I pride myself on never getting sick. When people at my office and court were dropping like flies with whatever was going around earlier in the summer, I breezed through without a sniffle. Really... I.Never.Get.Sick.
Except. I think I am getting a cold. Last night I woke up every hour or two with a sore throat. My ears are plugged, and my head is foggy. There is a hollow ache deep in my throat and chest. And...this morning I made the unprecedented decision to get another hour of sleep instead of going out to run in the darkness.
This exact same thing happened a week before the Whidbey half marathon in April. Bad luck, or... AN EVIL CURSE??? Okay, bad luck.
Anyhow, I'm aggressively treating the incipient cold with Zicam (homeopathic zinc-based cold remedy), hot tea with lemon and lots of honey (honey has anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic qualities which can help heal wounds and kill viruses and bacteria) (and you thought it just tasted good), tylenol to fend off aches and pains, and I am trying to go to sleep early tonight because I am sure that will help cure me. I'm not taking any other medications right now (except for sucking on the occasional Riccola throat drop), although I may consider an over-the-counter cold remedy if my symptoms get worse in the next day or two.
I am no blame layer, but I have been trying to figure out WHO GAVE ME THIS COLD? What germ-infested juvenile did I pass my pen to? (Probably later sticking it in my mouth in a moment of reflective thinking...ewww.) Was it somebody at the Y leaving germs on the cardio machines, which I picked up with my sweaty hands and then transferred to my mucus membranes when I wiped sweat off my face? Was it somebody at my office polluting the VERY AIR THAT I BREATHE?
While running and exercise can help increase immunity (and I think I've certainly experienced this, to a large extent), intensive exercise and long distance running can also temporarily decrease immunity and make you more vulnerable to colds and other viruses, according to an article in Runner's World.
So I've allowed myself a little bit of whining, I ate a big bowl of squash soup for dinner*, I'm going to make a big mug of honey & lemon tea, and I'm about to tuck myself into bed with a hot water bottle (I have cold feet and I keep my thermostat low). Because sometimes a little self-indulgence is the best thing for what ails you. (As long as it stops ailing you before the big race!)
*I also ate quite a lot of chocolate covered ginger before dinner. I thought it was just my weakened defenses unable to resist its siren lure, but as it turns out, ginger also has antioxidant and other qualities which may help resist or cure cold viruses!