I got sick again after the Alpine Odyssey a few weeks ago. I knew from the middle of the race that things were going to end badly, but I'm pretty stellar at denial. I was bedridden for three days afterwards, but I kept it to myself with the hope that I'd still be able to rally for 24-hour Nationals, which I'd been looking forward to for almost a year.
Then I went for a ride where Chris couldn't physically pedal slow enough for me to keep up and threw in the towel and told LW the truth. I was down for the count. The truth hurts sometimes. Went to the doctor. Collected some poo. Watched vials of blood be taken from my arm. When LW nixed Nationals as I was leaving the doctor's office, I went back to a BBQ and had cookies for dinner. Screw it. It was a cinnamon roll for breakfast the next morning. Ice cream for lunch. I was told to sit on my butt for two weeks, which for me is far harder than any threshold of VO2 interval.
I didn't call my mom for almost a week. I didn't want to hear 'I told you so'. The questions nagged, had I gone to the doctor when I first got sick, would I have avoided this whole mess?
Then all the tests came back negative. No parasite living in my belly, at least not anymore. Upon seeking different opinions on my state of health, the second sickness might have only been related to the first one in the sense that I tried to race a hard 62 miles after three weeks off the bike, and I still haven't figured out how to put a number on my bike and not ride at 110%.
My two weeks, which actually ended up being three weeks, is up on Monday. I've been on a bike three times since I limped home from the Odyssey. I haven't been knocked down this hard since I had Hepatitis A in 2000 and was bedridden for three months (what a waste of a summer). This round of sick is coming in at just under two months, again, what a waste of a summer. But I think that getting sick was a blessing in disguise. I think I pretended to recover after the Divide, but I was still commuting 15 to 20 miles a day, riding with the kids, and then training on top of that. Summer is too short around here to waste time recovering. I think that if I'd remembered what it felt like to feel good, truly good, on a bike, I would have recognized that I was still battling fatigue on some level, but the last time I felt truly good and fast on a bike was somewhere about six hours into the Divide.
I don't think that without the physically imposed 'stay off your bike' I would have taken the time off. I would have pretended, but like I said before, denial is a strong point of mine. But after I curbed back the daily cinnamon roll, limited the trips to Third Bowl Ice cream to once or twice a week, the motivation for 2013 started to build. It's time for something completely different (JKS - if you were serious about your comment earlier this summer, drop me a line) and the motivation to be skinny and fast is almost to the level that I'm ready to give up my Friday morning cinnamon roll. Almost.