Food & Fitness

9k Race Results

It started on Thursday. A sore throat. Then a headache. Then an achy body. On Friday night, somehow inexplicably a party broke out at my apartment. I went to bed at 9pm but got next to no sleep, constantly waking up in coughing fits if the noise didn’t keep me awake.

On Saturday morning I woke up feeling, to be honest, like crap. I was supposed to run the race with my friends Richard (my race buddy from the 6k) and Andrew. Richard was ill, too; he was more sick than I was and so that morning he decided not to run the 9k. I almost said to hell with it, I’m sick too and in no condition to run a race, and sleep is just much more inviting.

Then I saw this message on the whiteboard outside my room, left by some of my friends who had been hanging out at my place with my sister/roommate the night before, and I decided to go ahead and run the darn thing:


It was a tough race- particularly at the 6k mark- and the trail was incredibly muddy!



Somehow, my pace was actually faster for the 9k than the 6k. That just has me over the moon! My goal was to run the 9k in under an hour. I had hopes to run it in under 55 minutes. Running it in under 50 minutes was my ideal, but not something I expected I’d really be able to achieve…

Time: 48: 25.


Andrew and I after the 9k race

I’ve been paying for it, though. All day yesterday I was too sick to do much more than whine about it on Twitter and read novels (Richard, on the other hand, is apparently on the mend). I’m very happy, however, that I ran the race. I know that mentally it would have bothered me a lot if I hadn’t ran it. Physically, though, it wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. I’ve been resting plenty to be kind to my body- health, after all, is about appeasing all parts of ourselves.

What do you do when you’re not feeling well? Exercise your way through it? Rest to recover faster? Share your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Lance

    Hi Sagan,

    In a race situation like yours, I would most likely compete. It it’s not something I would be competing in, I would most likely rest – as I find that I am typically unable to give 100% when I don’t feel 100%.

    Awesome job on the race!!

  2. Andrea@WellnessNotes

    Congratulations on the race! You did awesome!

    I used to work through it when I didn’t feel well. My dad is a firm believer that you can “sweat it out,” so that’s what I believed for many years. In the end, this didn’t work so well for me, and I actually got really sick a few times, in part, I think because I didn’t give my body any rest… Now I try to listen to my body more and let it rest when it needs it.

    I’m not sure what I would do in a race situation (I haven’t done a race in years). But my guess is that I would have run it.

    I hope you are feeling better!

  3. Gina

    Wow, good for you! When I am sick I usually skip my workout, at least for a day or two, but if I had a race planned I don’t know what I would do. I guess I would run, but that depends on how crappy I’m feeling! Good for you for getting up and running, that’s awesome. I hope you are feeling better.

  4. Sagan Morrow

    Hanlie- congrats on your 5k!!

    Lance- agreed, if we’re not FEELING it, we usually can’t give it.

    MizFit- the competition is all against myself rather than other people 😉 And I’m still sick, but a little better.

    Andrea- for sure the most important thing is to listen to our bodies.

    Dr. J, Gina & Shauna- thanks!!

  5. asithi

    It does not take much for me to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and a book. Unless my back is hurting, I would take almost any excuse to “rest.” My discipline usually comes from having a daily routine, but when I am sick the routine is off (I am probably home), hence it is hard to motivate myself to start moving when I start the day on the sofa. But good for you.

  6. Holly

    That is GREAT, Sagan!! Amazing finish and wonderful time – and all while sick, to boot! It just shows your dedication.

    It depends when I’m sick…I’m lucky enough not to be sick too often – usually a stomach virus once or twice a year (which I definitely take time off for, since I can’t keep any food down!), and maybe one or two colds. Colds are easier for me to push through, except if I have a fever. I’ve learned not to exercise with a fever…it just sets me WAY back and makes my recovery that much longer.

    Congrats again!

  7. the Bag Lady

    Congratulations on the great time in your race, Sagan! You must be very proud of yourself.

    I do not compete in races, so can’t comment on whether I would run if I were ill, but I do know that it is difficult for your body to heal without proper rest.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  8. liz

    I’m with Shauna and Dr J on this one – that’s terrific! And totally in character :-). But now the race is over I’m hoping you’re resting until you’re properly recovered. I think I’d have done the same as you – it would just be so galling to have to drop out because of not feeling well. Well done your mates – though the motivational effect of a nickname like ‘Saggers’ must be pretty powerful in itself, if you don’t mind me saying so!!!

