Lingering Virus & marathon next week

Around Christmas i got a virus or flu, not quite sure but felt sick, shivers, cold, hot, lasted about 10 days in total and i didn't run for two weeks despite training for a marathon. Prior to Christmas i was in great form and training going brilliantly. Ince then i have either had this virus continuously and sometimes dormant or four separate viruses and each time i do a long run (unavoidable when i'm not even managing the miniumum weekly mileage) it gets worse.

Two weeks ago i was not feeling 100%, more like 75% and i did the 15 mile option of the Belvoir Challenge and it was like i was running with concrete shoes and through treacle, so hard and i was dripping with sweat on a cold day, i just felt awful. The day after i had a full-on illness that lasted right through last weekend, i missed 9 days of running. I finally started to feel better on Tueday and did 4 miles, then 8, they were ok, i felt like i'd turned a corner. Next day i did 14 and although harder was ok. then yesterday i did 4 that seemed murderous and today i feel really ill, kidneys hurt, legs ache, utterly fatigued. I went to the dorctors after my 8 mile run and he said i was ok, just showing signs of 'community born virus'.

 My marathon is next Sunday in Rome.

What should i do?


  • Can you postpone your entry to next year and maybe sign up for another marathon later this year? I suffered with a virus last year during my taper - I had completed all of my training no problem. I felt fine in the few days before the marathon, but when I came to run it I completely faded after about 14 miles and came in 1 hr later than expected. I wish I'd deferred entry! Viruses can linger and need to be treated with respect when you are asking so much of your body.

    Have you asked your doctor to check for glandular fever? If not you should - you shouldn't do any strenuous exercise if you have this.

    Good luck with your recovery, take it easy.

  • I think that is a wise bit of advice, i sort of know it already. I keep having visions of crawling on my hands and bloody knees 4 hours later than my anticipated time. I think it's highly unlikely i will have got this thing out of my system by next weekend and i have not been over 18 miles in my training.

     A friend suggested glandular fever last night. i know i have never had it before, but on reading about it i have some of the symptoms but i don't have the swollen glands bit, just sore throat, shivers, feel sick, ache, sweats, but worst of all no energy. That 15 mile race a few weeks back was twice as hard as a marathon i did last year.

  • I'm sorry you're having such a rubbish time - but I think you are making the right decision. Get back to the doctors and request a test for glandular, other than that... sleep, lots of water and a good diet should see you right soon enough!

    Good luck!
  • I have withdrawn from the race and i plan to go to the doctor tomorrow. It is some form of virus i have, as i sit here typing i have palpitations, or a strange sort of fluttering in my chest. I put my HRM on for an hour or so last night as i was tidying the kitchen and my resting HR was between 70 - 84bpm which suprised me as i thought it would be way up there given the sensation in my chest.

     How long should i stop running for before i aim for another marathon maybe in the summer? I did the Lake Coniston one last summer and really enjoyed that and it would be a great one to get fit for again, but i have to make sure i'm over whateve it is i have.

  • I have a blood test and ECG set up for tomorrow nd plan on resting for a while. I have learnt that a few people in the area where i live had have a simila sort of virus problem since December - exactly when mine started. I wish i could have known what i had back then so that i could have rested for longer and maybe still in the Rome marathon. i'm so disappointed not to be going but need to find something else to focus on.
  • I have the blood test and ECG and they have come back clear. I'm at a bit of a loss as to why i feel so bad almost a week on from when i started to feel so ill. Last weekend was horrendoes, chest pains, pains in arms, kidneys hurting and muscles hurting. I have an appointment to see my doctor next week to try and find out what i have, but at least i'm clear of heart and blood issues.

     Can a virus last over three months?

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    No. A virus of whatever description will last a few days. You either get better or, well lets not go there. However, if by good fortune you recover you may feel almost good for a day or two and then start feeling crap again. This is why. Your body had just fought off a virus, drugs can't do this. Your bodies resistance to infection is now really low. Masses of its resources have gone into fighting the virus. So what you get is a secondary infection. These are bacterial and have a nasty habit of coming and going, day in day out. One minute you feel good, next feel like rubbish. This is the culprit that can hang around for weeks. Anti-biotics can help or if your doctor is like mine he'll say well you've had it 6 weeks you can recover without. This happened to me, 3 days of the virus, one day good, 3 weeks lung infection.
  • I'be got more sense and comfort from that email than from any Drs, family, friends in the past three weeks.

    I am wondering if the way i started out my marathon training back in late November is the culprit. I did the Rome marathon in 4.31 last year and aimed for 3.45 this year, fed the schedule into my Garmin and had a tough time keeping to it until on Dec 20th or so came down with the virus/flu or whatever it was. Didn't run for two weeks. So perhaps my immunity was low and  i dodn't do the right things to build it up.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    For what its worth, ever since my own; at the time confusing, episode I've never really been ill with anything. I assume my own immune system must have been given a massive wake up call. It was back in 1989 and I had those aches and pains and used to wake up at night soaked in sweat so bad I'd have to change beds, more than once sometimes. Lucky my parents house had three spare singles.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Should have mentioned, I read somewhere that your immune system is compromised for at least 6 weeks after a virus. I could be wrong but it sounds feasible.
  • Night sweats! I've been making a Turin Shroud. Thank you kindly for your replies, very helpful.
  • I still have this cold/virus or whatever it is and i have no answers from the Dr. At least my blood and ECG have come back clear, but this contant feeling of being ill is driving me crazy. I've not run since 9th March and i don't plan to until it's gone, but i just can't work out what it is that i have. I find myself cluthing at straws for an explanation. Around Xmas i got a groin strain from trying to run too fast on cold muscles (my Garmin was telling me to speed up) and i feel that discomfort now after not running and wonder if that is in some way related.
  • "A virus of whatever description will only last a few days?"

    Excuse me? HIV? Human Immunodeficiency VIRUS?

    Plook - Don't worry, I'm not suggesting you have HIV, just saying that some viruses can and do last a LOT longer than 'a few days'. A bad bout of flu many years ago kept me in bed for a fortnight and feeling weak and sickly for another two months afterwards! Hope you are feeling better soon...

  • Amazingly, today is the first day that i feel a lot netter, so i think the rest and drinking loads of liquids might be doing me good.
  • Well, many weeks later and i can report that i was a bit premature in saying that i was starting to feel better as it came back and put me right back to the start. Now i am 4 days into feeling normal and i finally think that whatever it was is finally leaving me, but i ddn't do the Rome marathon, didn't do Dambusters 10M and have only run once in the past 7 weeks - 2 miles yesterday with no ill effects other than being totally out of shape, so this weekend i start from scratch, very slowly and gradually.

    It's the weirdest, vaguest and most frustrating illnes i have ever had and has made my life a misery. Every test i had at the Dr came back normal, ECG, blood, urine, 'poo'. I was convinced i had a bladder infection two weeks ago becuase i had a pain between lower abdomen and bladder and around my kidneys. Actually, i was convinced i had many things throughout this time.

     Has anyone ever had anything like this lasting so long, or coming and going?

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Sometimes what nearly kills you makes you stronger. The odd thing is that since my own episode I've hardly had a sniff of anything. Even when I was diagnosed with some hereditary problem that needed a couple of operations into my neck, I still didn't feel ill. The daft thing is that the day before the first op I ran sub 28 mins for 5 miles, had op, spent 5 days in hospital. I suppose I was ill but had only the experts word for it.
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