Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Battling the Flu: Fighting the Tough Fight

     Well it happened. I got the flu. It's been 7 years since my last bout with it and this one has really knocked me for a loop.
This is NOT really me. It is an actor portrayal of my Flu.
Since my toe injury a little over a month ago it's been a struggle to stay consistent with my running. The first week after the injury all I could do was walk. So I walked about 15 miles that week through my neighborhood, limping most of the way. By the 2nd week, I was ready to get back to running so I decided to try the treadmill. Now I knew that going to the gym in the winter was a big risk. The only other times that I can remember having the flu as an adult have both come after I'd spent several weeks working out at the gym in the winter. I would much rather prefer to be outside running but with the broken toe running on the road just wasn't an option for me.
     So things were going really well that 2nd week. I got back to the point where I could run on the treadmill without my toe hurting. I had to alter my stride just a little but it worked. By the 3rd week I was going strong on the treadmill and even knocked out a 12 mile run. Now running on the treadmill for that long is torture for me, especially since I don't listen to music or watch TV while I run, but at least I was able to run.

Again, NOT me.
     By the end of the 4th week I was able to get back outside to run and I was able to knock out a 21-miler. That was great. But then the Polar Vortex hit. The cold air moved in and the last thing that I wanted to do was to run outside, in the dark, when it was 3 degrees with a windchill of -10. So I convinced myself that I could keep running on the treadmill. And I did keep running. I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday I ran 14 and 10 miles. It was a 45 mile week for me and I felt great about getting all of my miles done.

Here is a picture of my house during the Polar Vortex
(okay not really)
     And then it hit me. Monday morning I came to work and within 3 hours I could feel a tickle in my chest. It felt almost like an allergic reaction. I started coughing. A lot. I used some cough drops and they didn't help. I drank tea with honey and got no relief. Initially I thought it was an allergic reaction to the almonds that I had eaten. I don't have a nut allergy but it sure felt like it. My lungs started feeling tight too. By the time I got home I had a temperature of 101.4. I had an idea of what it was but I didn't want to admit it. I think there's a part of me that believes that if I deny it then it won't be true.
     But by Tuesday morning I knew that there was no way to deny it. So I called in sick and headed to the Doctor. And sure enough, after my nasal passages were violated by that giant q-tip, the test came back positive for Type A flu. I figure for my personality that's the only type of flu to get. Right?
     Now I'm on Day 9 of the battle. I was fortunate to catch it early enough to get on Tamiflu and that has really helped. But even now I have no energy to do anything. I've not been able to run in 10 days. I missed 4 days of work and even though I've gone back to work now, it's a struggle to get anything done. I'm amazed at how drained I am at this point. I feel like my battery is empty.

   But each day is a new day. And I know that with each passing day, as long as I get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids, I'll get back to 100% eventually. My battery will be re-charged and I'll be back on the Ultra Marathon Training Plan. Hey I've got 100 miles to run at the end of April so I'm gonna keep Fighting the Tough Fight. Stay safe friends. And always remember to hand sanitize!

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