A Sick Vacation

Ugh – I know I’m very overdue for a post. The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic, though they haven’t been hectic enough to be a legitimate excuse for not posting. Last Monday, my wife and I went to see the Foo Fighters at the Palace of Auburn Hills. I drove to my parents’ house Tuesday, and we left early the next morning to go to Minnesota for a relative’s wedding. I love visiting Minnesota, and Minneapolis is one of my favorite cities. It has a great downtown, there are a lot of great running and biking paths, there are a lot of cool parks and other fun attractions, and there’s a strong focus on eco-friendliness. The suburbs I’ve visited are also pretty nice and appear to be very accommodating to runners and cyclists.

The only downfall of the trip is that I started to get sick right before we left for Minnesota – some sort of really bad cold, minor sinus infection, or something else along those lines. Despite getting sick, I ran a couple times while I was there. The first one was a 7.5-miler through the neighborhoods (and a nice park) near our hotel starting at 6:15 a.m., and I didn’t realize until after I finished that it was only about 41 degrees and had just stopped raining right before I ran. It’s a good thing I was worrying about my sinuses, sore throat, stuffy nose, and breathing instead of the temperatures because I didn’t even think to pack any gloves or long-sleeve shirts. I didn’t start out with a specific route in mind; I just figured it out as I went along. My second run wasn’t quite as early (a little after 8:00 a.m.), and the weather was warmer and sunnier than it was when I did my first run. I ran about 5.5 miles through an industrial park area, and it was pretty peaceful because the industrial park was clean with a nice lake and a bunch of trees. Unlike the day before, I did map out a route for this run ahead of time. Because it was an industrial park with a lot of little side streets, I wanted to make sure I’d be able to get in my desired distance and have a general idea of where to go at the various intersections.

A nice sunrise view on an early-morning run in Minnesota.

I wasn’t planning to take two days off from running during the trip, but I took Saturday and Sunday off because I felt wiped out, and with the Brooksie Way half marathon coming up soon (VERY soon) I didn’t want to risk getting sicker and having to take even more days off. Sometimes I actually feel better while I’m running – I’m not as congested and my sinuses seem to clear up temporarily – but then I go right back to feeling crappy after I finish the run. Fortunately, each of my runs over the past few days has felt fine other than some minor congestion in my nose and throat.

My cousin’s wedding was held outside at a very picturesque farm-turned-park about a half hour outside Minneapolis. The weather was pretty much perfect for a September day in the Midwest, and it was great seeing many relatives again for the first time in at least a few years. It was well worth the trip, and we also went to a Minnesota Twins baseball game at their two-year-old stadium, Target Field, while we were in the area. The weather during the baseball game was cold and windy – it reminded me more of football weather – but it was a still a lot of fun, and the stadium is really neat. Both teams (the Twins and Seattle Mariners) were in last place, so it wasn’t exactly World Series-caliber baseball, but it was a close game that the Twins won in the bottom of the ninth inning.

This was the backdrop for my cousin's wedding.

A great place to watch a sunset.

A view from the upper level pub at Target Field.

A fun Mickey Mouse statue at Target Field.

I’m just putting in a few more easy miles before the Brooksie Way, so there isn’t anything too exciting going on for me running-wise between now and the race. I just want to stay loose and avoid any aches, pains, or injuries. I’m really looking forward to the race, but I’m also a little nervous about it. My primary goals are to run my best, run consistently with a negative split, and not have any stomach issues during the race. I think my training has gone well, and I hope it will all be put to good use and come together nicely on Sunday.

Questions:
Do you still run or exercise when you feel sick? If so, does it help you feel any better (even if it’s just temporary relief)?

Do you have any routines or rituals before a race? If so, what are they?

Do you try to have a specific strategy or target pace for running a race, or do you just run according to how you feel at that time without any specific strategies or goals?

Do you scout out specific places to run when you’re in another city, or do you just head out and explore as you go?

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2 Responses to A Sick Vacation

  1. Ali Mc says:

    I LOVE the foo fighters. I think they always put on a great show! Dave is a real front man. LOVE your early morning run photo beautiful …so was the sunset.

    I run when I feel sick…but NOT if I have any chest or nose issues. I think that’s the rule; anything that impacts breathing isn’t good to run through.

  2. Matt says:

    Thanks, Ali! I wish I could get the camera to do some of those sunrises and sunsets a little more justice though. The full range of colors never quite seems to come through.

    I agree about the Foo Fighters and Dave. They played for 2:50 with high energy throughout, and Dave did his usual great job of interacting with the crowd and getting them to feed off of him. It’s nice to see a big-name band (i.e., expensive tickets) really give fans their money’s worth at shows.

    Not running through anything that affects breathing is a good rule of thumb, and I was probably being more stubborn than necessary. I had a half marathon coming up (it was today) and didn’t want to miss more than two days of running so close to race day – it was definitely a case of having training tunnel vision!

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