The slow return
What's worse: an injury or the flu? I guess that's a loaded question because it depends on the injury, but from my experiences I can confidently say that getting the flu is worse. Not only does it drag you down for a couple of weeks, there's the lingering cough.
And more coughing. And more coughing.
It's been two months since I had the flu. It's only been a few weeks that I haven't had a cough.
Running in the past couples of months has been a struggle. While I've talked a lot about needing the downtime, I didn't want that to include not running at all for a week, then only running less than 10 miles in a week for two weeks after that.
In hindsight, it seems like a miracle that I even did Disney. But I also know that Disney led to someone as a setback for me as my cough returned after that trip following a small break.
When I've been injured, getting out of shape was only my fault. Feeling sorry for yourself is stupid and unnecessary. I've learned that the hard way.
With the flu, though, I simply couldn't do anything.
Now, though, I've had a couple of weeks that have felt like major breakthroughs. I've managed a couple of short tempo runs with my pace right around 8 minutes a mile. I did a progressive run last night in which I was able to close out the final mile in 7:51.
I've also been eating better. My wife and I now have a Customer Appreciation Card for a local market that gives free food after a minimal purchase.
This week, for example, we spent $12 on apples, strawberries, potatoes, squash, avocado, bananas and blueberries and got a head of cabbage and 2 pounds of apples for free. More on that in a future post.
I've added more cross training than usual, but I could be doing more. I go to our apartment's gym a couple of times a week to do about 20 minutes on the bike and then weights. I've been consistent with that for several weeks now and I can't wait to do more.
Getting the flu in December was like pushing the reset button for me, even though it's not something I wanted or needed. That said, it's given me a fresh perspective and a greater appreciation for all things running.