“Wheeeeeeee” I exclaimed as I barreled down the hill on my bike a few weeks ago watching the sunrise. My friend laughed and we chatted about how great it is to just appreciate being outside doing something you love. When sometimes it feels good just simplifying the act of riding a bike; having no intentions, no expectations.
I can still count the times on my hand when I have ridden my bike since Worlds….and that was 6 months ago. But that number is slowly increasing to where I won’t even mention it again (I will lost count after 10 right?). I won’t be saying “I haven’t ridden since….” or “where are my running shoes?” -that’s the game plan anyways.
Through this journey I have learned a lot. I learned (again) the body is complicated. I always thought if we treat it with respect it will love you back. But when you get sick, or injured, you think “wait what????!!” and all that goes by the wayside so you blame yourself. As I continue to battle with adrenal dysfunction and overall “depletion” (call it what you will, I just know what I am experiencing has to be medically defined as something), I have those days where I completely blame myself. I look back and think what have I done. I was too busy. Too overworked. I wasn’t reading enough. I wasn’t writing enough. I wasn’t stretching enough. Was I eating the right foods to fuel my output?
But after my last blog post, I realized I am not the only one. I realized it wasn’t my fault. Stop beating yourself up. These kind of “issues” happen, and they can happen to any one of us unknowingly. Would I have changed my last 10 years of competition? Hell no! Did I read about this before and think “this could never happen to me”? Yeah, probably. (oops)
Now I am moving forward. Every training session I do in 2017 is “new”. “Setting new thresholds” every day as my dear #canadianbetty would say. 30 minutes? Heck yeah. It’s more than I was doing 2 months ago. Savor the day and reap in what the body CAN do, not what it can not.
So… get to the point… where am I?! Getting healthier by the day. The short of it is I was getting to a very low point that wasn’t healthy (physically or mentally) and the Google searches were becoming frightful. I went from feeling fatigued to not being able to get out of bed. The headaches were so intense I couldn’t function. There were a lot of red flags along the way from the previous doctor… and a few doctors later, I am hopeful that I am on the right (oh dear god let’s hope) track. I had a great few weeks in the beginning of February and my heart lifted as my energy soared (“soared” being relative). I received a slot to Worlds and celebrated. I got fired up to race Oceanside 70.3 on April 1st. (It was a big question mark up until now) But then another crash (crash = fatigue). A few days sleeping in, resting the body, and getting my mind back to zen mode and my energy started creeping up again. It’s a roller coaster. Good days, bad days, but absolutely nothing like I had the latter half of 2016. I am starting to see the light, but not getting over excited quite yet.
As any competitive athlete knows – as soon as you start healing again – you feel like a caged animal that just got loose and you just GO. FOR. IT. So I must stay in the cage for a bit. Taking it easy but continue doing what I love: Biking (easy) with friends, running with the dog at a sub 9 or 10 mile pace, and swimming with my masters group (even if they lap me every 200)…… it’s all simply part of the process. Deep breaths and patience.
So – if you could have guessed, Oceanside is off the table. Doesn’t make sense to risk my health spiraling downwards again…. Even though it leaves a pit in my stomach, I know it is the right choice. Worlds is now priority and that won’t happen without healing my body.
The good news? I can be part of the “Don’t Suck” tour and be the best damn cheerleader on the sidelines. I will have plenty of Betty Teammates to scream at and push to the finish line. And, for that, I am grateful.
And 6 months isn’t really that far away. So, time to get serious folks. Chattanooga is the newly defined 2017 goal.