I ran for the first time in nearly 3 weeks this morning and while I was running my mind wandered.... How do other people cope when they are ill? Especially professional athletes? What happened to Kelly Holmes when she got a cold? Did she ever get something so mundane as a cold? I don't ever dream I'll be in her league but I'm sure the same problem can strike us all and it had just recently struck me.
I haven't been terribly ill, I just had one of those viruses that makes you feel like you are wading through mud all day, no other outward symptoms so no reason for anyone to notice or even believe me (although my wonderful husband did and took great care of me). The week before I had just finished a week long free trial at a local boot camp which was amazing, I'd been open water swimming, life was busy but I was feeling like a superhero. Great things going on, then bam wham, woke up one morning a bit broken.
So back to just watching tv with the kids in the afternoons instead of dragging us all out for a walk, definitely less craft based activities (if any at all *shudder *). And I just could not run, I couldn't even face the thought of putting my trainers on.
Then every thing slid downhill, my mood, my eating habits, how much I was drinking, then my sleeping. More evidence (if I needed it) that exercise is the key to my mental health.
And I didn't die. I didn't go very fast or very far but I ran. And I got home and I felt 10 million times better than I had in the past 3 weeks. So I was wondering, was I just feeling better generally or did the run make me better? If I had gone out when I really didn't feel like it last week or the week before would I have felt better then too?
Runners World say no
Womens Running say it depends
Runners Connect actually looked at science
Boringly the answer is straightforward and very obvious, you have to listen to your own body and do what feels right for you. I know, annoying isn't it.