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.
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.