Running with a runny nose

Carrying an injury!

Today was the first run for some time. I have just hit the streets after a bit of a cold and a tumble. Before I was struck down with a severe case of the snuffles I was out on my usual short run around Walthamstow Village when I overstepped a pavement and took a tumble. I rarely fall over unless it is icy underfoot, and yet the sense of losing control and one’s footing while heading for the ground seems all too familiar. While there seems no time to save oneself, time also seems to pass sickeningly slowly. That moment of truth, knowing what’s about to happen yet unable to prevent it as the floor approaches and the body contorts. Then the inevitable crunch and roll. Instinctively I put out my hands to “cushion” my landing. Bad move. So I find myself not only nursing minor but painful injuries, but also my pride, as lookers-on come to my aid. Why do we feel ashamed of our physical mishaps? For me, such falls remind me of my lack of grace and elegance. Each tumble takes me back to one particularly public teenage fall on the school bus when I slid down the aisle, legs akimbo, skirt flying and big knickers on show. I yearned for attention from the boys but not this humiliating, jeering kind.

Enough of my fall, after a little bit of sympathy from family and friends I planned to pound the pavements as usual. Until the dreaded cold. First, should one run with a blocked nose and a sore throat, will the fresh air and exertion work wonders or will it aid in confining me to my bed for longer? What’s more, just what is the runners’ etiquette for a runny nose? Hankies and tissues are barely practical. I’ve tried what I call the squeeze, pull and throw routine favoured by my male friends, but it is remarkably unladylike. I’m seeking absorbent pull on disposable cuffs for athletes…any recommendations? Until then, sorry it’s slimy sleeves for me…

Anyway I’m back on track now and looking forward to my longer run tomorrow.


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