Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rainy Running Day: The Sequel
Not So Fun Anymore!

After my travels around the park in a steady rainstorm, you’d think the running gods would celebrate my persistence and general hardcoreness and bless me with a gesture of some kind – improved physical conditioning, better running mechanics, more efficient strides (honestly, I would have taken ANYTHING) – but you’d be wrong. Instead I’m cooped up in bed with my running book, a pounding headache, a 102F fever and enough Motrin in my tummy to open up a drug store. This is just not fair! Who gets the flu in the middle of summer? Oh right, the stupid idiot who decided to taunt the weather gods and run in the midst of a rainstorm. Oops. Guess I should have stayed indoors like the rest of the civilized world instead of trying to simulate the “natural running” of the Tarahumara Indians! I officially blame Brandon Wood for conducting such an excellent interview with Chris McDougal, the author of “Born To Run” (which I listened to while I was running) that he made me feel as if I too could spontaneously run 100 miles…in the rain…with no prior training…and no shoes. (Alright, just kidding about the no shoes part…)

But alas you think this post is just about a sick man ranting about his sickness, sorry to disappoint. There’s actually a more important and intellectually stimulating question I want to poll the audience. Does running in the rain make one more susceptible to infectious agents? Have others had similar experience as me where my chances of catching a virus of some sort exponentially increases after a run in bad weather? Does that even make sense physiologically or is this just an old wives’ tale? I have to admit that despite all the medical training I’ve undergone, I am clueless to explain this phenomenon. All the books I’ve ever read tells me that steady running/exercise bolters the immune system (except during the immediate period before and after a marathon). So why does my immunity grow weaker than Superman next to kryptonite every time I run in the rain, snow, extreme temperatures, and the like. Why am I sick in the middle of summer? (I googled my question and found this annecdoctal answer...but I'm still somewhat skeptical)

Despite my sickness, I miraculously completed my mid week long-ish run this morning. 10.3 miles in 1:17:39 (7:32 pace). To be honest, I popped a couple of Motrins prior to the run and didn’t feel the effects of my impaired physical state until the last mile and a half. I underestimated the humidity outside and my dehydrated state caused me to almost faint at the end of the run. I slumped to the side of an apartment building and didn’t try to get up until after the security guard brought me some juice and water. I somehow made it home and have been in bed ever since. Hey, I might have fever and shaking chills, but at least I haven’t yet fallen behind in my marathon training! Don't I deserve some brownie points for this? (Yes, I know I’m a dork!) Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day and Saturday is my first 18 miler of the season. We’ll see if I’m ready to run by then.

15 comments:

Running and living said...

Sorry you are sick. Not sure about connection between running in the rain and getting sick. I know for me, the connection is not true. I can;t stand the mill and I run outside no matter what (snow, rain, sleet). What is very interesting, is that if I have a cold and I go run, I immediately feel better - headache, sinus pressure, mild fever, all are gone after the run. I used to take a rest day when sick, but I no longer do that(within reason, though, I have not gotten very sick in a long time...). Other correlates of getting sick - not enough sleep, nutrition, too much stress.... Hope you feel better soon. I just ordered "Born to run"...Ana-Maria

JoeGarland said...

I don't think rain has ever affected me virally. I'm one of those who enjoy it, once I'm out in it.

FWIW, I recently had a throat thing that lingered and lingered and really took a lot out of me. Not your symptoms though.

Biscuitman said...

Probably not a great idea to run when you are already sick but I don't think running in the rain is going to make you sick unless you sit around in wet clothes afterwards getting a chill. Plus if you train in any weather, you are ready to race in any weather.

Just think of all your competitors who have skipped their training run - always helps me get out the door.

NY Wolve said...

Makes the treadmill look more appealing! Ihope you feel better. How does pre-run Motrin affect you physiologically? Hope you make your long run.

aron said...

hope you feel better soon!!! what is with all that rain?!?!

Marci said...

Hope you feel better soon! We have 7 days of rain predicted for Ontario.

D10 said...

"I might have fever and shaking chills, but at least I haven’t yet fallen behind in my marathon training!" you are too funny and crazy!!

Hope you start to feel much better.

I have run in the rain many times and have never gotten sick afterwards. However, I am not one who gets sick often. I can't remember the last time I had a fever. Hopefully, I didn't just jinx myself.

joyRuN said...

No, Lam! I finished the second half of NJM in the pouring rain & didn't get sick.

I didn't get sick this year until I was infected by my two virus-infested children!

The Happy Runner said...

Pretty nice security guard!

I hope the rest day today helps and you are feeling better and ready to go for your 18-miler!

lindsay said...

that's kinda scary lam! glad there was someone around to help you out.

personally i don't think the rain/running in it is what makes one sick. maybe sitting around in cool, damp clothes for awhile after/not drying off and warming up right away. i dunno, i'm certainly no m.d.

FEEL BETTER!!

Jamie said...

Summer sickness sucks, I remember all too well. Take care of yourself Lam! I hope you feel better soon! And if you still have a fever and shakes you may want to hold off on that LR. You don't want to do more damage.

Robert James Reese said...

I love running in the rain and have never noted a link between that and getting sick. I'd say it's probably an old wives' tale. But, what are you asking us for? You're the doctor...

J said...

I think it depends on the person. And the temperature. I feel like I can run when I am sick and I am ok but my mom always said that working out helps to get rid of sickness and I am not sure about that!! I just remember to keep washing my hands and stop touching my face and hope that i dont get sick!!

Great job on the run!

Michelle said...

Yes you deserve not only brownie points but a real brownie to munch on!

Sorry that you felt sick after your run but you did awesome Lam!!

I hope you enjoyed your rest day too!

Brandon Wood said...

I am so glad you enjoyed the interview!! I eagerly await a post about you trying a run around the great lawn barefoot!!

 
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