Over the course of a year and a half or so of training for triathlon, I've learned a lot. Some lessons have been free of cost such as simple advice from friends and coaches...others, however, have come with a big price and those are the ones that I'll probably never forget. One of the biggest is dealing with an injury or sickness.
Training for Ironman I started to develop pain in my right foot- from the calve to the arch. But, as many of us do, I ignored it and continued to train. Eventually I couldn't run without crying, got a brace, bought numerous over-the-counter-orthodics, and had to water run for about 2 weeks. Now I know to pay attention at the first signs of discomfort, ice, stretch, and wear enough support.
As for the illness, this I wouldn't even wish upon my worst enemy...
In mid-September just prior to heading out to San Diego for a knarly week of training before the taper to IM, I got food poisoning!! A friend and I went to an Italian restaurant and the Sea Bass became my living nightmare. On the car ride home I began to feel tipsy, and all I had to drink was water. Sure enough, I spent the whole night hugging the toilet, throwing up and feeling nasuea as I never before had experienced. I've had my share of eating a bad shrimp, etc but this was unreal, I felt like I wanted to die. The net morning, I had to go into work for aout an hour before heading to the airport. I looked pale green and tried to sip on ginger juice and eat applesauce, but nothing helped, I continuously got worse. I don't remember the drive to the airport, but once I parked, as the shuttle lady was loading my luggage I was throwing up next to my car. The airport and the airplane ride were living hell. I only hoped I would feel better in a day or so since the whole purpose of this trip was major training.
Long story short, it got BAD. The next morning I attempted a 30min swim and 2 hr bike ride with a transition run- STUPID STUPID!! I could only take in water and about 1/2 cup of it so I was dehydrated, weak from lack of food, dizzy, nasueaus, etc. This lasted the whole week and I had to go home early as I wasn't able to train and my Ironman race could really be sacrificed if I didn't get better soon. The straw that broke the camel's back was the 6 hour ride I attempted, only to last 4 hours and throw up every 30min.
When I returned to Dallas I spent 3 days on the couch trying to eat as much food as possible. I had done a 10min run and found that my legs were empty, they couldn't support me- it was horrible. After the time off and the fueling, I ran again and it was like my body had rebelled from taking the sudden 3 days off after all the previous' months training and the stress of the illness just prior, that my legs hurt so bad I had to stop and walk every minute or so.
So today, I had weights and a swim on the schedule. Yesterday I made the mistake of choosing to run out in the cold even though my cough/congestion wasn't better. But I looked back on last year's mistake and stopped myself from repeating it. I did weights this morning but chose to opt out of swimming. I'm sick. It's hard to admit and to see that long term this will have no effect on my season if I just step back and give my body the rest I need to get well. Hopefully by tomorrow I can do my workouts at a lower intensity, but I promised myself that if I feel like I did today, another day off will be necessary.