Some sort of head cold ailed me (and the Pamper Pirate) this past week. Despite struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I managed to complete my training runs and add in some at-home strength training with my Bala Bangles and Bala Beam. I was trying not to push myself too much while not skipping any of the prescribed runs. By the time Friday rolled around and I was in no shape to endeavor a four mile run with a jog to round out the treadmill hour. I took a rest day. (Also here I would like to note that I obsessively clean my go-to treadmill and only run during non-peak hours.)
This made me consider whether I should skip any more of my training runs. Obviously, I never run if I am injured. The last time I took a few weeks off from running, it was due to a knee injury. Rather than stop working out, I focused exclusively on arm, shoulder, back, and abdominal strength exercises for a few weeks.
On the other hand when I am sick… Well, I just don’t get sick often. This week is the first time I have had a cold since August and before that, it was back in February 2020 when I was pregnant with the Pamper Pirate. I never regret running sick, although I cannot say that I always feel better afterwards. I do, however, get a dopamine hit from checking off something on my to-do list.
I understand that that is a potentially unhealthy mindset. Growing up, my parents never allowed my sister or I to stay home from school sick. I distinctly remember feeling fatigued and freezing in the classroom during a series of days in fifth grade. It wasn’t until my mom’s friend, who had elementary school-age sons of her own, noticed that I had spots before anyone realized I had been going to school with chickenpox.
This attitude continued into adulthood. Until the pandemic, I rarely took sick days. Just before the pandemic, when I was pregnant with the Pamper Pirate and had a cold, my boss sent me home from work and told me not to return until I had mended. Since then, I have embraced using sick time when necessary and in the case of this week, finally listening to my body when not feeling well.
If I (and the Pamper Pirate) don’t feel better by next Tuesday, we are going to visit our health care provider and I will take a few more rest days.