The Week of Sickness (and what I did about it).

As I mentioned in my last blog – my fun weekend in Palm Springs came with a price last week. I ended up with a chest infection. I seem to get hit harder with sickness as I age. In college even if I had bronchitis I would still run twice a day, go to class and work all night! Now when I get what seems like a normal cold, it’s accompanied with fever-y aches/pains, low energy and I’m down for the count. This sickness was no different. It got to the point where I actually started getting worried like I had pneumonia – something that would make sense after what I did to my body that last weekend.

“Luckily” the doctor said it was a chest infection. He’s an avid runner so he kind of knew the question was coming, “When can I start working out again?” He said 7-10 days off completely and that the cold will probably linger for 3-6 weeks. If I cheat, it’s just going to prolong me getting healthy – something I’ve been guilty of in the past. So I got off the phone, called my wife and then called my coach to let him know what’s up. Flanny takes a “no bullshit” approach to things.  As much as I tried to get an early jump on working out again, he stuck to his guns and slowly got me back into it. So what did I do during these 7 days off!? My fellow Wattie Ink team mate and Lava Magazine contributor Ryan Schneider inspired me to write about my week off. There’s no doubt that I’m serious about triathlon (Lava plug) and even though I was pissed about my mistakes, I still choose to take a positive spin on this learning experience.

First, I had to do was kick the chest infection. So I took the same disciplined and aggressive approach that I do for training to get rid of the sickness. Number one, I refused to take any medicine or antibiotics. I may get a lot of hate mail or disagreement on this, but I believe this was key in getting me better. Instead of hiding the cough and letting the mucus (sorry, getting real) linger – I lived by a sink/trash can and had Kleenex by my side at all times to cough up and blow out all of that junk as much as I could! I let my body do the healing, not some chemical laced pill or over the counter syrup. *Note, I believe in medicine, just not in every circumstance. I confess - I did use some aids to get me better. I had years of podcast notes, word of mouth help, a hippy mother in law and an awesome wife that helped me come up with a game plan:

  1. Juicing. Definitely a lot of conflicting views on this but I believe it helped a lot. There’s no way I was going to eat as much vegetables as I consumed through juicing. We Amy juices regularly for the whole family – but these had a disgusting spin on them. The one that makes me gag still thinking about it – termed “Diarrhea Drink” by fellow Wattie team mate and pro Erin Green. Amy found a recipe that had a lot of great reviews in kicking sickness. It had onion, garlic, broccoli, celery, carrots, and raw honey. The worst was that you had to have it with hot water – so it was really hard to get down. A lot of dry heaving – again, a lot like training…

  2. Sleep. Without having to get up at 4:30 to get a workout in, sleep became really easy to do. It’s like my body signed up for the same game plan to get well and rewarded me with a lot of non-disruptive sleep.  A lot of this also had to do with my diet which contained easily digestible foods which free your body to do the healing instead of digesting (hence why you always hear soup is good for you when you’re sick). I was regularly getting10-12 hours a night and a nap if I could fit it in.

  3. Hydrating. A ton of water, coconut water, calm now and a lot of lemon, ginger, green tea with raw honey.

  4. Supplements. Extra Sport Multi’s and doubling up on Vitamin C.

  5. Weird things. Oil of oregano with water, apple cider vinegar, coco butter on the chest with eucalyptus oil rubbed on it (don’t ask..freaking weird). For some reason just writing or saying eucalyptus oil makes me laugh.

You know what? The game plan worked. I kicked what should have been a 4-6 week sickness away in 6 days.

What about the mental toll it played on me? After all, a week off should certainly ruin a season right? I definitely took a positive spin on it.

  1. It’s only February.

  2. The Olympics are on all week – inspiration overload!

  3. Mental recharge/Stronger immune system going into the season.

  4. Got to spend more time with the family.

  5. Got to spend more time with the family…

So that’s what I have been up to. What do you do to kick a cold or handle the mental let down of not being able to train?

On the training front, this weekend is the Wattie Ink Elite Training Camp down in Carlsbad, CA. I am live tweeting the daily activities with some pictures. Follow me HERE. Next week I’ll share a lot of pictures and my notes throughout the camp. Thanks for reading!

For more pictures and past stories, be sure to visit my blog at
Feedback and Questions are appreciated!



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