The human body is a weird and complex machine. It’s basically a fleshy meat suit transporting a brain around while getting into ridiculous situations that could be easily solved by not overthinking the little details and avoiding self destructive behavior. But where’s the fun in that? So when December started I had a fairly simple goal; run 100 miles in the month of December. No big deal right? That’s just a little more than running a 5K run every day throughout the month. Easy squeezy right? Yeaaaaahhhhhhh, about that.
The first 4 days of December go off without a hitch. I did not hit the over 5K target pace but I was out there everyday and improving that distance each day. It had been awhile since I tried to run each and every day so getting back into the swing of things proved to be a challenge. My desire to have the “perfect run” each time usually throws a wrench into things as well. For me, the “perfect run” consists of beating my time, pace, and distance of the previous run. It’s the easiest metric to define improvement each time out. Deep down I know that’s not *exactly* how running works but I’m hyper competitive and it’s how my internal motivation clock works. So when I got back to work after a lengthy vacation, I was refreshed and ready to tackle finding the balance between work life, gym life, and the runner life during the dark days of December. Well, that was the plan until I got a nasty virus knocked me right on my ass as soon as I get back to work.
The common cold on steroids, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. You’re not sick enough to call out of work, thank you modern “nose to the grindstone” workplace culture, but you also know that you should probably keep contact with other people to the bare minimum. While you’re coughing so violently and often that running more than a quarter mile at a time seems like a running a marathon with a hangry toddler strapped to your chest in a babybjorn the entire time, you tend to prioritize getting better over trying in vain to reach those long term running and fitness goals. It’s the worst feeling knowing that achieving your goals has been taken out of your hands by outside forces. However, throwing a pity party gets absolutely nothing done.
So instead of throwing said pity party, what do you do in the interim while you pump yourself full of DayQuill severe to get through the day without coughing up a lung and passing for a functional human being? Channel that unused energy into more productive pursuits and maintain your dietary mission. Just because you’re sick doesn’t mean that you can completely ignore the nutritional side of the equation. Maintaining the same standards you set for our diet while you’re on the mend is vitally important to making sure that you don’t sabotage all of the progress you made when you were neglecting the feeling of unobstructed breathing through our nose. Ahhh, the good old days, how I miss them so.
The moral of the story is even when the world throws you a curveball like getting sick AS SOON AS YOU GET BACK FROM VACATION, there is still plenty within your realm of control to capitalize on the downtime. As well as even if you miss the mark on the goals you set forth through circumstances beyond your control, there is no time for sulking. Sulking gets nothing accomplished besides giving depression an annoying hole to slither through back into your life. And no one has time for that when you have goals to smash through as soon as you’re healthy again.