I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to write this, because it’s truthfully kind of gross. But I knew Robert would approve, because he and I wholeheartedly agreed on its merits during our numerous discussions on the matter, so I figured I’d roll with it all the same, gross or not: the magic (sickness) elixir that is running.
Unless you live in a cave (and if you do, I commend you on your ability to still get internet connectivity, and therein read this), you’re aware that there’s quite a bit of “crud” bullying its way around town right now. Allergies, a stomach bug, headaches and runny noses…it seems like every third person that walks into the store knows someone that’s down for the count. Before I get into the meat of my write-up (the “moral of the story”, as it were), I’ll impart you with a bit of motherly advice: be sure to hydrate profusely and wash/sanitize the heck out of your hands, because the way to best stay healthy is to first minimize the risk by taking precautions up front (yes, even you, cave-dwellers).
So, as any sane person would do, if/when you (inevitably) contract the “crud”, your first course of action should be to lay low and rest up as much as possible; sadly, this means not over-taxing your body, i.e. taking the day off from running/biking/swimming. But as you start to round back into shape—oftentimes this is day #2 or #3—when you still feel a touch “iffy” (maybe your nose is still runny, or your body still aches a bit, but the worst is certainly behind you), and you feel like your brain is actively trying to lead a rebellion against the rest of your body because it’s sick and tired of being complacent, I encourage you to lace your running shoes back up and kick the tires for a few miles. Not only will this dynamically engage your brain again (which is proven to help knock the rust off even faster than rest alone), but will also bring back a bit of your lost normalcy. Oh, and for those of you that have drippiness already occurring…well, you’re liable to see a mass exodus take place starting around mile 1. Disgusting, most definitely. But once the blood gets pumping and the fluids start flowing, you’ll feel more clear and like yourself than you have in days (and to me, that benefit far outweighs the amount of phlegm that you’ve left around the roads of Savannah…and is still present on your shirt and face…any day). Just do yourself the favor of avoiding me during that run; you don’t even have to be tactful about running away (and you’ll have the added bonus of an unsolicited speedwork session).
*Running: the magic elixir (side effects may include runny nose, euphoria, bowel distress, spontaneous high-fiving, and a need to launder your clothing twice)*
- Chris Ramsey