I am currently down for the count with Bronchitis with instructions to not do anything to cause the cough to worsen. What????? I guess that means no long winter Sunday runs or freezing races up mountains. Well, at least for a little while that is. This is hard advice for any athlete to abide to (and doubly hard for a MOM athlete who is also taking care of two sick little ones, one being sick with the tummy bug the other night which amounted to about two hours of sleep for me), However not wanting to have this illness become pneumonia I guess I will have to follow the doctors orders.
Overall I have been feeling pretty good health-wise this winter dodging all of the preschool germs carried home by my little ones. Adding in longer mileage though during the winter months however has opened the door to germs again. According to Bob Cooper in this months online edition of Runner’s World,
“When you push your body without interruption for more than 90 minutes, the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, which suppress immune function, gush out of your adrenal glands. Inflammatory cytokines, neutrophils, and monocytes (red-flag markers of physiological stress) take over your bloodstream, while your virus-fighting T cells and “natural killer cells” go into hiding. None of this is good. It doesn’t make you sick on the spot, but for at least a few hours after the run, it makes your body as inviting to “bugs” as a porch light.”
My Mom jokingly said, “well perhaps it’s the midwinter mountain runs and long runs in the NH cold at dawn that have brought this on.” However being a running addict I firmly disputed and said, “No, it can’t be that . . . I’ll be back to winter running and mountain races in no time.”
Here’s to hoping for better health this winter! If you are looking for more advice from Bob Cooper about running in the winter check out the article that I’ve posted below.