(February 2014) Finally got the flu.

Anyway, as I'm lying in bed, wide awake but incapable of movement, I wondered what other people might have to say about battling sickness during race training. My gut reaction (Ha! Gut reaction. See what I did there?) is to not do anything at all. Just getting up to refill my water bottle is a carefully calculated maneuver. If I'm listening to my body, today it's telling me "DON'T YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT IT. MOVE AND I'LL QUIT."

Nothing takes the wind out of your super-excited-to-train sails like getting hit with the flu. Argh. Or, more accurately, uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh. (That's the sound Jesse got to listen to all night long. Apparently I don't limit my whining and groaning to just my waking hours. Lucky him!)

So far it's been a fabulous week one of training. Did my "easy 3" Monday run and developed a lovely wheezing cough soon afterwards. I followed that up with a Tuesday spent in bed with a pounding headache, sketchy mental AND digestive functioning, and migrating body aches (plus said cough.) The body aches are the worst for me. Just stay in one place. Stop moving around. Pick a zone and go nuts. But no. Legs and arms, then head and back, then left forearm and kidneys, then neck and feet... More groaning.

Thank God for NyQuil and DayQuil. And neti pots.

Marathonguide.com's article "To Run or Not to Run" offers two kinds of symptoms to watch for that could mean different things for training. They distinguish between "above the neck" symptoms (like a stuffy nose) and "below the neck" (body aches, fever, chills, etc). Endorphins released while running can actually act as a natural decongestant, so going for a run with "above the neck" symptoms might be helpful after all. But, "below the neck" all bets are off. Stay in a cocoon and don't come out until spring.

Or rather, give yourself a few days (even a week) to fully recover. It's actually harmful to run when you've got a virus like this - your body is already dehydrated and working overtime. Don't put it through even more stress.

Of course the best intervention is actually prevention. I had fallen of my rigid Emergen-C / Allegra bandwagon for a few days and look where it got me. Always take your vitamin C. Do not skimp on this. 

Daily Emergen-C, lots of sleep, washing hands like a fiend, sanitizing every surface touched by human hands or furry paws... what are some of your "beat the sickness" strategies? And what do you when it, sometimes inevitably, finds you anyway?