Caring for Your Immune System (alt. title = sickie poo)

Man, as if everything I’ve gone through in the last week wasn’t enough.

Last night, as I was going to bed, I could feel a little tickle in the back of my throat and some minor pain when I swallowed. I also felt a bit “thick-headed” (my friends say I’ve always been that way), and more tired than normal. I was still planning on doing my workout this morning, but when I woke up at 5 am I knew I wouldn’t be doing much today. My throat hurt a lot, my head hurt, I had body aches, chills, hot flashes, and I didn’t feel AT ALL like getting out of bed. So I slept in until 9 am. I got up for an hour, and then went back to bed from 10 am to 2 pm. It’s now 4:30 pm and I was ready to go back to bed an hour and a half ago, but the work must go on, right?

In an attempt to nip this in the bud I had a large green smoothie for breakfast (foregoing the much more appetizing French toast my wife had made), and a bowl of chicken soup for lunch when I woke up at 2. I don’t feel much better yet, though.

What caused this? Well, here’s the email I sent to my coach:

Hi David, as I was going to bed last night I started to feel a little bit of a sore throat, some body aches, and other minor symptoms of something coming on. When I woke up they were in full force. I slept in until 9 am, got up for an hour, and went back to bed until 2 pm. And I already feel like going to bed again. I don’t feel terrible, per se, but I know I’m sick and I know enough to not push it. I’m keeping full of liquids and just taking it easy today in the hope I can kill this thing off fast, but of course I have no idea how long it will last.

I would guess there’s no point in revising my schedule until we know when I’m going to be able to get back in there. Do you have any recommendations on care or future prevention in the future? Part of me thinks the whole reason I came down with this is due to not enough sleep. I’ve been averaging six hours per night, and I feel tired pretty much every day, although I’ve felt great in every other way at the same time.

David’s response was:


I’m so sorry!

You’re right, we would want to hold off on scheduling until we find out how bad this is, and hoe long before you recover.

For future prevention and care, sleep, vitamin C daily (which is probably enough in your smoothies) and 50mg Zinc the moment you start to feel sick.

The intensity you performed on Saturday probably lowered your immune system. After a big workout or race, sleep becomes even more important than normal.

Let me know how you feel tomorrow.


On top of a general lack of sleep, during my horrible, terrible, no-good bike ride yesterday (I make it sound like I have a negative attitude, but I was smiling the whole time, I enjoy challenges most of the time, I’m even smiling right now) I only consumed 200 calories of Gu, and maybe another 20 calories of Gatorade. I had a small, chocolate cupcake for breakfast, and a Gu before my bike, and maybe a Shot Blok or two (not two packages, two bloks). In all, I’m guessing that from 5 am to 4 pm I got perhaps 350 calories into my system. By the time I ate a protein bar at around 4 pm I was exhausted, and I probably hadn’t had enough liquids either.

Add up general fatigue for several weeks, the race on Saturday, and yesterdays events, and perhaps my body is telling me I need to take better care of it, which I’ve known for a while, but man, I have trouble with my transitions. Sure, I had a 1:05 transition in my last triathlon, but when it comes to transitioning from being awake, doing normal stuff, to being in bed at night it seems like it takes me 2:00:00 to make that transition. The biggest problem is I start reading WSJ articles on my Blackberry. Maybe I need to apply some triathlon transition discipline to the rest of my life.