Today is Thursday, a week after my LSD run of eight miles. I have jogged only one day since then, on Monday, in which I went four miles in a little over an hour. You may wonder why I have not done much running this week. It was certainly not lack of will and desire. I wanted to get out there and keep running every day. I wanted to do some sprint work. I made the choice not to, because I have been dealing with “runner’s crud.”* For those who are seasoned runners, you know what I am talking about. For those who are not familiar with it, it simply means my immune system became taxed and I have had symptoms similar to allergies or to having a cold and cough with a lot of pressure in my ears. From what my husband tells me (and he would know with his background in running), this is something all runners go through as their bodies make adjustments to the requirements being placed on it. The good thing in this, though, is that my immune system will come out of this stronger than ever.
One of the things I have worked on this past week is reminding myself that I was not sick. That was not an easy thing for me because a couple of my tendencies are to focus on the negative and to overanalyze things. Instead of just allowing the experience to occur, I kept focusing on how badly I was feeling and I kept trying to figure out how to not have this happen again. News flash! This will happen again. It’s part of running, especially when you run high mileage and my intent is to get to the point that I am running between 50 and 100 miles per week. So, how do I change how I respond to things like runner’s crud? Well, the short, easy answer is, I change my perspective on it. I allow it to be okay. I take the time my body needs to rest, but then I get back out there and keep running, listening to my body as I run.
The long, not-so-easy answer is, I change my perspective on it. I allow it to be okay. I take the time my body needs to rest, but then I get back out there and keep running, listening to my body as I run. I worked very hard this week to stay positive, to not over-analyze why I ended up with runner’s crud. I admit, I didn’t do as well on my own as I would have liked. It took my husband telling me to stop analyzing it and just recognize that it is what it is to finally let it go. Interestingly, once I let it go, I felt immensely better and I am ready to get back out there and put in a good run today. Are my symptoms all gone? No. My nose is still stuffed up and I am still coughing. But, my body feels great and I am ready to go. I am itching to get back out there and I know, once I start running, everything will open up as adrenaline floods my body. As I run, I will pay attention to what my body needs and run a pace and distance consistent with those needs. However, I am not going to spend a lot of time analyzing my pace and distance. I am just going to enjoy the feeling of the wind in my face and the sun warming my body. I am going to enjoy moving my body. I am going to enjoy being in the moment and seeing how far my feet take me today.
*A note to those of you who have been around me this week…it was easier to explain what I was experiencing as allergies than to try and explain runner’s crud. The main thing I wanted to convey to everyone was that I was not sick and I had nothing contagious. This was the best way I felt I could explain it quickly.