the post-ultra [sickness] blues

8 Nov

There are a lot of things that are allegedly “common” occurrences for marathoners and ultra-marathoners.

1. They go stir-crazy during taper time, as they cut their miles and rest and heal up for race day.

2.  They are depressed and feel lost afterwards because they don’t have a plan/goal to work towards anymore.

3.  They get sick afterwards because their immune systems are depressed following the big race.


I have never felt any of this.  None of it.  I embrace taper time.  By the time taper rolls around, my body (and maybe more importantly my mind) are ready for a break.  I’ve never felt depressed afterwards, most likely because we are so busy that there’s always something else to replace the long hours of training runs…and if I start feeling lost or like my running needs a boost, I just find a new race and make a new training plan and get back on the proverbial horse.  Basically, I ride a runner’s high until it’s gone, then I sign up for the next big race and get to work.  And I’ve never been sick post-race…


Until now.  I felt great Sunday and Monday–a little sore, but completely manageable.  When I sat still for too long, I’d be stiff and sore, but otherwise, I felt good.  I woke up Tuesday with a super hoarse voice.  I went to work anyway, because I felt completely fine.  By the end of the day of teaching, I was almost completely voiceless.  I ended up home Wednesday with pretty much no voice (but no other symptoms of sickness) and Thursday with a bit more of a voice but a lovely cough developing.  I forced myself to get to work this morning, feeling so much better, but I am home tonight with a terrible, hacking cough that is making my head and chest hurt.


Being sick is the worst.  I keep telling myself this is my body’s way of telling me to slow down a bit so everyone else can catch up so my legs can properly heal/rest up before I go back to regularly scheduled runs (AKA life).  That I’m going to be better in no time at all.  But I seem to be getting worse rather than better.  Lame.  Doesn’t my body know that we don’t have time for this?? We’ve got miles to go, mountains to climb, people to see and things to do.


So I am spending my days hiking, reading and daydreaming about the next big adventures, including a scouting trip for next summer’s “run ’em all/hike ’em all” challenge.  All I know is I am ready to nix this illness crap so I can get back to enjoying my runner’s high.



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