I'm still off sick today, although as evening tide flows past, I get a familiar feeling from my childhood: the feeling of death pathogens flushing through my bloodstream and that weary sore sensation that provides hope of a fever burned out and just the repair works after the infection left for the body to cope with.
If anything showcases the importance of a holistic approach to fitness, as in "don't forget the health element", 2009 has been it. I may have lost 2008 with injury and I will remember the lessons of that year for it, but 2009 will be the Year of Illness. I have had more colds, flus, eye-infections, and similar weak illnesses that can be attributed to a weakened immune system.
I have felt for some time that I never quite regained full health after my panic attack in 2008 and its not impossible that my endocrine (hormonal) system was somewhat weakened by this incident. The hard training of early 2009 has meant that while my fitness has improved my immune system (and everything else) has been playing catch-up. Again, anaerobic training combined with busyness in other walks of life, is the great killer of the endocrine system and by extension the immune system.
And this is the lesson: I'm back on a host of supplements (which I had mostly given up to save a few quid) to ensure that I have the best nutriants available at all times and I've tidied up my diet and my sleeping volume again. Moving into 2010, my challenge won't be to stay uninjured (I believe I have a good handle on that now) but to stay healthy enough to compete.
I read about an interesting book called "The Natural Athlete" in the latest issue of Running Fitness (the newer running magazine competing now with Runner's World) and it had some great advice on how diet can strengthen the immune system. I'll be looking into this further when I regain enough intellectual nous to write something interesting!