This week, I am writing my blog from the comfort of my sofa. Not good at sitting still, but forced into it due to a very nasty bout of full on flu. To say that I'm a little hacked off is a bit of an understatement, and I'd much rather be out there running, but common sense has to take over at some point, and rest is key to recovery. The Doctor who came out to see me laughed and shook his head when I breathlessly asked “So, when do you think I'll be able to run again, then?”. He obviously thought I was nuts. He's right, of course.
When I eventually do get back out there, the smell of Vicks Vaporub is going to be so overpowering I shall probably gas half of the town centre. People will be dropping like flies as I struggle past them sounding like I need an ambulance.
This winter we have seen more than our fair share of bugs that threaten to strike us down and completely scupper our training schedules, and I'm sure you will all agree with me, it's bloody irritating. One afternoon I was enjoying a four miler, and even went further than planned. Not 12 hours later I wake up feeling like someone has beaten me around the body with a massive stick, and I can't even go to the toilet unaided.
It seems that most of you runners I have spoken to over the last week or so have been the same. I take my hat off to the guy on Instagram who thought “Bugger it, I'm going out anyway” and ended up doing a very comfortable 8 miler despite coughing and spluttering his way round. Well done mate.
So, what to do?
Yes, it's annoying. Yes, it interrupts your training schedule, and yes you certainly feel like when you get back into it, it's back to square one. Apart from feeling ill, you're also one seriously cheesed off runner. But this particular setback has made me realise that patience, rest and lots of fluids is needed, and there is no other way around it. Relax, go with it. Eat the odd cake if you want to (Purely for medicinal purposes, you understand). It won't be long before you are up and about again, and ready to hit the roads and trails.
Finally, treat yourself. Have a look on-line at some new piece of running kit, or an upgrade to your fitness watch. It will bring you comfort and give you that little bit of extra incentive when you finally do get out there again.
Don't worry people, spring is just around the corner, and the lighter nights beckon. As my Grandad used to say “It won't always be dark at 6”.