Running with a Sore Throat - Why I Skipped My A Race

So, you have a sore throat and you're trying to figure out, can I go run or do I have to stay inside?

So, you have a sore throat and you're trying to figure out, can I go run or do I have to stay inside? If you watch my other video on running with a cold and some signs you should stay inside, I shared a few tips on what to look for, including that adage that you see a lot of places of if it's above the neck, you're good to go. If it's below the neck, stay inside. If you haven't watched that video, subscribe to the channel. Go watch that after this one.

But what happens when it's just your neck? It's just a sore throat and you're not sure what to do? Well, I'm Jesse Funk and on today's episode of Runner’s High, I want to share with you what happened to me recently about only having a sore throat and why I canceled my A race for the year.

If you're like me, you train all year just for one race, maybe do other races during the year but those are B&V class races, you don't care about much about him. You have one A race, one race you've been looking forward to all year. So, I think you can probably sympathize with me and the amount of dread that would come over you if you get sick during an A race week. It's counted up and here you are with a sore throat, you're not sure what to do. Well, that's exactly what happened to me this week.

And as I'm shooting this here today, my A race is actually tomorrow, but I won't be there to partake. Though I do this series here on Runner's High, and I come from a running background I actually race traffic on more often than not, nowadays, since I'm out of school, out of college, not running collegiately anymore. It just kind of fits in my lifestyle a bit more.

So, my A race for this year was the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship. And I missed it last year because I crashed at Eagle Man 70.3, resulting in a shattered collarbone and a not so fun trip to the ER from the race site, and then surgery a week later to repair it and several months of recovery.

So, needless to say, I was looking forward to this race a lot, not just because I missed it last year, and I was ready to get back. But I was going to be able to meet a lot of the people I’ve interviewed on the Smart Athlete podcast.

If you haven't seen the Smart Athlete Podcast, I talked to intelligent athletes oftentimes, or endurance runners, or triathlete, so subscribe to the channel, go check that out. But I had a lot of motivation to go to this race. So, you know what happened and why did I cancel?

Here it is Friday today, but on Sunday, Sunday night, starting to feel a little bit in my throat like maybe there's something there. But let's not talk about it. It's not a thing. It's not happening. Monday, Tuesday, getting a little bit worse, start talking to my coach, hey this is going on, I'm not sure what to do. And by Wednesday morning, I had to make a decision.

You know, we've got flights, we've got people taking care of the dog. Somebody needs to make a decision on are we going, are we not going? I decided to cancel going to this A race for one simple fact. And that is because I was concerned about the fallout after the race.

If I’d followed that above the neck below the neck rule, I probably could have justified racing. There wasn't really anything going on in my lungs. I wasn't coughing, I didn't have any kind of mucus, it was just my swollen lymph node. But because I've been through this so many different times over the last almost 20 years now, the way I felt just told me, this is probably going to be a bad thing if you continue to push yourself through the week. And really, I probably feel fine now because since Tuesday morning,

I've been off, I worked out Tuesday morning, still prepping for the race. And then I kind of made the decision again Wednesday morning, okay, we're done. So, I've given myself that time to recover and feel better.

But it has to do a lot with what I like to talk about on this channel and on the Smart Athlete podcast is a shift in priorities, both for me and something I want you to think about. A lot of it goes back to episode six of the Smart Athlete Podcast, where I interviewed Chris Douglas. He shares a story where he passed out from heat exhaustion about a mile from the end of the triathlon, that he was getting ready to win. He was going to win this race, he only had a mile to go and he passes out on the side of the road because he's worked himself too hard.

But the thing he learned from that race, and that really resonated with me is that one race doesn't really matter. What matters is your relationship with your family, your relationship with your friends, the people that love you, and the kind of people that support you. Even though endurance sports is a singular endeavor, it's me out there running, it's you out there running it is actually a team sport, and you know that.

There are people that support you, be it your coach, be it your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, children, parents, siblings, whoever it is, there is somebody to support you, could be your other runners. But you need to keep that in mind when you're thinking about, is this going to be worse for me or not?

You see, it's all about shifting priorities and my priority shifted in a big way. When I left college, my college coaches parting wisdom to me was think about training on bigger scale than what we were able to do here. Because in college, you're focused on races from week to week to week to week, it just comes at you so fast. And that leads to a lot of injuries. And I was able to focus on a larger scale thinking about training for a whole year or a whole two years or four year block, trying to become a professional triathlete.

That thing didn't happen for me, but my lens shifted wider. I saw a little bit bigger view of the world. And as I spend time here, more with you, and trying to build my company this year and talking to people like Chris on the Smart Athlete Podcast, the lens shifts Justin bit wider. And as that lens shifts wider, I'm able to focus more on the things that are important. And that means focusing on enjoying life more as a whole.

You see, I've spent a long time again, almost 20 years in post-collegiately eight years trying to be professional. So, my life revolved around racing and training, and I gave up a lot of holidays, training on Christmas, training on my birthday, training on Halloween, training on Fourth of July. A day is a day, it didn't matter to me. But now there comes a time when I'm past that point of trying to become a professional.

I know it's not going to happen for me. And that's okay, maybe it'll happen for you. I don't know. Maybe you just had that goal you want to make. But you have to think about your life on a bigger spectrum besides this one race.

You see, if I had gone to this race this weekend, this national championship, which was important to me for many reasons, I would have been endangering this vacation we're supposed to take next week. Well, you could be saying, oh, boohoo, you're taking a vacation. But you see, I've worked very, very hard to have the ability to take a vacation. It's not something that I had the luxury of growing up, we couldn't really afford it. So, it's something I try to take into account, when I'm thinking about my life as a whole.

But not just my enjoyment of this vacation, the person I'm supposed to be spending this vacation with, she would have suffered, because I went to this race and potentially had an illness even worse than what I had before. And that would have dragged into our time together instead of taking the smart road like I have, taking the time off, missing that race, so that I have the ability to enjoy life more and spend it with the people that I love that love me.

You see, I put out this content on this channel, and we talked about running a lot. And yes, I interview people on the Smart Athlete Podcast, and they share a lot about their lives. And yeah, I talk sometimes about Solpri, the brand, which is a part of me that I want to share with you. But the whole thing is that I want you to think a little bit more about your life as a whole. That's what the whole thing is here, that's what I'm trying to get into your head. I'm trying to sneak in there.

I have gone a little bit down a rabbit hole, but I want to be transparent with you that it's more important to take care of your whole body, mind and spirit as one unit that it is to think about one selfish goal. When we think about all those things together in a balance, in a kind of circumference of our lives, then we can think about a more fulfilling life that we can live. So, I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.

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