Sunday, April 26, 2009

Greenbrier Challenge

Mike and Ike taking a dip

Feeling like crap

The ill-fated start

Even Ike is wondering where I am!

Ike and Mom hanging out.

Jason's Big Finish

Start-line Bike Adjustments

Jason and Steve Warming Up
So once again I did not listen to my body. I had been feeling "off" since before Hopbrook. I ended up having a horrible race at Hopbrook. The week after I managed to do Battenkill. I just wasn't feeling "right". I also had been feeling like I was fighting an infection or that a flare-up was staring. I tried to ride through it. Not a good choice.....
On Saturday, Mike and I went for an easy lap on the course. My HR was extremely high and I couldn't get it down. I thought it was the heat and my allergies. We then went back to the motel and met with my brother and mother. We went back to the course and did another easy lap. I felt weak and my legs felt tingly. I told myself it was the heat and the fact that I did Battenkill the week prior.
Come race morning my resting HR was high. I was warming up at a 150 HR. THAT'S WAY HIGH! Even for me. I got to the start line and I felt like my heart was going to come out of my chest. I was wheezing and couldn't catch my breath easily. I really don't get that nervous before a race. My brother even noticed I was wheezing.
So I started. I had no ummmph. I usually do start slow, but this was going backwards slow. I wanted to quit then. I kept telling myself it will get better. Obviously, it never did. I had a hard time catching my breath and I was cramping at low heartrates and cramping when at a low intensity. I knew it was bad. Did I stop? No, of course not. I did stop to massage my left calf and thigh because it was locking up. I got back on and just rode easy (well, my body felt like I was hammering but I knew I was going backwards). I was in the middle of my second lap and my chest began to hurt. I mean like someone was stabbing me. It started to localize to the left side and I knew this was not good....I got off and walked the last few climbs. I made it to my brother and mother and pulled the big DNF.
On the way home Mike kept threatening to take me to the ER because I couldn't catch my breath and my chest was killing me. I went to the pulmonologist the next morning and he thought it was more my heart than lungs--great.
So, long story short...the week after Greenbrier I was down. My resting HR was 120 and it was scary. Walking the dog was a major undertaking. It sucked. My doctor told me not to be up moving around for more than 20 minutes. I wished I had 20 minutes in me...taking a shower was exhausting!
The doctors believe based on my blood work and tests that it was one nasty flare-up. My cardiologist also thought I was still fighting an infection. So the pericarditis/endocarditis (a wonderful combo) is most likely what knocked me down and the horrible flare-up or infection is most likely the cause. I was holding so much freakin water!! I gained 12 lbs. My arms and legs were so swollen. It was gross.
Week two...I was slowly coming around. I could now at least walk the dog for 20 minutes. He was getting totally sick of my being at home. I think I interrupt his daily naps. I still had no energy and felt hung over. I was completely exhausted. I was afraid to run errands or go to the grocery because I felt like I was going to pass out or lay down in the cereal aisle to take a nap.
Week my fitness has eroded. It's not going to come right back. My doctor told me I could start spinning easy on reasonable terrains. Whatever that means. I attempted to spin around Rutherford. Exhausting. Too much for me...I think I managed 20 minutes on the bike...WHOO-HOOO. Now I'm rolling...
I know it will be a process to get my fitness and body back to where it was, but it is extremely frustrating. I'm more upset that my weight gain was from water retention and high doses of steroids and not Blizzards and frozen Peppridge Farm cakes. At least I could have mentally accepted that and enjoyed the process!
Hopefully, I'm on the up and up...

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