Sep 1, 2011

I'm hurtin'

Two Tuesday's ago I went out for a ride with Tyler from Revolution Cycles. A good ride starting from the North trailhead and heading up to Plewman Pass (part of the Seven Summits trail).

The views at the top were spectacular and we caught the last bit of light on the mountain.


Yup, just as happy as can be. Some sweet riding but feeling a bit fatigued heading up the climbs, not a big deal though as I'd put in 9,000' vert gain and 112kms of singletrack a couple of days prior during a 24hr Solo trg camp in preparation for Bend, Oregon - so a bit of fatigue was to be expected.

Look at me all happy and stuff.


Wednesday and Thursday I was feeling a bit tired so I held off on the bike. Friday I grabbed a 90min ride on some singletrack, pushing pretty hard but still feeling a bit fatigued. Saturday and Sunday gave me almost 7hrs on the saddle, pretty solid efforts but the 2,000' vert gain struggle up the hill out of Trail on my road bike on Sunday was brutal, like someone had stolen my cycling legs. I thought it was the heat, or the after-effects of my massive wipeout on Saturday on Crown Point (see the blog post below). But hey, I'm riding my bikes and loving it.

Look at me, still super happy up on the high pass.


Monday I was frazzled, no energy and my elbow was starting to bug me from the crash. Kinda like I'd broken something minor. Doreen was looking at me and saying "Maybe you shouldn't race a 24 Solo, you are a mess", and I was. Black and blue bruises, I could hardly close my right fist because of the swelling, not feeling that great and now my elbow was starting to balloon up. She gave me the word "Go see a doctor". I don't like going to doctors but I had to admit things were getting a little out of hand with the elbow. I could hardly sleep on Sunday night from it aching and Monday night every time something touched it I would wake up; pillow, blanket, puff of air... it didn't matter what it was if it touched my elbow it was waking me up.

Tuesday I went out for a couple of hours with Stew Spooner, the plan being to hit Miner's, Red Top and Red Head. Then after that loop jump on to something else. Usually I'm up for a hard ride on Tuesday and luckily Stew likes to suffer as well but at the start of the ride I heard myself saying "Let's take it a bit easy on this one, my elbow's killing me and I'm a bit burned out from the weekend". We got some great riding in even though my elbow was ballooned up and causing me to grit my teeth. About an hour in we bumped into the Holy Wow gang, a local crew I've never seen before. They were all riding up to do the 'Rossland A-Line' an under-developement big flow and bermy tabletop ride that I've hadn't found yet. Luckily the group was big with about 15 riders and the pace was nice and casual so I felt a bit better... except for the elbow. Overall a great evening ride, through gritted teeth.

That night I didn't even want to go to bed because my elbow was going insane. Super hot, throbbing, twice its normal size, and seriously, it looked like a water balloon was living in there. I finally conceded and headed for bed at 0200hrs, not looking forward to the non-sleep pain caused by the smallest touch against the elbow. I'm pretty sure the beating wings of a bird flying 1 kilometer away would have been causing enough disturbance to ripple the air currents through the open bedroom window, faintly touching my elbow, which would cause me to snap my eyes open and grit my teeth silently so as not to wake up Doreen. Brutal.

Ok, I'll admit it, Doreen was right I needed to see a doctor.

Wednesday morning I went to visit my first Rossland doctor, she was super cool with a good bedside manner. Her verdict was "Blood work and x-ray" - yikes! You mean I can't just eat enough almond butter and sprouted bread sandwiches to make this go away by tomorrow? Off I went to Trail where I witnessed a surprisingly efficient and pleasant processing at the lab and then at the hospital. They were all nice, it was almost confusing as I'm used to the gong show medical system in Calgary. Score one for the local medical scene!

This morning I got the news... the elbow is infected and I'm now on 10 days of antibiotics. Hopefully it will quickly come down in size and pain level so I can claw back some sleep and also get out on my bike a bit. The other news is I now know why I've been so tired (and a bit light-headed at times if I get up too fast), the doc says my blood work shows I'm anemic. I've been anemic in the past due to internal bleeding or huge weeks of physical activity so it didn't freak me out when she said it. Endurance racing and training can require additional Iron supplementation, which I haven't done for quite a while. So to combat the anemia I've got an over the counter Iron supplement which will help to increase my oxygen abilities and hopefully help my fatigue levels. I thought my burnout came from chasing Scott 'destroyer of opponents hemoglobin levels' Legere up the relentless hill climbs here in Rossland, turns out I have to eat more liver... or something.

I'm off to Ferraro Foods in the morning to stock up on Iron-producing schtuff. If everything goes to plan I should be toeing the line in Bend, Oregon next weekend with a pain-free elbow and a semi-normal (better than now) hematocrit. More oxygen abilities, wouldn't that be nice for racing. ;-)

Post-race I'll be able to continue my Iron level enhancement with some fine IPA's (I've been training in a beer-less zone for about a month now, maybe that's the cause of my low Iron levels, hahaha) and some more casual Rossland trail riding. The last race on the radar will be The Kaslo Sufferfest an event that has running and riding categories. I'm interested in the 100km race, Scott 'maybe we should see if we can do the 100km race real fast and then do the 40km race' Legere figures if we race the 100kms fast enough we can jump into the 40km mix as well, as it doesn't start till 1300hrs, which will give us 6hrs to race 100kms and 9,900' vert gain. Uhmmm, I don't know about that Scotty, maybe if I eat enough liver between now and then and drink lots of IPA's after the 24 in Bend.


Anonymous said...

Guys should listen to wives the first time they give advise. When will you guys ever learn...ha ha. I do hope your elbow heals in time for your race. We will miss seeing you though. RD

John F said...

I was just talking to somebody yesterday morning about eating liver (and how it's physically impossible for me to do).

I probably haven't thought about eating liver in years but I was working in a house where the nanny was cooking up a heap of the horrendous dish.

I'm afraid that in your shoes I'd have to bite the bullet and drink extra IPA's because liver is a no go.

How about later today you eat liver and I'll drink an IPA.....hey, who knew IPA's were good for your blood?

Get well in record time Racer X!

Shaun Taylor said...

In this case... you are right. ;-)

Shaun Taylor said...

After the race I'll be cooking up some IPA marinated liver. ;-)

JD said...

Is it wrong that I read your blog in a Canadian accent? I'm talented in that way you know...

Shaun Taylor said...

I try to read yours with a US accent but every time I get to the letter Z I keep getting my zed and zee's mixed up. Is it zed or zee?