"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Monday, October 24, 2011

I woke up in a panic sometime around 1am Saturday morning. One week away from an attempt at 50 miles, a few hours away from my last real run before that race (two 5-mile laps around my neighborhood) and two days after my boss (also known to me as "Dad") and multiple clients walked into our office visibly sick, I awoke with an acute pain in the back of my throat. Oh no, I thought as I jumped out of bed to guzzle some water, here it comes.
And came it did: the dreaded head-cold.
For the last 48 hours I've been working through this cold. Fortunately, I think I've done enough to speed it along as quickly as possible and this morning (Monday) I feel about 80%. It also hasn't been one of those energy-sapping colds with a fever attached that takes weeks to recover from. So that's nice.
I'm no doctor. But really, it shouldn't matter here, because a doctor can't do squat for a cold anyway. Anyway, here's my last 48 hours in a nutshell:
1. Lots of rest/sleep. 9-10 hours each night, a nap during the day and generally just taking it easy. (It helps to have a supportive wife)
2. Minimal eating on day 1 and very simple foods on day 2 (fresh fruit, vegetable broth, dry whole-wheat bread). Why force the body to digest food when it could be busy fighting off the cold. I still ended up eating about 1500 calories on Saturday and around 2000 on Sunday (about 1/3 to 1/2 of what I'm usually taking in on a daily basis), but it was all food that digested quickly and didn't require much energy.
3. A piping hot epsom salt bath each day. Sweat it out, baby.
4. As much water as I can handle. All of the time.
5. No medications. Again, why try to cover up the symptoms to simply feel good in the short-term while getting in the way of the body healing itself?
Yes, I felt horrible. But only for a few hours. I progressed through each part of the cold rapidly and now, 48 hours later, have the thing beat. I won't be running much this week, maybe a few miles on Thursday, and my preparation for Saturday will be much like the last two days: lots of rest, lots of water and lots of good wholesome food. And maybe a viewing of Rocky IV.

1 comment:

Eglefino said...

Good luck. You can do this. I was sick a few days before my marathon last month and it definitely slowed me down but not ridiculously. Also, if I recall correctly, Karl Meltzer was super sick this year less than 24 hours before he started the Wasatch 100 and he took 3rd. Granted he is elite but I'm just saying, it probably won't affect your ability to finish but it may slow you down a bit. Take care of yourself and you should be fine. Run smart and run happy!