Covid Triathlete Diaries

By February 4, 2021 No Comments

How the hell did I get Covid?!?!  I consider myself to be a fairly healthy person with a strong immune system; I am rarely sick and if I am, it lasts only a day or 2… I can’t even remember the last time I was sick!!  I thought that my vegan superpowers would surely help keep me healthy. I have not been that concerned about contracting Covid-19. Of course I have been taking precautions when out and about but felt that eventually we are all going to get it and if I did happen to get it, I would most likely be OK. I had even mentioned to someone recently that I wish I would just get it, so I could get it over with and get the antibodies. Well, ask and you shall receive!

Last Sunday, my husband and I travelled from Dallas to Phoenix to do a 4 day training camp with my coach. On Monday, I had a tiny bit of a cough but otherwise zero other symptoms – I felt fine and had no fever and thought that I had some seasonal allergies flaring up due to the air or something in the hotel (which does happen to me from time to time). I did my training that week feeling good, still no symptoms, and knocking out some good work. Camp wrapped up Thursday morning and we left for Palm Desert on Thursday evening, noting a bit more congestion. I woke up Friday morning even more congested and definitely noticing mucus in my lungs and a “wet” cough, and by Friday evening I realized that I couldn’t taste my dinner. I woke up Saturday and couldn’t smell or taste my coffee and went immediately to get a Covid test which, of course, came back positive. I went for an hour run that morning while waiting for the results, feeling pretty good with a relatively low HR for my pace. This would turn out to be my last workout because from here I would say that my symptoms got worse, plus I knew that having Covid chest congestion could result in a progression to pneumonia and/or long-term lung damage.

Sunday I was actually feeling OK and wanted to do my scheduled 2 hr bike ride, but thought, “Nah, it’s probably better just to rest and not aggravate the virus and potentially get worse.” It is so hard to miss workouts!!!! But I’ve grown a (tiny) bit wiser as I’m getting older and skipped it. I was super congested with sinus and ear pain but my energy levels were good; I’ve heard that a lot of people have bad body aches but that was never a symptom that I had. We were supposed to head to Orange County on Monday but have a roommate there so obviously we could not go and luckily used a Marriott timeshare certificate we had to get a large 2 bedroom villa so we could quarantine separately (my husband luckily has not shown any symptoms). Also luckily, it’s pretty much a ghost town here at this time of year, as many of the snowbirds have left!   I also just found out my coach is negative as well – BIG phew!!

As the week has progressed, I’d say my congestion has gotten better and isn’t causing pain anymore, but it is definitely lingering around and I still have a “wet” cough. I’ve been taking OTC medicine such as Robitussin and Mucinex during the day (expectorant, nasal decongestant, and cough suppressant) and 1 Nyquil capsule (a half dose, technically, because I am sensitive and don’t take meds ever!) which has been helping my sleep. I have been averaging about 10 hours of sleep per night, but not needing naps during the day. I honestly can’t really tell if the meds are making any difference at all, and I’m actually inclined to say that I feel like they’re NOT!  The Nyquil has been helping me sleep through the night, which has probably been really vital. I was taking Advil last week, then I stopped, and today I took it again because I woke up feeling worse with lower back pain and a nasty headache.

A weird thing that has happened is that it has been causing a weird feeling in my face that I really don’t know how to describe.. almost like a metallic feeling/taste in my sinuses. That sounds totally bizarre, but I really don’t know how else to describe it! I also have had a rash on my legs and arms that has been extremely itchy that has caused bumps and small welts.  Another strange thing that I think is related (I’ve been reading about Covid “brain fog”) is that reading has been hard.  When I try to read a book it’s almost as though I’m dyslexic – the words seem to move around on the page and it’s hard to concentrate.  I thought that I was getting a little better each day and was even thinking that by today (Thursday) I might try the easy recovery bike ride I had on the schedule. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling worse today.. UGH BIG BUMMER. I’ve been hearing from many people that that is kind of how it goes and can go on like this for many weeks even after symptoms have subsided – one day you’ll feel fine and be full of energy, and the next day you’re on your ass in bed. I have felt dizzy and out of it all morning and it’s hard to concentrate – kinda like having too much coffee on an empty stomach and feeling jittery and light-headed.

It’s one of a triathlete’s (or any athlete’s) nightmares to be sidelined right as the season is getting going with races on the horizon, and especially after a year of no racing it’s literally all I want to do to be training my butt off right now!! Luckily, St. George is still 3 months away and though in my brain I literally feel like that is RIGHT around the corner, I know that I’ve still got time to make some solid gains before the season (hopefully) begins. At this point, all I can do is focus all my efforts on resting, recovery, and trying to make sure that I make a full and healthy return to training when I’m ready. I thought that I’d be back at it by now, but I’m learning and hearing from others that it’s probably going to be another week or so. Health is wealth and being sidelined, albeit extremely bored and watching my fitness skip out the door, is a minor blip in the road right now.  Today is 5 days I haven’t been able to do a workout… but I’ll be back soon!

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