The game we play with Ironman training has us trying to figure out the balance of Train as much as you can! with Stay healthy! Sometimes balancing those out is a real challenge. Especially when you really enjoy training a lot (and training hard!)
Last week when I was in Kona I went a day early and stayed a day late... mostly b/c I just wanted some extra time on the Big Island to truly drill myself (that's what trips to the Big Island are for, no?) and I think I was successful in finding the edge of my cliff again! In fact, I think for the first time in quite some time I actually started to slip down it... Nearly 30 hours of swim/bike/run in those 7 days... the most I've ever done... ending with a 4.5 hour brick on the last day at just above 70.3 race pace/power... That was enough to do me in for a while. I had some planned down time for the rest of the week after I got home and it was really interesting- I felt fine (great actually!) after that last w/o but as soon as I got home and allowed myself to shut it down, I mentally and physically went into a bit of a coma. Not really of course but damn if I wasn't just completely useless for a few days.
Then in the middle of the night on Saturday I found myself up and running to the bathroom thinking I was going to throw up... so odd b/c I never throw up... and I didn't actually do it that night either but I did wake Scott with my dry heaving. He asked if I was ok and in my still sleeping mind I replied that I thought I was just playing out part of the dream I was having (the dream where I was puking)... odd. I let it go, went back to sleep and got up the next morning to get ready to ride. It didn't take long before I realized I was in no shape to ride a bike that day. Nausea, chills, fever, achy, low energy... Totally sucked b/c I had a couple of guys I coach showing up at my house ready to roll at 6:30 and I had to go out and meet them and tell them they were on their own. Blah! But there was just no way I could ride.
Anyway, the point of this post is about how I managed to rid myself of that virus in what I'd say was a pretty quick turn-around! Whenever I get an email from an athlete telling me they think they are getting sick, I tell them to support their body as best the can with sleep and plants. And I mean it! Sleep and plants! Magic cure. Here was my personal opportunity to try it out again...
So Sunday I ate pretty much nothing but fruits and vegetables. Literally- everything I put in my mouth had previously grown from the ground and I hit as many colors as I could. Mango, apple, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, kale, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, orange, lilikoi, banana, tomato, avocado, etc. I also drank a couple mugs of apple cider vinegar mixed with hot water (like ACV tea). I took a nap mid-day and then I went to bed at 8PM and slept until 7AM Monday morning. Monday I wouldn't say I woke up feeling spunky but def better than Sunday. I continued on my plants only diet and by mid-afternoon I felt like maybe I could attempt a little jog. There's a lot of nutrition packed into those plants and I swear they are the best medicine! This morning I felt nearly normal- good enough to ride my bike and run- and now I feel good again! Sleep and plants... magic cure!
Being sick 7 weeks out from your Ironman is in no way ideal... in the end for me I think it was a good reminder that there is indeed a cliff I can fall right off if I'm not careful... It takes a lot for me to get there and I'm glad I went searching for it even if I did start to slip down a bit. It wasn't completely catastrophic or anything- just a good lesson. And a good reminder about the power of plants. So there you go... get your sleep. And eat lots of plants. :)