If it’s going to happen, it might as well be now.
“It” is “getting sick,” and the sentence above is meant to convince myself that really, it’s no big deal that my throat stings and I feel like I’ve been hit over the head with a cast-iron skillet. I’ve got 24 days til the Marine Corps Marathon, according to the helpful little ticker on the right side of the race’s Web site, which is more than enough time to get myself in good working order.
Knowing my immune system would be on the weak side, what with this being the the peak of my training and all, I’ve already been trying to take extra-good care of myself. The friendly reminder that my body’s a bit fragile these days has made me step it up another notch. Here’s what that means for me:
*Eating an absurd amount of baby spinach in salads, red and yellow bell peppers for snacks and fruit for desserts. I’m going the multi-vitamin route, too, but I’m aiming to get close to a vitamin C OD through fruits and veggies alone.
*Taking echinacea, which evidence suggests can reduce the duration of a cold, and is totally worth a try in my book. That, and Zicam. The gross nose-spray kind.
*Sleeping whenever possible. Going to bed early, forcing myself to stay in bed a few minutes longer in the morning — whatever. If I can steal a few extra minutes, I do.
*On the injury-prevention side of things, I’ve been taking baths with Epsom salt after even shorter efforts. It really helps get rid of any lingering soreness.
*Along the same lines, I’ve been foam-rolling daily.
*Saving up for another massage before the marathon. I got one a few weeks ago from Cary Bland, a massage therapist who’s actually a runner and cyclist himself, and it really helped work out some of the training-induced kinks.
*And, finally, I’ve been keeping up with my core- and hip-strengthening routine. A recent addition: a new set of exercises from Robert Gillanders, the ultra-marathoning physical therapist who created a new workout for the DC Running Examiner.
What do you do to take care of your body during the toughest parts of your training cycle? Let me know by posting a comment!
My posts may be sporadic for the rest of the week. For all the tough talk about taking care of myself, I’m heading to West Virginia to tailgate for the CU-WVU game, scream until I’m even more hoarse at the actual game and then go backpacking in the Monongohela for a quick overnight trip before resuming my hard-line on self-care. It’s the kind of trip that, even if it makes me sicker, will be totally worth it. Wish me and my throat luck …