’t know I was about to be felled. I ran hard and pegged my heart rate during a 6 miler. Afterwards my heart rate slowly came down and my lungs felt like they were on fire. I figured it was a combination of heat exhaustion and allergies. When I got home I started to have chills, and I went straight to bed.
Wow I was stupid
The next day I was tired but otherwise felt fine. It confirmed in my mind I had just overcooked myself during my run and I would be OK.
Well I ended up with a fever over 100 for more than a week, ended up in the emergency room for a short stay, and was out of work for a week and a half.
So when to return to running?
Well I wanted my cough to be mostly gone and I knew I needed enough energy to actually run. The 4th of July holiday in the US was a good time to try to see how running and I would get along after the layoff.
I decided to start with one mile, no Garmin, just to see how I would react and if my muscles remembered how to propel me forward. It felt weird to run after the longest break in running in a year. But hey this is me, I am used to weirdness, so I called the run a success since I didn’t feel worse afterwards and didn’t hack up a lung.
On Friday I wanted to go between 4-5 miles. This time I was wearing my Garmin because I didn’t want to overdo it. I warmed up with one mile of race walking and then started my run. I started out too fast (nice to know some things don’t change) and had to slow down. I finally found a comfortable pace that was about 1 1/2 minutes slower that I was running my long runs at before I got sick. My heart rate was still higher than I would like (zone 4). I had to walk a couple of hills to keep my HR down. I started to get tired at mile 3 so I called it a day at 4.25 miles. I have to admit it was a humbling experience, but I focused on the positive that I could run rather than I was the slowest person out on the Mount Vernon Trail.
The Next Day
So I was gunning for 6 miles and got 6 miles. My heart rate average was slightly lower (by 5 beats per minute) and slightly faster pace (by 5 seconds per mile (must have been a 5 kind of day)). Hard to tell if it was actual improvement, or just better weather. Either way I’ll take it (like I have a choice in the matter). I was able to run more of the “hills” but still had to walk some. Still felt like I was running in molasses, but at least it was running.
The Plan for the week
It is just dawned on me that this post sounds frightening like a real running blog. I feel the need to make a porta potty joke.
Instead I will settle for why you should not have your iphone with you when you are running a fever. Or maybe why I shouldn’t own a camera period.
Sun: Rest Day. I was going to cross train, but thought better of it. My legs are sore for the first time since Across The Years, and I figured rest was the way to go. I got reacquainted with my friend the foam roller (OK, friend is pushing the concept).
Mon: I am off from work and plan 6 miles on a soccer field.
Tue: Cross train bike or pool.
Wed: Cross train bike or pool.
Th: Run 5-6 miles
Fri: Rest Day
Sat: 8 miles
So that is the plan, but I will try to be smart about it if I don’t have the energy, or my heart rate gets too high. I say that, but we all know being smart isn’t exactly my forte. I’ll report next week how it all went.
Hoping this is the picture that shows up in the WordPress reader and on Blogloving because otherwise I am about to have an increase in unfollowers if the other pic is featured.