Travelling to your race… germ free!

GermsI’m about to get on an airplane to travel to Dublin, Ireland with some girlfriends to participate in the Flora Mini Marathon, a 10k race for women. I’m so excited about seeing what this event is all about. It’s the biggest 10k women’s race in the world and this year is their 30th anniversary. I’ve also never been to Ireland so I’m really curious about what I’ll find.

With all that excitement in place, I’m also terrorized and scared. Of getting sick while traveling. I’m only ten days out from my Number One Race for the year, the Pescara 70.3 Half Iron Man. Though I’m ready, I know that during taper time is when immune systems are most vulnerable.

Not being one to leave anything by chance, this is my game plan for travel:

  • I’ll make sure I’m always fully hydrated. Have you ever noticed how dry the air is when you fly? A pressurized cabin dries out your mucous membranes and this makes it more difficult to rid germs from your system. They just stick there and multiply!
  • At the same time I have to be sure to not use the bathroom on the plane since this is where most germs are found. I’ll be using the airport bathroom before I get on board, washing my hands throughly afterwards and being careful where I put my hands… ick!
  • To keep my mucous membranes (nose!) hydrated I’m going to be using a saline spray a few times during the flight and eye drops for my eyes. I’ll also bring a little container of Vaseline to keep my nasal passage moist. I don’t know why I’ve never thought about doing this on flights before…
  • My pre-flight breakfasts will include anything with probiotics, like yogurt or kefir. The beneficial bacteria is supposed to help boost my immune system and that’s something I really need right now.
  • I’ve also been taking echinacea drops several times a day to prep my body for travel. Echinacea is another support for the immune system – anything to help it out!
  • And rest. I’ll have fun, I’ll race, I might even try a Guinness, but I’ll make sure that I stay well rested since I know that this is my true secret weapon for staying healthy.

I know a few of you are rolling your eyes but you try training hard for six months for an event and see how you feel about it the week before! I may seem crazy but I WILL be healthy and strong when race time comes in just ten short days, travel notwithstanding!

Make the fence or you will pay for the plunder
– Irish Proverb

  1. Tessa
    I'm not rolling my eyes but I did giggle a bit picturing you in the plane ;) Another top tip. Point the air blowing thingy the other way or turn it off all together... Good luck!
  2. Julia
    Oooh thanks Tessa for that suggestion! See? I always blast that air on myself...not this trip!
  3. Shauna
    I love that Tessa, she always has great ideas :)
  4. Valerie
    Do they have Airborne there? It basically works like Alka-seltzer except it's all about boosting your immune system before you fly? I can't stand the taste of the stuff and my immune system is fairly good on its own, but my roommate in college swore by the stuff. Coming from someone who worked in the biology lab and handled bacteria for a living, that's a pretty big deal! Good luck with everything!
  5. Anne
    Not rolling my eyes either. I use FESS frequent flyer with tea tree oil - nasal spray specifically for what you've just described. Mostly I just try not to think about it or touch anything. Much to the amusement of my husband. At the risk of sounding like a complete fruitcake, I've been known to wipe the general area down with baby wipes - obviously when no one is looking!!
  6. Julia
    Anne - I also bought two mini packs of baby wipes (with germ killers!) and do not care if anybody sees me! Thanks! Julia
  7. Samone
    Awesome tips, Julia. It's tough keeping beasties at bay - am almost tempted to start traveling in an oxygen tent, MJ-style. May frighten the kids. And all the best for the half iron man - massive!!!!!
    • Shauna
      *snort* MJ-style. Mwahahhaaaaa.