Saturday, May 3, 2014

Getting Sick After the Marathon

Shortly after writing my last post, Stay Within Myself (about a week out from Boston), it hit me.  Strep throat. Swollen glands.  Almost 48 hour fever.  Aches and Pains.  No choice but to REST.  The body sure is smart.  If I wasn't going to slow down more and give her the rest she needs, she was going to make it happen one way or another.  As much as being sick sucks, I'm thankful for the physical rest that came from having no other choice.  Lots of naps, sitting around the house wrapped up in a blanket playing Sorry with my 4 year old, and just sitting in my car with the heater on (on a 69 degree day) mostly because I was too lackluster to get out of the car just to move inside.  But my fever broke last night  (holy sweat!!) and the drugs are working!  Yay!!

Getting sick after a big race like a marathon isn't uncommon.  It happens to so many of us.  It is almost always the case with me.  No matter how we race a marathon, our bodies are damaged in some way.  Even in ways we can't see or feel.  On a cellular level.  Our immune systems are compromised and we need to REST and RECOVER.  This can be so hard to do when we are on a high after a big race.  We get caught up in wanting to move on and set new goals (at least I tend to do that).  And then...if we start doing too much too soon...BAM!  Sick.  Our bodies stop us and we have no choice but to rest.

Here's the crummy thing about being sick:

I tend to start seeing all my current dreams and goals through the sick lens.  Instead of putting everything to the side and just focusing on healing and rest, it's easy to let how craptastic I feel color everything else around me.  All of a sudden, my goals look so much harder and those buggers called fear and doubt creep in.

Here's the Amazing thing about getting well again:

I feel full of possibility and hope again! Seriously woke up with such a better outlook on life.  So thankful for health because it sure does stink not feeling good and being able to do the things we normally do. Getting sick for a few days can certainly help us appreciate our health that much more.  Definitely not something to take for granted!

Here's what I've learned from past post marathon experiences with getting sick:

Even though I feel better today, I still need at least another day of taking it easy so that I stay healthy!  Fluids, good foods that boost the immune system, rest and positive thinking. Oh, and continued visits to my awesome sports doc, Dr. Myers at Myers Chiropractic and Functional Health.  Getting Active Release Therapy and regular adjustments over the last many months has been so helpful!

A few random bullets:

  • Another race on the horizon that I'm excited about for a number of reasons.  Will put that out there soon!  
  • Not too long ago, Nuun came out with Nuun Energy.  Nuun with a boost of caffeine.  I plan to wear a water belt in my next marathon so that I can have my own fluids.  One of the bottles will have Nuun Energy if I can train with it and see that it goes well with whatever fuel I'll be using.  
  • In another post, I'd like to bring up the topic of fueling during marathons.  This is different for everyone and we all have to find what works for us.  I will continue to try drinking Generation UCAN before my races.  A Generation UCAN rep sent me a few samples of this and I really like how it settles with me.  From what I've heard from others, taking this right before the marathon should mean that I really don't need as many gels.  When/If I do continue to take gels, I think I will go back to my original way of doing it and just sip the gel a bit here and there.  Yet another reason why having my own water belt can be nice.  
  • I just spent 6 hours with a group of 9 year old girls at the movies and mall tonight for my daughters birthday.  OMG.  They have their own language and rarely finish a word without shortening it.  I felt old.  Adorbs. Totes. Whatevs.  WTH?  I can't get their lingo out of my head now and have to try quite hard not to use their word when commenting to my friends.  I can see how they get drawn into it.  My head is spinning.  
  • I feel so excited about running right now.  More than I have in a long time.  I keep expecting it to fade since I tend to go in cycles...seasons.  And maybe it will fade, but for now, I'm riding the Run Happy wave.  Now I just have to keep my body healthy!  

Do you get sick after a big race?  How long do you take off running after a marathon?
How do you fuel during a marathon?



  1. Glad you are feeling better! It is so easy to get run down when you are pushing yourself hard for training- especially with kids around :)

    I usually don't get sick right after a marathon, but I take it pretty easy after a race- and I haven't done the number of them you have.

    Excited to hear more on your race and the fueling!

    1. Hi you! Yes, hard to truly rest with kids. But luckily I have a hubby to pick up so much of the slack. More than he should.

  2. Belated congratulations on your Boston! And get well. At least your body waits until after the race to get sick instead of, oh, maybe taper week. Glad you've been posting again! Hope your Sunday is totes amaze!

    1. Thank you Gracie. Oh, I got very sick during taper week too! 2 days before we left for Boston I was sicker than a dog for 2 days. yuck!!!

  3. So glad you are on the mend. I have found myself sick after a big race more than once. You are so right about needing a rest. At this point I make myself take off at least one full week after a marathon and I know it takes my body about 3 weeks to feel normal again.

    I keep hearing all kinds of good things about Gen Ucan. I honestly have not had any fueling issues during a marathon before- knock on wood! (Of course now that I've said that it will probably happen!) anytime I've hit the wall I think it's been more because of pacing issues. However, fueling every few miles can be so annoying/ slow things down so if drinking it before a race would help I am game!

    Sounds like you had a fun time with your daughter and friends. I always get a kick out of reading what my daughters friends write in her yearbook. (She is also 9.) last year the popular phrase was: HAGS. (Have a great summer!) Hags?! Really?!

    1. Ha ha! They are funny at this age. And Yes, I hear good things too and I'd like to learn more. I need to figure this out for sure!

  4. Sorry that you are feeling lousy. I can totally (I mean totes!) relate as I have often found myself sidelined with a nasty bug after a hard race. It's like my body taking over and forcing me to rest up.... Feel better soon :-)

  5. I keep thinking I really want to try Gen Ucan, I hear nothing but good things about it so it is good to hear you are loving it too.

    Glad you are on the mend, being sick is the pits!

  6. Yes, I hear nothing but good things too I'd be doing good to get some during the marathon too so maybe I'll wear a fuel belt next time. Thanks!