What to do with a drippy cold coming on? Go for a 10-mile run, of course.
This wasn’t a case of listening to my body, which would’ve prefered a nap. But my stressed-out mind knew any attempt at sleep would be fitful at best, interrupted by frequent nose-wipings.
A long run would give my mind time for a leisurely untangling. And I suspected that nasal drip would be a lot less irritating once I cranked up my respiration. Besides, what’s one more dripping fluid during a process in which you’re used to dripping sweat?
As for feeling groggy and tired … well, it had been nearly a month since I’d attempted a run in the double-digits, and my goal on this day wasn’t an exciting new destination but simply maintaining my hold on previously conquered territory. It was gonna be a slog no matter when I did it, so why not do it when I was already in that state of mind?
If nothing else, I thought as I took off swathed in layers that could double as Kleenex and with a plentiful supply of cough drops, I knew I wasn’t wasting a chunk of the day that could be devoted to something more useful. About the only productive thing I was capable of in my current state was what I was doing right then: Simply putting one foot in front of the other, following a route I could run in my sleep.
So, was there anything particularly memorable about this run?
Not really. But it wasn’t a bad way to pass the time. And as I suspected, my cranked-up respiration did reduce my nasal drip, at least temporarily.
Did this run cure my cold? No. But I don’t think I felt any worse after ward, just tired in a slightly different way than before — more physical, less mental.
The cool thing was, on a day that was destined to be frustrating no matter what I did, I at least got a bit of “running work” done — maintaining distance that I didn’t want to lose and have to build back up later.