When you tell some people you’re running a marathon, they give you a look like you MUST be on something–and they’re right. Runner’s high is a real thing–a result of the flood of endorphins your body gets after a run–and (hide your high schoolers) it’s addictive. I’ve told you about the rush I get after conquering a long run, and that rush lasts throughout the day, making me feel strong and energetic, and helping me sleep better at night.
The problem is, that rush gets so addicting that you want it every day, and our bodies aren’t always willing to do that. Taking a day or two off is often the hardest thing that runners do.
I was faced with this dilemma over the weekend. I was battling some sort of cold/sinus infection and struggling with a painful IT band after a mid-week eight miler. But when it came time for the Saturday long run, I instinctually got up and got ready to run. Ten minutes into getting dressed I was already five tissues deep, and pulling on my running tights felt exhausting. Yet I held on to my stubbornness. It took some serious convincing from Scott—and a reminder of how awful it went when he ran while sick—to get me to stay home.
I was bummed, but there’s no doubt it was for the best. The next day, my head cold had eased significantly, my IT band felt better (if still not great) and the day of rest helped me bust out five miles at a personal record pace. It felt glorious to be back out running again.
P.S. In case you’re in the same boat as me, Runner’s World has some great tips on if/when to run when you’re feeling sick.