The lurgy's distorting my judgment!

If you were to place me on a scale of how I cope with sickness, with 1 being the "stoic perfect mother who will battle on til the end" and 10 being the "man who is bedbound for 15 years the moment his nose begins to run", I would most definitely be an eight.

I used to soldier on no matter what. However, experiencing several high-stress events over the last 10 years has eroded that ability a little. I suspect having three wee souls to care for has too - with years of interrupted sleep (though of course they are fantastic, and are all well and truly "sleeping through" now).

I think that "man flu" and all that it conjures up isn't about gender at all, but more the knowledge that if you're sick and also responsible for "bringing home the bacon", one day (or two if needed) doing nothing but wallow in your own exhaustion, snot and racking coughs is better than spending three weeks soldiering on because you're too busy to stop.

My initial bootcamp time is over today, and you and I are both as much in the dark about whether I actually ran this morning. Me because I'm writing this in the past - at five to five on Thursday night - and you, dear reader, because if I am in the dark about my whereabouts, so will you be (unless of course you are my stalker and then I must say...HELLO).

I'm not currently feeling well enough to do more than walk to the fridge, pour myself another glass of water, then walk back to the bed. So to think of running in just over 12 hours? It's possibly not going to happen.

However, much to my surprise (and after reflected response to the boyfriend's "So what ARE you going to do for exercise once bootcamp is over?"), I'm going to do another bootcamp. Starting on Monday. Which means I'll be getting a run in regardless.

As incredible as this is to me - the person who abhors running, is terrified of scooting down hills in the dark, and dislikes burpees more than anything in the entire world, excluding of course violence, prejudice and whitebait fritters - I know that the six weeks I've had are actually starting to show real results.

I have a pile of reasons why I don't want to do it. Here are a few:

  1. Childcare is difficult to procure for this time of the morning and my kids can't manage more than two early starts per week to accompany me.

  2. I'm about to hit my busy patch, which means long days after that 90-minute post-workout high passes.

  3. I strongly dislike watching my team be penalised for my slowness.

  4. It's going to be getting colder and darker.

  5. I'm scared of running down a hill, missing a pothole and destroying one of my limbs.

But I do like that three times a week my exercise is all done by 7am. I love that I feel fitter. I'm noticing the difference and I want to see how much more I can develop in the next six weeks.

I also like that our team has bonded. We might be shuffled around a bit, but there is a good group of familiar faces there. On balance, it's a good place to be.

My goals for the next six weeks are as follows:

  1. To make it through without injury. (Yes. I am a wuss. Who likes having functioning limbs.)

  2. To bring my eating into line with my exercise (I've not been pigging out but I know there are some things I could do to see some real changes).

  3. Bring more "other exercise" into the programme, like swimming, gym and vibra training.

  4. Attack the super-big hill near my house and conquer it.

  5. Plan my exit strategy. I'm not too keen to bootcamp through winter. But I'm also not keen to let all that hard work go to waste. I've got six weeks to find a pattern of exercise I'm going to maintain during the colder months.

How much strategy and planning do you put into your fitness and health? Is it something that you think just takes too much energy? And for those of you suffering from the lurgy too, does it cause you to completely lose momentum, or do you bounce back ready to go as soon as you're better?

Rachel Goodchild is on Twitter and Facebook.