Marathon Training: How to Recover from Illness and Get Back Into Training

Last week I wrote about how I'm trying to stay injury free during my marathon training this fall. Well, a few days later I got whomped with an ear and sinus infection and the flu. (Two weeks AFTER I got a flu shot - wah, wah.) I've spent the past eight days in bed in misery just hoping the next day would be better. Thankfully, I feel like I'm finally out of the woods and on the road to recovery. I've missed a solid week of training, and most unfortunately, I feel way too wiped to head down to LA in one week to run the Los Angeles Rock n Roll Half Marathon with Marci. So now I have to find a way to get back on my feet and ramp myself back into long runs and early mornings. I have two mindsets on hand: 1) This sucks! I have to start all over! And 2) This is awesome! I get to start all over! Obviously I'm going to channel the latter state of mind, but I know "This sucks!" is going to be breathing down my neck.

How to Recover from Illness and Get Back Into Training

What I Know

I know I've only missed a week of training and I know it will only take me a week or two to get back into it. I had been running 11 mile long runs on the weekends and averaging about 20 miles a week so I'm still in the early phases of training, which to me is better than getting sick three weeks before the marathon.

I know it'll be hard, but it'll only be hard for a handful of runs, then it'll all come back.

I know I need to take it easy and not wear myself out in the first week back.

I know I was only sick - I don't have a chronic illness, I don't have a serious injury, I don't have an undiagnosed problem. I was sick, which when we're sick we all feel like its the end of the world, but surprisingly, the world didn't end, the sun came up and I recovered. I've stopped blackholing myself down a pit of despair and realized hey you weirdo! You're fine! Now get on with it!

What I Don't Know

I don't know how hard being sick will really hit my training. 

I don't now how long it will be before I can run back at my normal pace.

I don't know how many runs it will take to get back into running shape.

What I Can Do

I plan on only running low miles this week. Hopefully 2, 3, 4 and then 6 as my long run. If I need to walk / run, walk / run I will and I won't beat myself up about it. Just like in regular training, rest, recovery, and proper nutrition will help me move past this slump so I need to continue to focus on what I can control. The rest will come back, slowly, but surely and the good thing is I still have 11 weeks of training left. 

So its time to stop freaking out, put my running shoes back on, hit the road and I'm sure my first run back today will go something like this: