Some of my observant readers may have noticed that it’s been quiet around here recently. Rest assured, I have a LOT of blog posts to ramble on about, but the reason for my silence is that I’ve been poorly. And it’s not a good idea to run when you’re sick. Simply put, don’t run when you’re ill.
I’ve been properly poorly. Not just a runny nose, or generally feeling run down. Nope – on Tuesday I started vomiting. And vomiting. And vomiting. In fact, 10 hours later, I was still throwing up and had to be taken to hospital where I was admitted with severe dehydration, low blood sugar levels and very unhappy kidneys.
Now, some of you may remember that I was really looking forward to running the Royal Parks Half Marathon on Sunday for Team Unicef. This is one of my favourite races and it would have been my fourth Royal Parks. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for me this year. I was upset and disappointed and I was definitely suffering from some race envy as friends updated Facebook and Twitter with their fantastic results. Me? I emailed an apology to Unicef.
I’m upset and disappointed, but I realise that it’s important to listen to your body. Sometimes, we might choose to push through regardless and there’s no consequences. But other times, we have to make a decision we don’t want to make. Perhaps I could have walked round the course, but the likelihood is that I would have attempted to run it and possibly collapsed, setting back my own recovery and causing a lot of concern over something that could have been avoided.
Don’t run when you’re ill.
I’m not a doctor so it isn’t for me to offer advice on what to do about a race if you feel unwell or have been injured leading up to it. But I’d always advise a runner to think very carefully about what they are doing and consult a medical professional if they have any doubt. You may have asked for sponsorship. You may have put in months of training, but the race will still be there another year. No one wants to see someone get hurt over a race.
I plan to do a half marathon later this year and don my Team Unicef shirt then. And who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky in the London Marathon ballot.
My friend Bethan ran for Team Unicef. In light of the fact I didn’t make the start line, I have donated my entry fee back to Unicef via her Justgiving page. Team Unicef was made of 200 runners and if they all made their £400 target, that’s an incredible £80,000 raised – enough to provide peanut butter paste to save the lives of 3,200 children in Yemen.