God created man and woman equal with regards to resistance to suffering and pain. Women received the gift of a high pain threshold to be able to handle the (for a man) unimaginable pain at child birth, men got the almost supernatural ability – to surviving one of the most horrific illnesses known to mankind – The ManCold. A deadly synndrome that no woman can comprehend.
Sometimes The ManCold is scrutinized by women and belittled and called a normal cold. That is not nice.
It has been many years since I last had a ManCold, maybe 15years or more – I have been so fortunate, but now the deadly sickness almost took my life. In fact I am still unsure if I made it.
To celebrate my 50th birthday I didnt want to have a big party and speeches and junk, most of my really close frineds would not be able to make it to Sweden anyway. We decided to spend it family only – and have plenty of possibility to (swim/bike/run). So we took a quick trip down to Mallorca and arrived in perfect time to perfect weather.
We landed on Saturday and I managed to get a quickie out to Formeltor. On Sunday I felt odd so instead of doing 120km in the hills I did 90km flat. Monday was my birthday and that has always to be done in style (but I promised my family not to do more than 4,5hrs so I cut it short), 3,500m OW swim, 90km Hard&Hilly repeats followed by a 7km fast brick run. Felt perfect – mentally – but physically something was not right.
Tuesday I was going for the mountains again – but had sore lungs, coughing and heavy head. Did 120klm flat instead and came back. That night it hit and it hit hard. Rest of the trip I had fever, coughing my lungs out and was stuck in the hotel room. Flew back on Saturday, still sick as a dog. Monday no better, Tuesday I finally went to a doctor. The doctor just shook her head when she received the X-rays and test-results back. So you have been training with this infection in your system?. Antibiotics next and 10 days later (after two full weeks completely knocked out) I manage to do my first easy 30 min jog on Bambi legs.
”Who the hell are you?”
”I am the Death”
”Ah, that explains the darkness”
So what can we learn from this? The obvious is Dont train when you are sick! which is as effective to say to a passionate triathlete in Mallorca as to say to an alcoholic Dont drink” when he is in an open bar and thirsty like a destert dog.
I think we need to be a little more flexible here.
What I have learned (and obviously didnt practice on myself this time) is following general advice that I got from coaches and doctors over the years:
- Bellow the neck – when you feel a cold coming on above the neck you can often continue with easy training (if not fever etc). If you feel a cold coming on that is affecting your chest and respiratory system rest a few days. If you neglect this and still train when you have a real ManCold – it is very likely that it will hit you really hard.
- If you just have runny nose and sore throat – it can be allergy rather than a cold (depending on time of the year of course). My wife reminded me about this for the first 15 years of our marriage, when I was saying that I was getting a cold in May – every May. Symptoms are almost identical.
- Ease back into it – give yourself a week to build back into your program if you have been out for two weeks with antibiotics. If you are only out for 3-5 days and feel you can jump straight back into hard training – you probably just needed a break and some downtime and were not really sick.
- When in doubt – see a Medical Doctor.
NOTE1: All above is based on my own experience only and has not been verified in any study that I know of. However, I know that there is significant funding and on-going research on The ManCold and it is likely to become listed by WHO as one of the most dangerous illnesses know to man, alongside with Ebola.
NOTE2: Obviously the comparison of pain and suffering between giving birth and The ManCold is a joke. Women get epidural and laughing gas but when you get The ManCold you are lucky to get an aspirin, a pat on the head by your wife and you are on you own.
// ManCold Surviver