    Is that it now? Will you keep on running for fun? Any more races likely?

  9. Mary :: A Merry Life

    Well, since I’m now your facebook friend I already knew this, but still… congrats on a good race.

    It depends on how sick I am, but for light stuff I try to keep exercising. If I’m feeling too tired I try to take at least a day off. I guess it just depends.

  10. Sagan Morrow

    Asithi- it seems that the initial getting up is the hardest part.

    Holly- you’ve exercised through a fever?! Goodness. Now THAT’S hardcore 😉

    Bag Lady- thanks! Am very proud 😀 I get so giddy with things like this. hehe.

    Liz- I get such a kick out of the nickname. It’s so weird and doesn’t have an especially nice ring to it but somehow that’s what makes it endearing, haha. And am TOTALLY going to stick with running. For fun. As for races… well, who knows? (ooh suspense)

    Pubsgal- funny how when we’re REALLY looking forward to something, we can drag ourselves off in just about any condition.

    Mary- yay Facebook friendage!

  11. SHE-FIT

    OH wow! Way to go on running the race while sick. I use the “neck up” run. If I am feeling sick from the neck up I will still workout, if it’s below the neck i won’t.

    Hope you feel better soon!!!!!

  12. Squawkfox

    Congrats on your wicked race Sagan! Wow! You’ll feel better soon. Get lots of rest for now and don’t push yourself in recovery. 😀

    When I’m feeling truly sick, I tend to pass on training and racing to sleep. But in 2006 when I got strep throat 2 weeks before racing Ironman Canada, I decided to race anyways since the event is a huge ordeal to train for and expensive to register for the next year. I have to say, I suffered terribly during the race and my recovery was painful. For smaller races I would consider racing under the weather, but I’d never do a sub 17-hour race again while sick. 🙂

  13. Cammy@TheTippyToeDiet

    This is the part where I’m *supposed* to chastise you for over-doing, but I just don’t have the heart. 🙂 You had an awesome run! I’m only sorry you’re paying the price now. 🙁

    I’m rarely sick these days, but I took almost a week off last winter to get over the flu. When I didn’t have enough energy to even dress myself, I took it as a clue that maybe I should take the time off. *G* For snifflies and a general “feeling crappy” times, I usually will still exercise, but take it a bit easier. Sometimes I’ll find I can do more than I thought; others, my body says, “Thanks, I needed the break.”

  14. Matt (No Meat Athlete)

    Congratulations Sagan! It’s so awesome when you shock yourself by producing a result that you had no idea was inside you! Especially when you aren’t feeling well.

    I’ve heard that the amount of sleep you get the night before a race has almost no effect on performance. Under stress, the body taps into the energy reserves you’ve built up by living healthily (and sleeping well) in the days and nights of the previous few weeks. This thought alone helps me sleep better on race night, because I’m not worried about not being able to fall asleep!

    Being sick, though, is a different story. Way to rise above!

  15. biz319

    That is an AWESOME time!!

    I am in the rest to recover quickly camp, but I have to say I hardly ever get sick! Crap, I probably just jinxed myself for saying that! 😀

    Feel better and drink lots of water! 😀

  16. Sagan Morrow

    Javachick & Diane- yep. I rested. Think I’m back into running mode!

    SHE-FIT & Jolene- I love that idea! It makes so much sense.

    Squawkfox- that’s amazing. And what a bummer to get so ill right before such an important race! Gah.

    VeggieGirl & RickiRae- thanks!

    Cammy- it surprises me how much I CAN do while I’m sick. I’m not very happy to do most of it, but I’m still capable of normal activities, usually.

    Mia- will take a leaf outta your book 😉

    Burpexcuzme- agreed. And yes, they are!

    Matt- that’s really interesting! And makes a lot of sense. I got very little sleep before the 6k, too (far too excited to NOT wake up every half hour :D).

    Biz319- water makes everything better.

    Tricia- headaches can be the WORST. Luckily my head wasn’t so much the issue throughout my run. If it was, that would have made it so much more brutal…

  17. ttfn300

    CONGRATS! what a great race 🙂 bummer about being sick though, i’m sure you’ll get the rest you need to feel better, no need to rush back! i think shorter distances are ok, but ultimately listen to yourself as you recover and don’t jump back in if you need more rest…

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