Sometimes I do things just to see what will happen. Like when I quit my job without another job lined up a few years ago–I wanted to see if I would fumble into ruin or fly into glory. What actually happened was less dramatic than either of those outcomes, which I should have guessed, but I had to try it just to see.
So when I had a terrible cold yesterday–we’re talking the struggling to breathe, unable to sleep because your nose is running constantly, sneezing with a violence you didn’t know you were capable of, and working from home because you don’t want to inflict your disgustingness on the unassuming public type of cold, which many with a better-working immune system than mine would call terribly sick–my instinct was not to run. But I was training for the Brooklyn half marathon, hadn’t run since Saturday, and kept reading advice from the New York Road Runners that told people to run as long as what’s ailing them is above the shoulders. “This famous person we assume you’ve heard of but haven’t broke the half marathon record with a cold,” they’re always saying.
Plus, I wanted to see what would happen.
At first, nothing did. In fact, as I started the second mile I realized my pace was essentially the same as it usually is, and my faucet-like nose wasn’t releasing its stream of yuckiness yet. Could running while sick actually be good for me?
Immediately after finishing the short run, my nose erupted with not only slick snot but a tidal wave of blood. However, I made it back into my apartment before the rush of red liquid gushed out, so I do consider that a success.
But do I recommend running while sick as heartily as the NYRR does?
Probably not. Though if you just want to see what will happen, I’m certainly not going to stop you.