Day 22 of the Great Big Marathon 10k Swim Adventure: Dealing with sickness and more

"1918 Influenza Poster" by the History of Medicine - the History of Medicine. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -
“1918 Influenza Poster” by the History of Medicine – the History of Medicine. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

A lot has happened over the last two weeks apart from Christmas. Amongst other things, I swam another 5.8k (over two sessions, one in a “new” pool which I hope to return to at some stage; it was a good experience despite a strange encounter in the locker area) and around 26 December I promptly got sick enough with a nasty cold and fever with back pain to have to lie in bed for several days. (Cue the “whiny men with flu”-jokes…or, actually, don’t as I have heard them all by now).

But first things first: Happy New Year! Have you picked a “Great Big Adventure” for yourself in 2015? Something to challenge your inner coward or sloth? Could be sporting, social, supernatural, or just plain fun. Let me know.

Ok, back to the story. I have not been in the water since 25 December. That sucks, and not just because I want to train up for a 5k distance this year. I miss the water. As it stands, I am not well enough to return to training this week…still struggling with a head-cold, running nose and niggling cough. How do you deal with this? Rest up and take it easy! Seriously. Only get back in the water when your body is ready. I intend to go for a casual swim early next week.

Obviously, prevention would have been better than any cure. However, when the ambient temperature drops to minus 10 degrees centigrade around Christmas and tons of snow arrive; when  you travel a lot with public transport; when you have several young kids sneezing and coughing in your face at home; …you get the picture. Infections  are hard to avoid. Add to that an immune system stressed by work demands, exercise (?),  family holiday pressures, and your body will be grateful for any excuse to take a time out. Certainly mine was.

(That said, I have a niggling feeling that I caught something at the pool after doing that 3k-swim. It is not the first time that I have fallen ill with fever and other cold symptoms plus back pain after a hard workout in that place. Could it be the air quality in the indoor pool area, or maybe something in the water? Probably not. Who knows. I swim there plenty and usually I am ok.)

Anyway. I need to get more rest, down-time, nutrition sorted. I did a lot of research on this online (whilst stuck in bed) of which I hope to write some more shortly – and I have started experimenting with smoothies (great recipe and more by the rather legendary Donal Buckley here).

For the record, I swam the 3k in just under 51 minutes. That is a pace of 1:42 minutes per 100m in a 25 meter pool, including jumping children, obese men who decided to simply stand in the water where I was lapping, and sudden interlopers including old ladies trying to keep their hair dry and young mothers with toddlers – in other words, typical swimming conditions in a German public pool.