Wednesday, February 29, 2012

imwa week 41 - i am fine

hallelujah - i am now fighting fit.  after THREE MONTHS of struggling every day and feeling like CRAP every day i am now well.  i have my iron back.  getting the levels checked tomorrow but i can feel they are back to normal.  the virus or bug is gone.  i got some antibiotics and killed the fucker BIG TIME.  i am so good i am almost dangerous.  i think once i am off the antibiotics i can say 100% BACK.

so in summary what is the damage to my training for busselton 70.3 ? (which happens in just under 10 weeks time btw).  over the last two months i managed to swim 38.85k - this is very bad and about half of what i should have been doing.  i had some really bad weeks with only one swim.  this was the hardest discipline to do with low iron.  i biked 1480km which is pretty good and i am happy with where i am at.  this was the easiest area to maintain.  i ran 176k and this was up and down.  the bug i had made this very difficult but i hung in there and luckily i am back on track just as the plan starts the main build.  the good news is my feet are feeling great and no problems there - touch wood.  i did the best i could and considering one week reached 13.5 hours of training and another 13.75 i think did okay.  nearly forgot the two traithlon events i managed to finish as well.  but i have to say that the last three months have been the hardest and most difficult experience i have ever encountered.  it wasnt just about the impact on training but the lack of motivation for work and life in general.  it was difficult and depressing.   to feel that unwell for that period of time fucking sucked BUT at least i recovered and for that i am grateful.  there are alot of people out there going through much worse and have no hope of getting better.  

so now i just want to get out there and get this show on the road.   sadly i still have a very neglected house and garden but that will change over the next few months.  this weekend is labour day long weekend and race four of the triseries events at rockingham.  it is a recovery week and i will not taper anymore than that.  it will just be what it is.  the bike course is flat and fast so i might just really see how fast the crisis bike can go.  i am having friday as a rest day and heading into the city to get a few inches cut off my hair.  it is getting too long again and i feel the need for a fresh start.  i will still ride with the group saturday morning as this is just fun - hard work but nice to train with people.  then in the afternoon i will have my first session back with swim smooth since early january.  i will be slow but at least i will be able to breathe.  tomorrow i am up at 4.30 am for my long run and excited that i actually now have the energy to want to do this.    i am back.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

imwa week 42 - give me a friggin break

i have hit rock bottom.  last week i made comment that while i had more energy and motivation my legs felt fatigued and i had some new aches and pains.  well after going back to the doctor and mentioning this she decided that i have picked up a virus.  just to make things a little bit harder i figure.  at present it comes and goes and while i felt better over the weekend i had trouble sleeping and monday was just horrible.  i figured it was compounded because of the lack of sleep.  i had a pretty good ride on sunday and even ran later in the day.  i may have pushed things to the limit.  my swimming had been really hard.  just no energy and a real lack of oxygen - worse than when i had no iron.  but then i had a good swim on saturday and felt like i was back on track.  i slept well monday night and had a good run yesterday.  after dinner i was feeling so good i decided to make a jim beam and coke.  just one and not that strong.  today i feel like i was at a pearl jam concert and i consumed the whole bottle.  my headache will not go away.  so there you go - i now have to give up all forms of alchol.  i missed my ride this morning and the conditions were perfect.  this makes me so unhappy.  frustrated. 

to top it off my house is just a mess, the garden a lost cause and i get so stressed and overwhelmed.  my molly dog has a funny thing on her eyelid that will not go away.  more stress.  my mum is not very well and the information coming from my dad and even her is conflicting and at times incomplete.  more stress and worry.  my job is just terrible and  i dont know how i manage to be there everyday.  it is boring beyond belief and uninspiring. 

i keep telling myself that alot of people have much bigger problems than me and that i really should think myself lucky and that this too shall pass.  BUT just for once i would like to catch a break, a little bit of luck or that someone somewhere, for no reason, maybe, does something nice and i get to smile.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

