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The COVID Vaccine, Exercise & Symptoms; My Experience (Updated)


After being stuck late Friday afternoon with my first vaccine shot (Moderna), I rode my bike 20 miles at an easy pace for me, averaging a touch better than 16.5-mph for a little more than an hour. I felt a couple of minor muscle pains toward the end, a slight stabbing pain in my quad, then one in my forearm – both on the side I was injected. Other than that, for Friday, nothing any different.

I am not the only one of my friends to ride shortly after being stuck, and a friend who happens to be a well-respected pharmacist was one (he rode through both shots).

Saturday was interesting. I woke up with a surprisingly sore arm. That my arm was sore was not the surprise. That’s expected. It was the degree of soreness that was surprising. It was not enough I bothered with pain management (not even a Tylenol). I went about my morning as I would any Saturday with rideable temperatures and sunshine. I prepped my Trek for the chilly start 36 F, or 2 C, but with the sun rising quickly. We’re upping the mileage as spring takes hold and we had a nice route on tap for the morning; 41 miles and some change on what we call the sod farm loop (a favorite of mine). My friends started showing up shortly before 9am and we rolled out with six in our group, picking up two on the road. We managed a lively, enjoyable pace for the course just shy of 19-mph. Other than feeling a little discombooberated (a variant of discombobulated) at times when my heart rate went up with my effort, I felt no ill-effects on the ride other than my sore shoulder.

It was a special day, too. My mother, who lives about 45 minutes from my house, was scheduled for her second shot and, with my sister’s family busy, I was taking her to get it done. I showered immediately on getting home, got ready, slid into my vehicle and headed down to pick her up. I also picked up lunch along the way and ate while my mom was in getting stuck. Shortly after eating, I hit a wall of sorts. I was tired. I almost took a nap in the car but didn’t want to miss my mom coming out. Her second shot was administered at the University of Michigan’s stadium, the Big House – with all of the people roaming around, I just wanted to make sure she found the car because I’d moved to a closer, better parking spot.

Everything went fine and I got my mom back to her car without incident. Then, I got my butt home, where I took a nap. Then I watched some TV… and took another nap. And another. After that third nap it dawned on me, it was the vaccine that had me drained.

My daughters had their boyfriends over in the afternoon and my wife and I cooked dinner for everyone. It was an enjoyable time – my girls choose well.

I watched a movie and one-quarter before wanting my bed. Sleep took me quickly and I slept wonderfully, through the night.

On waking this morning, there’s rain in the area so the ride is a bit up in the air. It just may be a day off, but only for the rain – the vaccine wouldn’t sideline me a bit. If it dries out, I’ll ride. The soreness in my arm has subsided greatly and I can’t tell how tired I am quite yet, but appears to be the extent of my first shot symptoms. I ran an interwebz scanner over my arm and apparently Bill Gates forgot to load the tracker into my vaccine. Lucky me. I also haven’t lapsed into an autistic ball on the floor or turned into a zombie, thank God. I am, however, thankfully well on the road to normal. I’m expecting a bit of a tougher time after my second shot, but I have no doubt I’ll ride through it. My pharmacist friend did.

My experience may differ from others. I am exceptionally healthy and firmly believe I’ve just hit middle-age at 50. My immune system is, and always has been, excellent. I am slightly overweight, because I love food, but am still on the good side of the Body Mass Index scale. I’m also quite exceptionally fit. While I could drop a few pounds, I have no doubt they’ll be gone before summer hits. Excess weight tends to burn off when you’re riding 200 to 300 miles a week.

UPDATE: Sunday was a little rough. Thankfully, the weather sucked. Cold, windy and raining, so I was quite happy to spend the day lounging around. Unfortunately, I got so much sleep during the day, I found it impossible to fall asleep later that evening. This morning, Monday morning, I simply feel discombobulated and a little sore all over. No fever, just random body pain (mostly in the shoulders) and feeling a little run down. I did show up for work this morning, though I don’t know if I’ll stick it out or just go home and sleep it off.


13 Comments

  1. Sheree says:

    Everyone’s so different

  2. jeffw5382 says:

    BGDDYJIM Thanks for sharing your experience-I am still tentative on the experimental poke- I may be on the extreme right, which you referenced- I’ve been tested 5 times all negative. Even when dwelling with my daughter who tested positive and had only brief mild symptoms-all negative tests during and after- If I don’t have to I won’t

    • bgddyjim says:

      That’s the choice, Jeff. The biggest problem I have with the “it’s not that bad” discussion is that I know a few people who were absolutely hammered by it. And, living in a lockup stare, the best way I see of stripping our Governor of her power is to get vaccinated.

  3. James L says:

    My wife has just got her second jab (I’m still waiting for my first!) So far so good with no major symptoms- just a slight pain in the arm.

  4. The Omil says:

    My arm was a bit sore and I was a bit tired the following day (but still ran). Pleased you were no worse. I must admit that I admire the ‘optimism’ of folks who think that so many hundreds of millions of tracking chips could have been produced and incorporated into the jabs so quickly.

  5. kirkmtb says:

    I had the Astra Zeneca jab last Monday. A slight soreness in the arm the next day but some feeling of cramping in the calves for2 days.The nurse who gave me the vaccine said that anecdotally the Pfizer was more likely to cause symptoms on the first dose and the AZ on the second.my wife had the Pfizer with no symptoms.

    • bgddyjim says:

      First, congratulations on your jab, and to your wife as well. I’d been hoping for the Johnson & Johnson… one and done. It’s crazy the difference in symptoms.

  6. joliesattic says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been reluctant to get mine, even though I was one of the first to qualify. Your experience along with those of others I’m related to quell the guinea pig fear, lol. Thanks!

    • bgddyjim says:

      My pleasure. Think of it this way: out of the billion or so vaccinations worldwide, not one person has died as a result of the vaccine. In the US, two died near the time they got the vaccine. Two, out of 100,000,000 doses. You’ll be alright. 😉

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