The bright, blinky lights, late nights of online shopping, festive parties with too much food and drink, and….
Yup….cold and flu season is back!!
And it is back with a vengeance!!
We’ve all taken to the season and shared our germ quite liberally around here. As a result I spent last week on the couch with a fever raging from 100F-102F and body aches that rivaled the after effects of CrossFit Competition.
Obviously, once the symptoms were full-blown I could’ve cared less if the Earth fell off its axis. I really had no real concerns about missing a workout since I could hardly bathe, much less train….
But, as my fever dropped to 99.9F and below, I really began feeling….ahhh, how would one say…Not really THAT bad.
Perspective I guess…When you go from 102F to 99.9F it IS fully possible to feel “normal” and think you can handle an easy workout…
ohhh, not so fast grasshopper!
Lucky for me, my husband had the dreaded germ 1st and while he is a very smart man, he does lack in medical common sense (yea, I think surgeons are just THAT way sometimes!). He made the choice, 3 weeks ago mind you, to sweat this evil invader from his system.
Uh, see….he STILL looks and sounds a bit like crap-o-la.
After watching him create a world of hurt for himself, I decided to play my cards differently and err on the side of my knowledge base.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine:
Never exercise with a fever, lower respiratory tract infection, or symptoms of systemic illness (muscle aches, chills, malaise, etc.).
Remember to have reasonable and lowered performance expectations after you’ve been ill.
Listen to your body and practice restraint. Wait to resume training until your motivation and health have completely returned. You have only one body, take care of it.
Now there’s obviously a lot of metabolic “stuff” that goes into being deathly ill, but the general idea is that the body is already stressed and working overtime. Why stress it anymore?!!
Those muscle aches, that’s the virus eating your muscle…ok, kinnda dumbed down, but you get the idea….
The technical term would be catabolism, or protein breakdown, incase you want to google something today besides power meters or the iPad mini!
Oh wait, that’s probably just me!
Fighting germs is serious business and really ties the bodies resources up for a bit of time. There is a WAR being waged in there…all kinds of Special Forces like cells trying to snuff out the damn terrorists that are trying to take YOU DOWN….But they will not fail you, it’s your job to not fail THEM!
Let them work….all you have to do is stoke the fire and give them energy to work.
SUPPORT YOUR TROOPS!
Now this is a very important factoid we all tend to conveniently overlook, myself included…
The heart muscle IS NOT spared in the process so it must be protected at all costs!
Have you heard of those folks who end up with myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) because they were too stubborn to rest during a febrile illness??
Now there’s a set-back for ya’!
Don’t turn a 3-4 day illness into a 3-4 month illness or worse… a permanent and disabling one!!
There is absolutely NOTHING…NOT 1…thing that will be gained by training through a febrile illness and so much that could be lost.
Yes, we become a little bat-shit stir crazy.
So, ya know what I did when that set in??
I went on a nice slow walk to the end of the street and back…..and then I realized there was NO WAY IN HELL I could even sit upright on my bike much less get through an easy ride.
So came home and did what my body asked…
I took a nap and let my troops continue fighting for me!
And 2 days later, I climbed on the trainer for that easy ride…
After I was fever free for 24hrs.
And it was the hardest hour I’d experienced in a very long time!!
War is tough, it takes a lot out of ya’…but winning is always so satisfying!!
My son is currently upstairs sleeping soundly for the 1st time in 4 days. Last night, his fever was finally gone so he was naturally feeling much better. He was back on the phone, the computer, and no longer coughing up a lung. He was trying to convince me he would be fine to go to school (I know, he’s weird that way!)…
See, we ALL have a hard time resting!!
Not just athletes!!
I promptly explained that it wasn’t happening… “the body (and its special forces) need 1 full day of R&R before it has to go on full alert again.”
Being fever-free for 24hrs before returning to school or athletics gives the body that day of quality rest AFTER the battle is won. Everybody deserves that.
Be kind to your body folks and it will reward you time and time gain!!
Today I feel pretty close to perfect and I’ve got a nice easy run on tap. The plan is to take it slow and do what I can as my energy levels finally return to normal.
If you’re reading this and you’re sick, I hope that you feel better soon!