imwa week 43 - moving on with being normal

it has been one week since my iron transfusion.  such a simple process for something that was so debilitating.  i arrived with plenty of time to spare at the clinic.  filled in the paperwork and handed over my iron ampoule's.  the nurse took me into a room with other girls sitting in recliner chairs and iv poles next to them.  more paperwork and they set up the iv, stuck a needle in me and before i knew it i had iron being dripped into me.  i was incredibly tired.  i think the ride from hell on sunday took more out of me and i was also probably just farked from all the stress.  to finally be getting the help i needed things fell in a heap for me.  the haematologist came and spoke to me and gave me a very interesting and complex article on iron depleted athletes written by a doctor from perth.  he is a cyclist and was very interested in triathlon.  within 90 minutes i was done and given the all clear to go home.  i was under orders to not do anything strenuous for 48 hours as there are side effects - flu like symptoms and you can give yourself severe joint pain.  so i went home and watched daytime tv and had a nap.  part of the paperwork had a list of eight symptons of iron depletion.  i ticked every single one.  food cravings explained my lust for bread.  seriously i could not get enough.  i had a blood test three days prior and i asked what my iron level was - it had been 18. they said it was 54 but the doctor said that the exercise that i had been doing would give a false high and it was probably much lower.

they say it can take up to two weeks for any improvement.  i felt an improvement by friday and when i woke up on sunday i felt like my old self for the first time in two months.  it was like i flew out of bed and raced around getting organised for my ride.  it was AMAZING.  my first workout back was a swim on friday and it was great to be in the water.  i went for a 45k ride saturday morning and for the first time in months my legs actually felt tired.  weird.  it was windy towards the end and the crisis bike seat was really pissing me off and it was creaking.  this drove me nuts.  i decided to go swim on my own rather than with the squad. not quite ready for that and i need to test my ability to push things.  i had planned a run later in the day but i flaked out.  i think i got a bit too ambitious.  so while i had some energy back sunday my legs still felt fatigued.  i rode 100k on the freeway bike path.  50 of it straight into a headwind and i got a great workout done.  when i got home i thought i had some energy left to get some things organised around the house.  and i did but not before another nana nap.  so while i am feeling better (and every day it is an improvement) i would not say i am back at 100%.  however from a mental perspective then that has been incredible.  it is like a fog has lifted and everything seems easier and lighter.  i can concentrate and i want to do things.

so going forward i feel like i have neglected this blog and just done enough to keep it ticking along.  hopefully now i can get back to the fun and interesting.  wahhhooo  - i am fucking back !!!!!!  let the hard work begin.

Monday, February 6, 2012

imwa week 44 - getting my iron back

tomorrow is the big day and it cannot come soon enough.  i am on the edge of really freaking out if something does not change.  being low in iron is not just about being able to ride up big hills or run and swim at threshold.  it is about not being able to sleep even though you are exhausted.  and when you do sleep you keep waking up because you have restless legs.  it is about your hair constantly shedding and this is really annoying when you have long hair.  it is fucking everywhere.  it is about trying to control what you eat as you subconsciously try to regain your energy by eating more.  you are not hungry but you have this constant urge to eat more carbs.  i crave bread.  and then your system is all over the place because of the iron supplements you take in the hope that they help.  which they dont.  it is about the constant battle to stay motivated.  to get out of bed when all your want to do is sleep.  it is about ignoring the dust that sits on all your furniture and the things that need cleaning and the yard that is being overgrown by weeds.  the cobwebs that need sweeping away, the retic that needs fixing and the edges that need whipper snipping.  the guilt never ends.  try coming to work when all you can do to keep your eyes open is to keep up a constant supply of caffeine.

i went for my last long ride as an iron depleted person yesterday.  it started out okay and while my legs were a little tired i thought the 100k would be doable.  there was a bit of a breeze up and i  knew that the ride back would have the usual swan valley easterly wind.  i dont mind riding into a true head wind.  you just put your head down and keep at it.  after the first 20k the wind was all over the place.  fucking cross winds.  it takes so much more energy and concentration and i have to be careful when on the aero bars.  i was really being thrown about on the bike and it was tough.  it just plained sucked and it was like that until i finally turned with the wind out the back of the vines and 10k from home.  but for 70k i cursed everything.  i swore at the cars, i cursed my ipod and i decided i hated all my music.  i bitched about my fucking seat and how much my butt hurt.  i was pissed at my drink bottles and i got mad at the wind.  there were too many cars on the road and i just hated my bike.  i wanted to get off and throw the fucker into the bushes and walk home.  i could have cut the ride short by 20k but i didnt want to give in.  i wanted to get home and feel like i deserved that nap.  it was an exhausting 3.5 hour ride and i am paying for it today.  i didnt give up.