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Returning to Running After Illness

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?