Drip, drip, drip.
There it was. 3:00 a.m., and the rancid drainage of chronically bad sinuses escaped its large cavern of my generous nose and made it's way into my chest. An tickling knot formed in the middle of my rib cage, causing me to cough every few minutes, destroying what had begun as a restful night of sleep.
It has begun.
My annual bout of sinus infection/bronchitis/ear infection/hope it doesn't result in pneumonia,... well, you get the picture.
Most of today, I laid around, enjoying the comfort of my dog blanket. (see my coon hound, Ruby below)
Of course, the big decision was to run or not to run?
The usual formula is something like this: If the illness is above the neck, go out for a run. Below the neck, stay under the covers with your dog.
For me, however, it's not that simple. Sinus infections attack me both above and below the neck.
My general rule has been, if my chest affliction is serious, I stay home.
So, despite some really gross spit, and a head that felt as though the insterior was too big for the cranium, I slogged out three miles, feeling weak and wobbly.
How does this happen?
I try to eat healthy, get my rest, and I have become surgeon-like with my hand washing habits.
It happens, in part, because it's winter, but despite what your mother told you, not because it's cold, or because you left the house with wet hair.
We're cooped up, in our airtight homes, with germs flying all over the place and nowhere to go.
When we DO decide to leave the fort, we're headed off to places where people are already sick, and they unknowingly pass their germs to us.
Does running through sickness hurt or help?
It's really a judgement call.
Taking a day off isn't going to kill you.
But, then, the fresh air can't hurt.
In a previous column I talked about the "team." If your physician is a runner, he or she will steer you in the right direction. Listen to their advice.
I usually give it a couple of days, then I visit my physician for an antibiotic if I think I can't beat it on my own. Green tea, honey, plenty of oranges, and lots of fluids to flush the system are some of the home remedies that work for me.
We runners, thanks to our superior level of health, get sick less than most of the population, but when you do, use common sense and rest if needed.
In the meantime, try not to get sick, man.