Returning to Running After Illness

Susan has laced up her shoes and is back on the road! (Photo by Laura Doss)

Susan has laced up her shoes again and is back on the road! (Photo by Sara Forrest)

Quitting anything cold turkey is hard enough, but I never imagined I would feel the way I felt this week when I was sick and not able to run for several days. I know I needed to recover and let my body rest, but I was having serious withdrawal. I was also so scared that the five day hiatus was going to affect my training and my ability to do the half-marathon. I was seriously going out of my skin—I needed to run.

As soon as my body gave me the green light, I laced up my shoes and hit the pavement. I had an amazing run. I felt confident, strong and had the energy to run 10 miles. Instead of feeling like another obligatory run I had to fit into my schedule (as I’ve felt over the last weeks), I appreciated every minute of it and was smiling throughout. I now realize that the “flu” came at a good time. My body needed the rest. It helped me to re-energize my mind, body and spirit. It also made me realize that running is not only a great physical outlet, but also helps to calm and provides a much-needed mental break.

I was very glad to be feeling better and was thrilled to  get in a few other runs this week. However, I simply just didn’t have the energy or time to get in any additional strength training or cardio cross training. I’m starting this week feeling healthy and refreshed and am looking forward to getting back into my groove.

How quickly do you jump back into activity after you’ve been sick? Do you jump back in feet first or slowly return to your previous routine?

  • Jamie Bolander Weitl

    Great post!!  I agree with all of these.  I’m running outside this summer but I know I’ll be back on the treadmill this winter — for all of the reasons you mention — plus I hate the cold!

  • Pholmes1

    It’s a win win sitch! Fantastic writing–you are gifted in many ways not the least of which is writing!

  • Linda Kuil

    Funny how I look forward to running outside now and you enjoy the treadmill! It’s just that at the gym it’s hard to find a machine that has the fan in working order as well as the tv WITH closed caption!

  • Angela Lee

    Hmmm…. Makes me think about rolling mine out of the closet. An excuse to watch some TV! 

  • Jen

    I’ve developed a love / hate relationship with the treadmill – Somedays I actually enjoy running on the treadmill and it’s an absolute necessity to me when temperatures and humidity soars.

  • John Hulsey

    I guess I’m an odd duck about this, because I have always loved the treadmill. My gym has them located right on the front window overlooking a busy main street, so there is always something to watch. I love that I can maintain a set pace without thinking about it. And I like being able to finish my run, get in my strength training, shower and be on my way. I’m a treadmill fan!

  • Jen H.

    Great article, Katie! 
    I love the treadmills at my gym, but without my favorite morning show in my ears, I wouldn’t last more than 5 minutes.

  • Jen Small

    i always prefer to be out to run but same here, in Maine the weather in the winter can force me onto the TM
    it is a necessary evil :)

  • DorothyL

    I lived in Florida for 8 years and trust me… the heat and the very sporadic rain storms,
    every neighborhood dog  …oh and lets not forget about the enormous snakes… most definitely played havoc to an enjoyable and stress free run. In saying that…. I finally put efforts into retraining not only my running technique but also my powers of thinking. So now, with the help of some very good tunes and a good imagination, I do enjoy running on my treadmill~

  • Shiloh

    Hello? She doesn’t like the treadmill. It’s about her coming to terms with her treadmill.

  • Shiloh

    I’m enjoying my treadmill runs at the gym. When I’ve run outside, the distance just seems really daunting, and besides, I like the people watching!

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