Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Game Over

This just in:

There will be no Ironman.

This past week I didn’t feel like me. After the race I focused on recovery by doing very little activity, sleeping lots, eating well, sitting around. But something didn’t feel right. The soreness shook out of my legs after a few days but I couldn’t shake the headache and fatigue.

By Saturday I was doubting the race. Legs felt good but otherwise all I could feel was lethargy. I thought maybe it was the taper, hormones (cursed), coffee (sorry), the weather (damn 23 degrees!), my dog (shedding?). I blamed anything I could just so it would make sense.

When it didn’t make sense, I asked John, another pro triathlete. What’s going on with me? He said it was the taper, some overtraining, ordered me to sit on the couch all day watching Ironman DVDs while listening to death metal.

As much as I love Master of Puppets, it didn’t help. The headache wouldn’t go away. I thought I should drink more water, eat better, drink more coffee, less coffee, get more sleep, cut back on sleep, get out of the house, lay on the couch. Nothing helped.

So instead I drank wine and ate ice cream on Saturday.

No dice.

On Monday it was still there. And getting worse. I even took Advil. It didn’t go away. I went to bed then I woke up. Still there. Maybe I’m stressed. But the funny thing is that I wasn’t. In fact it worried me – no one doing an Ironman should be this apathetic. They should be making lists and putting things in baggies. There is something wrong with me. My head is foggy. I can't focus. What's going on?

With no answer in sight, I needed someone or something to blame. So I blamed Rachel Ross:

I’ve caught your headache, now send me your meds.

She didn’t write back.

By Monday night I had enough. My head still hurt and I didn’t feel like doing anything. Now seriously what the f_ck. I thought about all the good training I did for Ironman. How I dragged through Sherpa Thomas 108 miles on the Queen K. The long run in the rain. All of that – to waste? Really? That makes me sad. But at the same time I could not see how I would get through 140.6 mile feeling like crap. Maybe I’m overthinking it. So I talked to Jessi. She said I sounded tired. Maybe she was right. Maybe I’m just done with the long season. Maybe I’ve finally killed my endocrine system and it’s revolting against myself.


Then came Tuesday. I noticed that Rob, of my Clearwater travels infamy, had written something on his facebook update. All week he had been writing about being hit by a large truck, a small baseball bat, a bunch of Brownies wielding burnt bacon and finally about considering a sinus-ectomy.

Wait a minute……


Finally, an answer AND someone to blame:

ROB! I know he snotted in my coffee when I wasn’t looking! I know he was licking my bicycle seat!

Really though, I’m not blaming Rob. (well maybe I am, and maybe Rob I’m going to put the price of my sinuses on your tab which you should probably pay up because it’s getting really big) And I seriously hope he didn’t lick my bicycle seat. Dude I peed on it. But back to the headache and fatigue. It’s the sinuses, it’s got to be. I’m not chronically fatigued. I’m not overtrained. No amount of Master of Puppets will clear this up. I’m infected. Sure enough I went to the doctor and it was confirmed. She tried to torture me by having me lower my head between my legs – not so fun when you got full sinuses. So I was given meds.

Meds make you better right? Well enough to do an Ironman? A quick consult with Dr. Noda, “doing Ironman on meds is not a good idea, right?” – to which he replied “affirmative.”

At least that explains it. And leaves me somewhat relieved. Because now I can be done. Of course all of the training I did will go nowhere (somewhere Sherpa Thomas is screaming) but at least it was good memories. So I guess I have officially begun my off season. Which I will kick off with a trip to Phoenix! And you know what this means: pack the trucker hat because this has just turned into my season ending SPECTATHLON!

When I told Sherpa Thomas that we would still be heading his way he cooperated nicely. His words went something like this:

Now I don’t have to get up at 3 am for some stupid pre-race meal and stand on my feet all damn day!

(for the record – I do not wake up at 3 am for breakfast, 4 am is more like it)

And followed with:

And another good thing: at least you won’t be too bitchy!

(don’t speak so fast, I can pack my angry eyes and turn into pre-race Liz even without a race ahead)

In other words, he cannot wait to see us.

It’s 8 pm and my headache is finally starting to back off a little. Tomorrow I shall pack. And let me tell you when you don’t have a 140.6 mile race to do you can pack very light. I leave for Phoenix on Thursday. No bike, no goggles. A pair of walking shoes. A hobo stick with a little kerchief tied on the end with my personal belongings...for a weekend in the sun but without an Ironman.

Hmmph. I’m trying to see the negative in this but a weekend in 86 and sunny sounds pretty positive to me.

Plus the recovery time is much quicker.


Stef said...

Oops, sent that last one too early. My computer is POSSESSED! Hope you have fun in Phoenix! They are 86 there? We are only in the mid 70s here. Perfect weather since Silverman -- no wind rain or clouds in sight (ha ha).

rr said...

I'm sorry. I didn't realize I could transfer it 5000 miles. And I replied!!!

I think you'll like spectating better than all those stupid loops anyway.

Feel better. Then make me feel better.


Molly said...

Awwww, this made me so sad for you but it sounds like you are well on your way to turning it into something positive. At least now you can have lots of fun this weekend.

Jason said...

In celebration of the beginning of your offseason, I took the day off and BBQ'd New York steaks and had chocolate cake for dessert! :)
It's a bummer than the sinus infection struck at such a bad time, but on the positive side have a great vacation in Tempe! 86 and sunny is definitely a fantastic way to start the offseason!

Shannon said...

It sounds like your not heart broken over it and that's good news.

Vit, C, Zicam, rest, and hot tea...seems everyone I know is getting that pesky sinus infection. Feel better.

Mark said...

I feel like it's my fault, since I recommended that Rob use you as a coach - it is surely his fault!

Glad you have it narrowed down to something simple and treatable! Have fun specatating - I always do!

Mira Lelovic said...

Sounds like you made the right choice. Go have fun and enjoy yourself! Hope you feel better soon. Oh, and I loved the wine and ice cream remedy! Can't believe that didn't work.

Alili said...

Sorry. :( Maybe you caught it from my training log...it has been full of snotty tales lately.

Enjoy the sunshine and warmth!

Kim said...

That was a hard decision to make, but I think it was the right one...not that you need any of us to confirm it, but it does in fact make sense. The good things are you figured it out and I figured out that wine and ice cream on Saturdays is perfectly acceptable. Thank God, I was really wondering about that one! I feel better too now. You're the best ELF! Enjoy your weekend, get some sun (for ALL of us stuck in the arktic - man, I can't spell worth a crap) and we'll be here when you get back!! Enjoy!

Sara said...

Don't forget to pack your peanut butter cups! Just because you aren't ending your season with the big race does not mean that you don't deserve to eat the whole container! You have worked hard this season and you continue to be an inspiration to us mere mortals!

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth! I learn so much about training through adversity/cold/crap/the midwest through your blog! I was so looking forward to reading about your IM but it's MUCH better to know thyself (lesson learned, thank you!). Training in IL/WI in the cold - well trying to peak in the cold - is really, really, REALLY hard. I just plain can't do it, so you're still amazing to me (and pretty much everyone who reads this!)
Kudos on an amazing season filled with so many lessons for your readers. You SHOULD be paid to write. 86 and sunny....enjoy
Erin in da north (MKE, WI)

Andrea said...

I used to love Master of Puppets. Geez, it's been a long time since I listened to that album.

Now I'm going to have to dig it out and use it whenever I'm in a funk. What a great ruler! If MoP doesn't cure what's ailing you - nothing will!! :)

P.S. What time is it? It's PUMPKIN PIE TIME!!!

Kirsten and Chad said...

Liz - my hubby and I are racing IMAZ and have been reading your blog all season. Glad we may still have a chance to say hi and thanks for sharing all your words of wisdom all season in person(though don't be offended if we don't get too close)!

