It all started a few days after the half-marathon. I had already decided to take a couple days off running following the race, although I’m not sure I could have actually gone for an easy run on those days without hurting myself. That very cold but fast-ish race really beat me up. On the Monday and Tuesday of the conference I was hobbling around, and sitting still comfortably for long periods of time was a challenge. But by Wednesday I was feeling fine, so I went for a short run around downtown San Jose.
It was colder than I had expected, and I had only packed a couple of short-sleeve running shirts—it’s California, right?—so I was a little chilled for the first ten minutes or so. The same thing happened Saturday morning, when I put in seven flat miles from my hotel to the airport and back along the excellent Guadalupe River Trail. In the days between those runs, I got a case of the sniffles and a sore throat, but it went (mostly) away, even after a nice (but chilly) hike with friends along the coast at Half Moon Bay.
I could hear on the other end of the phone line that Lisa had a bit of a cold, too. I assumed that we both got chilled in New Bedford—me running and her waiting around for me to finish—and then compounded it with a cold outdoor run or bike ride (in Lisa’s case). The day I returned home from California—a week after the race—Lisa was flying to Oregon, and we passed somewhere over the middle of the country. When she returned home the next weekend, her cough had progressed to something more menacing.
While she was gone I did my usual thing. Swim in the mornings three times a week. Run after work a few times. Ride my bike a few times. The weather was gradually warming up, but these workouts were all a bit cool. The bicycling and the swimming felt difficult, which I attributed to not having done much of them recently, but the running was good . . . almost easy. The day before Lisa arrived home I went for a decidedly difficult seven-mile run. It was hard partly because it was chilly and the route I picked had a 2.5-mile hill in the middle of it. But really it was tough because I had given blood the evening before.
Last week the temperatures finally warmed up a bit. I was still coming home from a ride with a runny nose, but at least the temperatures were in the sixties and seventies. Monday and Wednesday I did some incredibly hard (for me) swim sets and was coughing a bit afterward, but I didn’t think anything of it. My swim paces were still off my best times, but I was feeling strong. Wednesday I went for a run.
All last week my BG readings had been terrible. Terrible as in: high all day except immediately after I exercised, during which they dropped 150+ mg/dL (8.5+ mmol/L). In general, I seemed to be insulin resistant. I loaded myself up with insulin and my blood glucose barely moved. 180 (10) was the “new normal” where my body seemed to want to stay. Except that I had finally gotten myself down to 130 (7.2) on Wednesday before my run, which had me feeling incredibly nervous. Because I’m stubborn, I went running anyway, and ended up walking the third of four miles in a bit of a stupor. When I finally started running again, my hypo sweat had me almost shivering. That evening Jess had to talk me down—which I admit was quite easy—when I expressed feeling that I totally sucked at diabetes.
That night and the one before I slept in the guest bedroom because Lisa’s coughing prevented me from sleeping. Even the cat abandoned the poor girl.
Thursday, I finally started to put things together. The ineffective 115-120% basal rates, the slow swimming, the coughing, the sniffles, the copious amounts of Mucinex D that I was taking to loosen up my congested chest, . . . I didn’t suck at swimming or diabetes. I was getting sick. Not (hopefully) the same bronchitis crud that I had last year (and that Lisa seems to have now) but definitely something. I went to bed early.
Friday, I skipped the pool. It was tough for me to do. The coming week is spring break for the town’s kiddos. And as Pool Lady used to say, “No school. No pool.” I didn’t want to take an extra day off swimming before a full week hiatus. But I needed the rest, and I think the chlorine was messing with my already fragile sinuses. Midmorning, I felt like I was in a haze. “I think I’m going to go home early,” I told Lisa, who had been given an antibiotic prescription by her doctor the previous afternoon. By noon I canceled my afternoon meetings and went home to lie on my sofa. I watched a fascinating episode of “Nova” about Australia before falling asleep to wake up more than an hour later with the cat asleep atop me.
Lisa and I had planned to go to New York on Saturday to see “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity,” which are three of my favorite things. But Friday evening, as I was laying around sounding pathetic, Lisa (easily) convinced me that we should go another weekend and concentrate on getting well. Which is what we did.
I concentrated—I really did—but the jury is still out on how well I am. I did the dishes yesterday, and we shopped for groceries today, and that was about it. Well, I did read 150 pages to finish The Romantic Revolution: A History. But mostly I slept and sat around. And coughed. And sniffled. And coughed a bit more.
The good news is that I slept better last night than the previous. My head also isn’t pounding the way it has been the last couple of days, nor is my skin quite so crawly. And while I’m still coughing and sniffling, it’s a little better than before (I think).
The hardest part—perhaps worse than actually feeling like crap—is knowing that my first race is only a month away and that I haven’t been training much recently. But I’m trying not to worry, because usually when I come back from an illness, I end up doing better than before.
Anyway, tomorrow is Patriot’s Day, the best day of the year. I just need to make sure that I dress overly warmly so that I don’t get chilled again.