Post marathon sickness

9 May

Today’s workout:
walk to work and make it through the day without falling asleep….

I started getting a sore throat on Sunday evening and have been taking 2 vitamin D’s for the last three days.  Today I feel like I can barely walk (not just due to leg soreness).
I found this article in Running Times on running and your immune system:

The simplest way to stay well is to follow your mother’s advice: wash your hands, get a good night’s sleep, avoid sick people and eat a healthy diet. Let’s look closer at nutritional concerns. Increasing evidence indicates that immune function is reduced by carbohydrate depletion. Two hypotheses for this link are: 1) reduced blood glucose levels lead to the release of stress hormones which alter immune function; and 2) when immune cells run low on glucose they cannot do their job as well. Depleting your carbohydrate stores, however, also provides the stimulus for your muscles and liver to stockpile more glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrate).
So, on the one hand, becoming carbohydrate depleted provides positive training adaptations, while on the other hand it appears to lower your defenses. To obtain the positive training stimulus to increase glycogen storage while minimizing immune system suppression, replace carbohydrates as soon as possible after your long carbohydrate-depleting efforts. Antioxidant supplementation (e.g. vitamins C, E, beta carotene and selenium) may help maintain immune function after strenuous exercise by neutralizing free radicals.
By Pete Pfitzinger, M.S.  As featured in the May 2003 issue of Running Times Magazine

I guess being in an airport right before the race probably didn’t help… I try to wash my hands a lot but as a nail biter I’m sure this defeats the purpose.  

I also read this article on Marathon and Beyond:

 “Running a marathon and beyond is a huge stressor,” says David Nieman, professor of health and exercise science at Appalachian State University. “What you put your body through is beyond what’s good for it,” notes Nieman, who has run 58 marathons and ultras. After about 90 minutes of running, blood glucose levels begin to drop (assuming the runner hasn’t been taking in adequate amounts of carbohydrates), triggering the release of stress hormones, particularly cortisol.
These hormones, in turn, suppress and stress many components of the immune system, especially the innate system. Phagocytes and NK cells become less efficient at killing microbial invaders; macrophages don’t communicate as well with lymphocytes. The levels of one of the most important antibodies in saliva and the mucous membranes, IgA, drop dramatically. These are just a few stress hormone-induced changes to the immune system.
This so-called open window of altered immunity is temporary, lasting from three to 72 hours after an intense, prolonged event. Nevertheless, it presents an ideal opportunity to viruses and other invading pathogens, especially those that enter the body through the respiratory system. 

 SO.  There is some science behind the fact that I always get a cold after marathons. I guess I’ll have to start carrying hand sanitizer with me and wearing a mask whenever I travel for races.

Race photos were posted today!! I actually don’t look too horrible for once.
I can’t decide if I should order any.  Maybe they look just fine with PROOF written over them?

It’s 6pm.  I think that’s a good time for BED!

Anyone else tend to get sick after races?
How many days off of running do you take after a race? 

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