A week ago I was just a day short of completing a 500km month (albeit with 30km of running included) and I was the fittest I’ve been in several years. Unusually I wasn’t suffering from any niggly injuries – not even a blister. The only issue I had was a nagging cough that had been annoying me for about three weeks. I blamed the cough on breathing in too much cold air when training in temperatures as low as minus 5 degrees.
But by Sunday night I was beginning to think that something was wrong. My cough was much, much worse, I was incredibly tired and my chest was tight.
Due to a long waiting list to see my doctor I ended up at the local hospital on Wednesday where the doctor on duty diagnosed a lung infection and advised that I take 7 days off work, 5 days off training, and complete bed rest for a few days. At the time I (only half jokingly) asked the doctor if the five days of no training excluded parkrun as I didn’t think I was that sick, and it is only 5km on a Saturday morning. He reaffirmed what he had just said – “5 days of no training and bed rest”.
And now I know why. It is Friday afternoon and I still feel very week. I have been sleeping (restlessly) for up to 20 hours a day and the last thing I want to do tomorrow is go anywhere outside.
As my wife keeps reminding me that this lung infection is self-inflicted. I should have eased off the training when I first developed the cough. But I had a fantastic January. I saw plenty of places that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and in theory the majority of the fitness and endurance that I gained during the month will still be there when I resume training again.
But I have also decided that I will ease back in to the training very slowly, and have cancelled my plans to race in Bourges in 3 weeks time. I may also cancel my plans to do the Château-Thierry 24 hour at the end of March and instead focus on the two UK races I have planned for May (the Thames Towpath 100 mile race and the Grand Union Canal Race which is 145 miles) if the temperature remains cold during the latter part of February and early part of March. I am not keen on training long distances in this cold weather again.
So you might not hear from me again for another couple weeks. Not until I start training again anyway.