The past few days have been kind of tough for me. I have had some kind of "bug" or stomach illness. Normally, that would mean a scale back of training and a blip on the radar. However, this happened two days before a triathlon that I was scheduled to be in. I had been training hard for this tri since completing the Ironman Kansas 70.3 in June. Training was going great and injury free. I was just sailing along.
Then it hit Friday after my early morning swim and 20 mile ride. There was no doubt that the stomach and lower intestinal problems were severe enough that I have to recover fast or not do the Sunday triathlon. I had been on the course several times to ride it and develop strategies for the swim, ride , and run. I knew every bump in the road and how I was going to ride the hills and run the ups and downs of the run course. Drove out there Thursday night and was greeted by perfectly calm waters in the lake and was very excited that it would be a good calm day. My confidence was high and preparation was as good as I had ever done for a race. The 4:00AM wake-ups for swim training and rides and runs had gone well. Nutrition was well planned and hydration was on target. Ready to go. Then......
BAM. Knocked flat, literally by the "Bug". Spent all of Friday either in bed asleep or in the bathroom. What the heck? How could this happen? I was so prepared. How could I be sick? It wasn't fair. What about all of the training? Surely by Friday evening I would be ok and go to the packet pick-up on Saturday. I took some Anti-diarehea medicine Friday but it didn't help and knew that if I took more I would risk the factor that it would dehydrate me for Sunday. So I stopped the medicine. And I wasn't any better Friday evening or Saturday morning. A decision needed to be made. One that I had never had to make before. Yes, this would be my first "sick" no show. After close to 40 marathons/ultras/tri races/other distances, I knew I would not be able to go. So what do you do?
I got mad! I felt like I had let everyone down that had been supporting me all along. Felt sorry for myself. What would I say to them? Got several supporting messages from family and friends and it really helped. But..emptiness/disappointment was still winning.
Then reality hit. And hard. Who did I think I was? Was I above getting sick? I could take the easy way out and hang my head and blame and complain. I had read on Twitter and DailyMile accounts of others having tough days and races. I had watched Lance and many others have terrible crashes in the TDF and make an effort to get up and go on. Some could not due to injury. Others brushed themselves off and with a pedal stroke or two resumed their dreams. I did not have an injury. I had a stumble. A blip. I started gaining strength and and a dose of common sense from others.
My job was to look forward. All I had was a case of the flu or some kind of "bug". The sun would come up on Sunday. The race would go on without me and what I needed to do was look to start a strong recovery that would get me ready for my next race. It was out of my control and the worry and stress was not making any difference. Time for a positive attitude! Time to get a plan developed. Time to get strong! Get next week's training plan ready and go for it. Monday, here we come!
So that's where I am right now on Sunday evening. Also wanted to send along some recovery nutrition ideas:
I have been doing the BRAT nutrition which consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast when it would go down. Also drank Kefir Probiotics and ginger ale. One of the best recovery foods has been one that I saw Dr. Allen Lim share on Versus as food he prepares for Team Radio Shack:
1 doz Eggs Scrambled
1 lb bacon or prosciutto
6 cups Sushi Rice
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Balsimic Vinegar
2 tbs Brown Sugar
Press hard into a cake pan and let form for a bit then slice and individually wrap. I liked to put it in the fridge to get a little harder. This really hit the spot as far as making me feel better. I am looking forward to Monday and a new day.
Forward we go! May your roads, trails, pools, and lake be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind!