Knowing when to push through tiredness or minor illness is not always easy. Sometimes you need a little guidance from an outside source to make it right in your head.

Up until this week, my Boston Marathon training had been going pretty darn perfect. I had been able to get in nearly all of the workouts that my coach prescribed. That is, until this week. I hit the wall. It had nothing to do with over training or pushing my physical limits. It came down to a little boy not feeling well and needing Daddy.

Last Sunday was a beautiful day. I ran four miles with Connor, a half a mile with Cole, then headed out on my own for the eight miler that my coach had added to my calendar. Pretty much a perfect day for running. Monday was a rest day, so I didn’t have to scramble to get any miles in after Connor’s soccer practice. Tuesday, my wife worked in the evening, so I decided to shuffle my calendar a bit to make it a second rest day. I had the boys to watch in the evening and they require my attention, especially when I want to run on the treadmill.

At 2 AM Wednesday morning, Cole got sick. Barfing sick. My wife does not deal well with vomit, so I was in charge of the barfing boy. Plus the wind was really loud, keeping Connor awake and he didn’t want to be alone in his room. So Jen had to take care of him while I dealt with Cole. The poor guy barfed every half hour until 7 AM. Needless to say, I did not sleep much. I made it through my work day on Wednesday and basketball practice afterward, but was just too wiped out to run. Three days in a row without running. I start getting antsy about missing one run, let alone several. On Thursday, I went to work felling pretty miserable, finally calling it an early day at 2:00 and retreating home to my bed. I had a cough, a fever, and ached everywhere. I woke up around 6 PM, feeling a little more human than I had the past two days.  I had been freezing one minute then burning up the next. I must have sweated out the sickness, though. So I threw on my running shoes and squeezed in a very easy four mile run around the neighborhood. I needed the fresh air and a chance to expand my lungs.

Feeling a lot better today, which is Friday, I had planned to fill in one of the runs I missed earlier in the week; either a nine or ten miler with some specific endurance and speed work mixed in. Thankfully, my coach stepped in and reduced my run to a very easy three or four miler since I have a race in the morning. If I had it my way, I would have just gone ahead and pushed out the ten miler to try and get back on track. I probably would have ended up sick again or injured.

I am always encouraging the athletes that I train to take it easy, use recovery time as a tool, and to not stress about missed workouts. Even a string of four missed workouts will not mess up all the work you have done to this point. Getting to the start line healthy is more important than a ten mile tempo run. It may just take some outside encouragement to make you realize it. It does for me. Thanks, Coach Kyle, for looking out for me.

Cole is feeling better, by the way.