I highly recommend skipping a long run or changing up your schedule if you are sick. There are however going to be situations where you still need to get it in and will have to make the best of a not fun situation.

The weekend before last I skipped Marine Corps Marathon – I had planned to use it as my last long slow run before Vegas Marathon. I still had hopes that I was going to be able to fit in a longish run from my house but even that didn’t happen. I’ve been running marathons for 10+ years so I wasn’t that concerned I had missed the run, but knew that I couldn’t miss any more or I would risk a very painful finish at Vegas Marathon.

Friday was Halloween and I knew Chloe had her last regular season soccer game early the next morning, along with a Miles who had a baseball game, so I had planned to try to get in a 16 miler on Friday morning. Colton doesn’t have pre-school on Fridays so I was going to ask a friend for help or my mother in law. I woke up Friday and my throat didn’t feel right, so I decided to put off the run till Sunday morning. Sunday morning I woke up feeling terrible – there was NO way a long run was happening. I seem to feel the worst in the morning and then at night, but during the day fight it off? Or it’s not as bad? Who knows….

My kids were off from school yesterday for a teacher work day, so I called my mother-in-law and asked if she could watch them for my long run. If she said yes, I would suck it up and run, if she said she was busy then I would just accept that I was missing the long run all together and move on.

When I called she said she couldn’t – part of me may have been relieved even though I knew that I had to get in a long run. 20 minutes later she called and said she was wrong on her schedule that day and she actually could help and watch C, M, and C. So the four of us trucked over to her house. I was prayed that I could simply complete 16 miles.

Taking it easy was the name of the game. I didn’t want to look at my splits, I didn’t want to think about anything other than finishing. I did 2 out and backs because there was a very good possibility that I wouldn’t be able to make it all 16 the way I was feeling. 5 out, 5 back, 3 out, 3 back – seemed manageable compared to 8 out – 8 back.

Miles 1 – 3 were up hill, miles 4 – 5 were slightly downhill, 6-7 was slightly uphill, 8 – 10 were downhill.

I stopped at 10 to drink some water. I wasn’t carrying any water and my stomach was not going to handle any fuel.

Miles 11-13 were uphill. I try not to stop on any of my long runs. First because it gives you an inflated sense of what you are actually capable of in the marathon, if you stop your watch when you aren’t running, and second because it’s really hard for me to get going again – my mind thinks the run is over.

Miles 14 – 16 were downhill again. When map my run told me the 16 miles was over I stopped immediately – no lightly jogging home the rest of the way – walking was all I wanted to do.

All in all the run was no fun, but even a terrible run is a run. I can credit the decent pace to fact that I’m getting stronger in other areas. It was still far off from the 17 Miler I did 2 weeks ago, but that’s what happens when you are sick and an easy effort is slower.

16 Miler 11-3


17 Faster

I believe the key to a long run not making you sicker is in how you recover.

You have to eat a healthy recovery meal and you have to hydrate properly. After a long run I rarely have the luxury of resting, it’s back to go go go with my kids, but thankfully yesterday it was cold and windy, so they were more than happy to enjoy some at home time in front of the tv, or playing board games. This allowed me to rest rather than push myself even more. Last night I went to bed early and I slept in this morning as long as I could {which was 6:30} before a little person came running in to wake me up.


Bacon 2

YES, I eat Bacon. When I want to lose fat, I eat more fat. Fat and protein is important for recovery -if you are a vegetarian – think avocado or nuts.

I feel no worse today than I felt yesterday and was able to get up and do a Jillian DVD {Ripped in 30 – Week 2}, followed by a 10 minute Barre workout. I will take the day off from running.

On the bright side, I’m really happy I’m sick now and not in two weeks when I’m at Vegas.

It’s shirtless painting time for the kids and cleaning time for me. I really love that they enjoy being artistic – now if you could only use the 40% off coupon at Michaels for every item and not just one. 😉

Naked Painting

Have you had to run long while sick? What are your tips for not letting it break you?

Thank you for all you comments on this mornings post – I will answer the questions in upcoming posts!


  1. Krystin C. says:

    I usuallytell myself that a little sweat will be good and to go slow, it isn’t a race. I think running while sick can be beneficial but that its also a fine line as to when you shouldn’t push. Taking it at a easy pace makes for a nice workout even if painful and I think sweating out the toxins of being sick does help. Rest up!

  2. Would love to start running and eventually run a marathon … Any tips for a beginner?

  3. I hope you feel better soon so that you’re ready for Vegas!

  4. What I usually do is I decide on something I’m going to think about or figure out on the run, so like I’ll plan the next week’s grocery shop or what I’m going to wear to an event. Gives me something concrete to think about instead of thinking about how bad it sucks!

  5. i am a vegetarian, but i totally ate bacon for breakfast monday morning after running the nyc marathon. glad you made it through your long run!

  6. I don’t get sick often, so I’m usually a total baby when I am and skip just about everything in favor of rest. Usually after a few days I can pick up the easy stuff again and it makes me feel better. And, I love some bacon! Fat seems to be doing me good this training cycle as well!

  7. It’s always tough running when you are not 100% physically. Those are the days we get to dig deep and have a character building session :) Nice work!

  8. Congrats on your amazing willpower. I definitely use my sickness as an excuse to lay low and stay in bed. Maybe it’s just my personality, lol!

    I stopped eating meat a couple of years ago, but the avocado shout out is such a good one.
    It noticeably helps my recovery when I eat one or two of those bad boys after a strenuous session.

%d bloggers like this: