Thursday, May 05, 2011

Feeling broken

As I have mentioned in a few of my other posts lately, I have not been feeling great since the start of March. I have had some reasonably good days, but in general, my body and my general feelings have not been as consistent as usual – my body has been acting weird. I had put in a really great winter of training, recovery and watching my nutrition and was in the best shape I have ever been. In February, I was fit, strong and confident - but since March, it seemed to be whittling away.

The motivation is usually there for racing but during training, a lethargy encased my body. It was hard to push, hard to really give it everything, was I a 'wuss', did I need to HTFU? Was it over-training? I gave my body time to recover, looked through the symptoms – but I really didn't think it was overtaining. Was it something else? Did I pick up something while I slid along the Malaysian side walk or some virus/bacteria afterwards? All I know, is that since then, I have not felt normal.

Initially, I put it down to needing more rest, so I focused on that, but the feelings were not leaving. In races, I was hitting max and average heart rates I have not seen in years. In training, I was still going out and setting some personal bests on climbs – they were shorter climbs though. Nothing too long. I was stronger than ever, but there was something holding me back.

I was frustrated and got more blood tests done – oh, why didn't I do this earlier? The results highlighted a lot of what was wrong – my Hematocrit (PCV) values where 20% down on where they should be – Hb (Hemoglobin) was also way down. That and a bunch of other results showed one thing – I am anemic. This explains a lot – the high heart rates, the tiredness, the recovery issues, why I could set personal bests on shorter distances/efforts but just 'normal' on the longer.

Knowing what is wrong is half the battle, the other half is fixing it. I'm on the first steps in that direction and am confident that I'll be tearing the cranks off again soon.

With all of this, it was really unfortunate that I had to decline my place on the National Team this weekend for the Lincoln GP – a classic road race that would have been great to race in (my teammate for the weekend, Philip Lavery, finished 2nd in it last year). But alas, my body needs a little down time (well, I'll still be training, but training for 4 hours, is a lot easier than traveling and racing for the same!) - the An Post RAS is just a few weeks away and I want to be fresh and ready for it.

There were actually other issues uncovered, allergies, breathing issues etc... but they are a little less interesting than the above and a little easier to fix. Man, elite sports is hard on the body!

1 comment:

John Latham said...

Stop eating crayons, Ryan.

Get well soon!