Sometimes, the hardest advice to follow is our own. Those of you who have been reading my posts and comments for some time are aware that I am quick to let anyone know that a few days off for illness or injury is better than pushing too hard and causing further damage. I truly believe that. I'm just terrible at heeding my own warnings.
So, when Saturday's swim wiped me out and opened a chink in my armor, I was faced with some tough decisions. Sunday, I had an hour run scheduled, as well as a meeting of our local triathlon club. After church, I took the opportunity to get a nap and try to break the fever that had been plaguing me since the swim. I quickly decided that the meeting was out, and abandoned the run as a bad idea. It's tough to run when you're sleeping and covered with all kinds of blankets.
After a couple hour's rest, I woke up and threw on my cycling clothes. The fever had almost broke, so what harm was there in a simple spin on the trainer (Power Intervals DVD). That would be at least something in the trianing log.
By half-time of the Super Bowl, I knew that a long swim Monday morning wasn't going to happen. Frustrating as that was, I yielded to common sense (and my wife mentioning she would unplug the alarm clock if I set it for 4:30). I also opted out of Tuesday's training sessions. Wednesday, I switched my swim for a one-hour run. While still exercise, I was at least out of the water.
That still leaves me playing catch-up for the week. Though I know I'll be unable to get back all the training, I'm trying to get some quality workouts in, now that I'm feeling somewhat better.
This morning, I did the scheduled 1000 yard swim. I was going to skip it, until I saw it was only 1000 yards. The short swim gave me time to get some strength training in, as well. Tonight, I'm doing a bike session that was moved from Monday. By the end of the day, I'll basically be short two swims. Long ones, but only two swims. I'll take that after being down for three days.
At the end of the day, we have to be willing to listen to our bodies. They are extremely accurate when it comes to identifying the need for rest. And this time of year tends to find us fighting any of a wide range of health issues.
Training is important. Just remember to listen to your body as it provides feedback about your health. There is little to gain by struggling through a workout because we're too stubborn to admit we might be sick or injured.