>Running 101>Pneumonia... Argh!
I got sick shortly after running a HM on November 10th, and finally went to the doctor today, since I haven't gotten any better. The diagnosis- pneumonia. I am now on antibiotics, and have been ordered to rest as much as I can for the next week. My question is this- how much running should I do once I start again? By the time my presecribed week of rest is finished, almost three weeks will have passed since I ran the HM, and I only got one short 5k run in before I started spiking fevers. Anyone have any experience with coming back after three weeks of illness? What can I expect?
Back in the saddle, after six years off...
Spring 2013- 5k 24:15
Fall 2013- HM 2:00:01
Stay healthy and uninjured... so much for that.
an amazing likeness
Your body is spending a lot of effort to fight the bugs. You'll feel weaker for some time. Just run by feel, don't expect to run the same workouts you ran before getting sick. Stop when you get tired and walk. Listen to how you feel and adjust, be smart and come back slowly to avoid a setback.
I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)
I was diagnosed with pneumonia the Tuesday after labor day weekend (Sept 3). It took me 7 or 8 weeks to feel totally right again. I didn't run for 10 days, then started trying to ease back into it. After about a week and a half of that, had a set back and had to take 3 of the next 4 days off, then started back slowly again ... it was mid-October before I felt almost normal again and could run without feeling lightheaded or out of breath or just plain drained all the time. I'm just now back to the fitness I had at the end of August.
There are some rather nasty bugs causing pneumonias these days, including those that kill even young, healthy folks. I've had a few look great one minute and then code within a couple of hours.
I would suggest that you really respect the illness, and not be in a huge hurry to get back. Yes, it's a drag to lose fitness, but this is the challenge your body is undergoing now, and I'd direct my energies/efforts towards getting 100% before trying to build back fitness. Premature attempts to do so are not only likely to fail, but can also cause you to relapse as well.
As far as what you can expect. The first few runs are probably going to feel like you've never run before. However, take heart, once you start being able to train, the fitness will likely come back quicker than you got it the first time.
Please take good care, listen to your doctor, fully recover, and then get back on the horse when your doc clears you.
Best to you!
Thank you so much for the advice and persective. As a respiratory therapist, I deal with this stuff all the time with my patients, but it's a very different experience being on the other side. I just want to get better at this point, and I'm terrified of setbacks. While it's disappointing that I'm going to miss out on a few planned races (I was so excited for the Santa Shuffle!), I know that those races will come up again, year after year, and I'll get my shot. So I will heed your warnings, and give my body lots of time to recover.
Thanks again! I love this community!
Back in late 1988 I managed to get what was called "Walking Pneumonia". As I was working HUGE hours at the time I wasn't doing much running. Early in 1989 after I was deemed "all better", I started running again; slowly, very-very slowly. One thing I noticed was the significant amount of green and/or bloody junk I'd cough up during and especially after runs; I'm thinking it took an easy year before that stopped.
Fat old man PRs:
I just wanted to say thanks again for all the advice, and update my situation.
I completed my antibiotics 9 days ago, but still didn't feel quite right. I had a chest x-ray last Tuesday, and it was clear, despite the fact that I was still completely drained and coughing up some rather disgusting stuff. On Wednesday, I started spiking fevers again. By Friday night, my temp hit 105, and I went to the ER. To make a long story short, it seems I contracted influenza shortly after completing my first round of antibiotics, and had developed a second pneumonia, this time in my left lung (the first one was on the right). I am now on tamiflu and a second course of antibiotics. I've never felt this awful in my entire life!!!
So it looks like I will not be able to start running again for a while- likely in the new year (and that's fine... trust me- I can't even begin to imagine trying to start running again at this point- I feel pretty terrible). My last couple of runs- a HM on November 10, and a 5k easy run on November 17th. My question- has anyone ever faced a layoff this long? Will I be starting all over again? I'm just so depressed- I just started running again last April, and it has been helping me get through a difficult emotional time. I miss it so much. I've already tossed all my race plans for 2014, and will have to re-evaluate once I get started again... but I'm just curious where everyone thinks I should start once I do get started again, now that the layoff has been extended so much since my original post. The idea of doing C25k all over again is rather depressing, but I suppose it's better than not running at all...
Thanks in advance...
Wow, Catwoman, if it weren't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all! All the best wishes for your recovery!
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.
No kidding! I'm just waiting to be struck by lightning, and my life will be complete!
Catwoman, as you can see from my avatar, I've had a significant layoff in the not-too-distant past. I fell on September 29, had surgery on October 3, and was cleared to run again on December 31. I was NWB for 7 weeks. You will feel depressed, and wonder if you will ever again get your mojo back. You will.
My my best words of advice are to refrain from stuffing your face during your layoff as best you can. I gained 10 pounds.
Ugh- that looks painful!
Fortunately for me, with influenza and pneumonia, the last thing on earth I feel like doing is eating! I've lost 6lbs so far, and all I managed to choke down today is a piece of toast, a pineapple spear, some rice, and a glass of tang. Yes, tang. I feel like I'm 4 years old, but it's calories, it has vitamin C, and I can get it down without too much effort.
My question- has anyone ever faced a layoff this long? Will I be starting all over again? I'm just so depressed- I just started running again last April, and it has been helping me get through a difficult emotional time.
A layoff as long as what you're facing? Yup, and then some. In January of 2003 I was picking my kids up at daycare and stepped in a puddle. Unfortunately the puddle of water had a layer of ice below the surface water; long story short I fell awkwardly, spiral fractured my fibula and partially tore my right foot off. The surgeon who screwed me back together that night told me I'd be able to walk again, with a limp, however, I'd never run again. I was determined to prove him wrong, however, for the next six years no matter I tried, and no matter how easily I went at it, the asymmetry of my stride would always cause me to get injured within a week or two of trying to start running again.
Finally in 2009 I discovered that if I ran in soft dirt I could run without pain, and managed to get over the hump and put in some serious miles that year. So, yes, I faced a very-very long layoff, a layoff of over six years, and still managed to come back.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Just wanted to update those who have been following my unfortunate health issues- after a right sided pneumonia, followed by a severe bout of influenza complicated by a left sided pneumonia, and six weeks off, I did my first run today! It was just two miles, and it was slow, but it was so nice to be back out there (even with the crazy icy conditions!). I am planning to take my time coming back- just three short runs per week for a while. I don't want to push too hard, for fear of injury, or (God forbid!) getting sick again! Thank you all so much for encouraging me while I was sick- I felt so awful, I thought I might never get back on my feet. I'm really grateful for the support. Happy holidays, everyone!
So glad you're back out there; be prepared for some technicolor goodies coming up from your lungs during your post run shower.