Going viral

They say that there are two things in life that are unavoidable: death and taxes (a very old expression that can be traced back to a writer called Christopher Bullock in 1716).  However, I would add another to make it three, viruses.  The virus is a nasty piece of work and those common ones at large in our world range from the common cold, to full-on flue and all sorts of variations in between.   I am of the belief that a good standard of fitness helps your resistance to many of these but I find that once in a while, I still succumb.  As a runner I find it harder to cope because I not only feel rubbish, but I can’t participate in the sport I love and see everyone else having fun without me.   It’s really frustrating because I am usually a person “full of beans” and for example, will quite happily go out to run 10K before breakfast.  To suddenly find myself in a position that even remaining standing for a few minutes is a struggle and simply wanting to lie down for a bit is immensely frustrating.

It’s three weeks now since I woke up with a bit of a sore throat and thought that maybe I would be struggling with a cold for a few days.  I wouldn’t describe what I have as flu because I’ve had that and it’s a different matter entirely.  However, I have had a general lack of energy and an annoying cough (which I saw the Doctor about to check it wasn’t an infection).   Although I am on the road to recovery, what is annoying is that to finally shake off all the symptoms and be energetic enough to go out for a run, is going to take a little longer than I thought and I need to be patient.

I think that with an active lifestyle, anything that brings you down is more impactful because you miss what you ought to be able to do.   For me, July as a running month is a complete write-off and I realise it may take some time to get back to full fitness.  My goal to do at least 100 miles every month during 2019 won’t be achieved.  However. I am not going to be too downhearted because I am very thankful for all that I have, my fitness and abilities, with the knowledge that this thing will soon pass.  You can’t go through life completely avoiding these things and so you have to take it on the chin every so often.  I am so glad that this didn’t happen to me during my 10K-a-day challenge in June, because that really would have been annoying.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22 NIVUK

10K-a-day: one week on


The good old-fashioned training wisdom is that you need to include rest days in your programme.  So, when I embarked upon the crazy scheme to run 10K every day during the month of June, the question I needed to answer was this: “Would the lack of rest days have a negative impact on my fitness, or would all this exercise make me better and faster?”

To test this to the full I had two races last week; the 5K Canal Run on Tuesday (just two days after the end of my challenge) and a 10K on Friday (the St Aidans 10K).   I wasn’t holding out much hope for the 5K but after a few days rest, the 10k might be interesting.

What I wasn’t prepared for was how well I performed in both races.  In the Canal Run I was amazed to finish a smidge under 23 minutes, a goal that had escaped me last year!  The last time I had done better than that was back in 2011!  As for the beautiful St Aidan’s 10K my best time on that had been 51 minutes which I set last year.  This year I set a goal to get under 50 minutes and managed 49:07, almost 2 minutes faster than last year.

Is this just a load of self indulgent bragging?  Could be, but there’s an important lesson here.  For me at least, loads of mileage does lead to faster times so while I AM going to have rest days going forward (it’s pretty grim having to do running every day), I’ll keep the mileage up and see where it leads.

“Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.”

Proverbs 27:1 NIV