I've had a really long period of time right now without catching a cold. Last year, I got sick after the VT100, and while I was sick, I ran two tough races that I'd committed to much earlier in the year. Those races were in August, and after they were over, I decided to shut down my season.
Normally, I'll race or at least train hard through the end of October or even mid-November. Then, I take a 6-8 week period of low-volume and low-intensity training, although that break from running coincides with my ramp-up for ski season. Last year, I basically rested from late August through the end of the year. I still ran, but only about 100 miles per month, and with no intensity. Then, on the first of the year, I started training hard for Western States.
That break seemed to help, and I've been pretty healthy all year. Because I never raced longer than 50K this year, I don't feel like I've trashed myself as much as I do some years.
But, for the last two months, I've been training pretty hard. I've been doing consistent speedwork and long runs. I've run hard in two long-distance relays. And yesterday morning when I woke up, I felt like I might be catching a cold. I had a sore throat and felt a bit foggy.
By yesterday afternoon, I was debating whether or not to do my planned run. I ended up doing the run, doing 6x2 minute intervals at about 6:40 pace. This morning, when I woke up, I felt even more run down. So, being the smart guy that I am, I went to the gym to lift. I made it about halfway through my workout and then bailed.
Last weekend was pretty tough - racing 4 times in 24 hours for a total of about 25 miles. I think my body needs some rest, so I'm going to skip tomorrow's 30K. I'm going to sleep in instead. I still have enough time to finish my conditioning for my marathon in 7 weeks. But, if I push too hard now and end up sick for an extended period of time, I may ruin all the hard work I've done for the past couple months.
I'm not very good at resting sometimes, but I think it's time for a few days off.