At the end of my last physical in September, my doctor said to me, "don't forget to get your flu shot this year!" I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "I will do no such thing." He looked a bit perplexed, so I explained to him that in 28 years, I have never had the flu and never had a flu shot. It was one of those, "if it's not broke, why fix it" type deals. I almost never get sick, either, nor do I have any allergies. However, I typically get a very nasty cold exactly once a year, it's always the same form and it happens around the same time of the year. Well, actually, it varies as to when it happens by about a month or two. It is either around my birthday, which is mid November, or it happens shortly after my first ski trip of the year - usually late December or early January. So this year, after my birthday passed and the first ski trip over Christmas was out of the way, I breathed a sigh of relief as I was as healthy as ever. I figured that this California climate was doing something for me and that I had shed my once-a-year ailment.
Oh, I was not quite right. This Tuesday's intervals were on the cold, damp side of the Headlands and I sincerely froze my ass off by the time I was done, despite all the hard work on the bike. By the middle of my workout, I wished I was doing hill repeats that morning just so I would have been a bit warmer. By the end of my work day, I began to feel the all to familiar sensation in the back of my throat, which made me thing, "oh-oh, am I getting sick?" See, my annual sickness has a pattern - it starts with a sore throat, goes to chest congestion, around day three, I completely lose my voice and then it all gets better within a couple of days. When I got home, I immediately began an hourly gargling regiment. The best cure for a sore throat is gargling on the hour with a solution of apple cider vinegar and water - two tablespoons of vinegar to a glass of water.
As I went to bed, after swallowing some NyQuil; I was still planning on waking up in the morning and doing hill repeats in the same cold headlands. But when I woke up on Wednesday morning, I had a horrendous head cold. I figured that sleep would do my body much more good than hill repeats, and reset my alarm for 7:30. I probably would have called in sick that day, but I had an important meeting I didn't want to reschedule, so I dragged myself to work. After the meeting was done, I left early and went home to get some rest. Some much needed rest. I didn't get much, however, as around 5, I dragged myself out of bed and dragged myself to M2, where two hours of sweating on the bike definitely did me some good. At the very least, it made me sleep better.
So now it's Thursday, and I took a day off work to relax and get my health under control. I feel much better today and it looks like I'm already on the up swing. I'm very happy about the fact that I didn't have to develop horrible chest congestion and lose my voice entirely for that to happen, but since I'm not completely out of the woods yet, I'll try not to jinx myself. However, this little illness did remind me that I'm not super human and that at times, I should take a little better care of myself and try not to catch any nasty bugs. Another evening at M2, followed by some over-the-counter meds and a good night's rest, and hopefully, I'll be in tip top shape tomorrow and ready to jump in with the Roasters on Saturday morning. But more on that later.