A few mornings ago I woke up with that subtle, yet horrible sensation of a sore throat coming on. I swigged down some Airborne, started popping Vitamin C, and broke out Sudafed nasal decongestant pills (one of the few medicines in my cabinet). The sore throat came and went but quickly moved on to a relatively runny nose which has in turn caused a nice phlegmy, but sometimes dry, cough. Despite the fact that I have this minor cold, I will knock on wood as I write, “I don’t get sick.” I’ve been knocking on wood saying this for years.
The last time I got sick–and it was this same kind of sick–it lasted for about five days and was right over top of this year’s New Year’s holiday. The last time I got sick was at the very beginning of training for my first marathon and this particular cold is coming at the end of training for my second marathon. Despite the sniffles and coughing, I still maintain that I refuse to get sick.
In January, I ran through the cold just as I am doing now. I firmly believe that running helps my immune system and helps keep colds from getting any worse than your standard cough and runny nose. As with any cold, it’s always worse in the morning and at night. I take enough meds to tame my system during the day and get through my work-out and I remain focused on the run instead of my cough. I have yet to have a coughing fit during a run and I think the dry fall air helps keep my nose from dripping all over while I’m out running.
Certainly if I had a high fever or bronchitis, or the flu, I would not be pulling on my running shoes. But I am not about to let the first sign of a sore throat, or even a cough, keep me from my training and marathon goal.