A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that blog posts about head colds are not that interesting. I stand by that statement, but posts about chest colds may be a different animal. As I noted in that post, my coach recommends riding through head colds, but not through chest colds. Usually I’m good about taking his advice. This time I had a lapse of judgment, and paid deeply for it.
The head cold that I brought back with me from Vegas was nothing out of the ordinary. I was stuffy, nasally congested, with occasional coughing and no fever. This is the type of cold that lasts maybe 2-3 days before I’m back on my feet again. This time, to my surprise, even though I felt slightly better after a couple days, the cold just lingered. Summer colds can do that.
After more than a week passed, I could tell it was progressing through my system, away from the nasal area and into my chest. It still wasn’t what I would define as a chest cold, because it didn’t really hurt. Sometimes a minor cough can develop and linger once the bad part of the cold has passed, but it’s not a major inhibitor.
I went ahead with my training. I was feeling a little worse than usual last Thursday, but still decided to ride with the Tri-City folks. After 5 minutes on the road, my symptoms were forgotten. I rode a little harder than usual, and was pleased that the effort did not hurt as much as usual. It showed that my fitness level was coming back.
When I got home, I started coughing. And coughing. And coughing some more! This was not a light productive cough, but a hacking, miserable, dry cough. It went from a slight cold to extreme cold almost instantly. Every time I erupted, it would feel like someone was stabbing me in the chest.
I could barely talk the next morning. I stopped by Doctor’s Care to make sure nothing serious was going on. The good news is that this is not an infection, just a nagging, annoying summer cold that won’t go away. The doctor gave me some meds to help treat the symptoms, and to just wait the virus out.
The weekend was rough. I’ll spare you the gross details. We’ll just say that it was not pleasant. I turned the corner a little bit on Monday, but the cough was still there. It has gotten a little better every day since, and today I feel well enough to ride again, albeit without pushing too hard.
Now I understand why Bobby is so reluctant to have me train with a chest cold. I’m listening to him from now on, and that includes his advice for the weekend plans. He said that pushing myself to the limit is still not a good idea, even when I feel fully recovered. After these three weeks, the last thing I want is to get sick again.
The tough casualty of all this is Roan Moan. This is an event that I’ve meant to ride the last three years, but something keeps coming up. Instead I’m going to shoot for the Boone Gran Fondo the following weekend.