This past week I only ran 65 of my scheduled 70 miles due to coming down with a stomach virus on Christmas Eve. This would explain why my heart rate was unusually high and my legs felt like lead during my 15 miler earlier in the day. Thankfully I only had five easy miles scheduled for the next day, which I was more than ok with bailing on. Which brings me to a question, and be honest: do you run when you're sick? I tend to follow the above/below the neck rule - if your symptoms are below the neck, rest. If your symptoms are above the neck, game on. However, a fever combined with symptoms above the neck would warrant a rest day. A missed run or two is nothing compared to setting yourself back for weeks due to not letting your body properly recover. Runners Connect has an interesting article here.
The days leading up to getting sick had some quality work - Tuesday I increased my minutes on the hills to nearly 40 minutes, this time pushing the pace a bit, and Thursday I spent some time running at marathon effort. Since I am just easing back into faster running, marathon effort at this point is not what marathon effort was in November at the end of my last training cycle. Just have to keep being patient and smart, and that same effort will be showing a faster pace in the coming weeks and months.
Thanks to those of you who gave me TV show suggestions to help me pass the time on the treadmill. I got Netflix for Christmas and can't wait to put your recommendations to good use!