Brenda O said...

Sorry to hear that Liz! Sometimes, you just gotta know when to give in. Now bring on those Peanut Butter cups and cupcakes!
Feel better!


Sorry to hear the news, but wanted to let you know you are not alone with your sinus issues. They attack me every November or so (I think in my case it's the change to the freezing weather), and this was my week also.

The good news is you still get to go and enjoy the trip and nice weather. Plus you get to practice your "spectathleting". Have a great, safe trip!

IM Able said...

First, if Rob is licking your bicycle seat, I think you should start wearing cycling shorts when you ride. Just a thought.

Second, enjoy Arizona!!

Train-This said...

Bummer. I am sad for me, not for you. I am glad for you, becasue you made the right choice for you. Sad for me becasue I have a prediction list for times for the race and.... oh hell.... I will just declare you the winner!

Enjoy some sun!

BreeWee said...

Ugh! Really? You sound really positive about it all so, "Way to go Liz"! Enjoy the cheering and 86*.

Are you really not bringing the bike? Just in case....?

I guess I am sleeping in then, no need to wake up a million hour time zone difference, actually I want to see you walking with a stick.

Hope you lose the headache soon... and I am still going to cheer for you, just cheer for you to have a good day there and not feel sad about not racing...
hugs to you!

Kellye Mills said...

86 and sunny sounds like it could cure anything right now! Sorry you can't race, but the training isn't a complete waste...you'll be that much more prepared for next year! Glad you are feeling better, and have a great time in AZ!

Cy said...

Darn...I was really looking forward to cheering for you all day on Sunday. I guess we'll have to grab coffee instead :-)

Welcome to off season!!

IronMatron said...

Your body knew you weren't sure about this race, and it cooperated! You are going to have a great time at IMAZ spectating, and you deserve it. Have so much fun! Take care. Hope it clears up. Drugs usually do help.:)

TRI-ROB said...

For the record... I did NOT lick your bicycle seat! I DID however... lick your pedals. I'd like to apologize.

Terri said...

Yes, I am among those selfishly feeling sorry for myself...I had planned to sit in front of the computer like a geek to track your progress. Does that bother you that many of your readers check in on you while you're racing? Of course, not - you are the toughest person I sort of know. I was going to say toughest woman - but that would be selling you short.

Glad to hear you're not bumming over the decision. You always make the correct choice. AND the bonus is - you get to have FUN in AZ. Enjoy while the rest of us freeze!

Jenny Garrison said...

Awesome! Half way thru reading this I thought for sure you were going to say you were pregnant! Darn, it was just sinuses:) Have a fun trip and enjoy the warm weather while you can!

Beth said...

Okay...scratch the FB comment wishing you "good luck"!

Sorry Liz! Big bummer...but I don't think all that hard IM training you did went to waste...still made you stronger - mentally and physically!

Hope you feel better soon!!! I know that 86 degrees and sunny should help. Enjoy your trip and enjoy your off season! :)

triEVielon said...

OH NO! So sorry to hear about you getting ill. The good news is that you are still so upbeat AND you don't have to pack your bike.

The bad news is allll that training. Well, you know, my coach always says, you can chalk it up to "base training". I suppose that's universally true.

Get better soon and lucky folks participating in IMAZ as you are a WORLD class spectator!

IronMatron said...

Pregnant! I didn't think of that one! But that would be good... I look forward to that as a someday post...

Eisparklz said...

It's too bad to hear that your sinuses are acting up - I was looking forward to cheering you on from the first run aid station.

Sounds like you're handling it pretty well, but just in case, some words of wisdom from Mahatma Gandhi -
"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender who you are for who you could become."

kerri said...

Good call, ELF. Phoenix sounds much better w/o an Ironman...fun in the sun. Pregnant??? Obviously they did not read the comment on Facebook. Cheers to your off season. DRINK WINE.