Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kids, racing and hospitals…all in a week!

Preparing for the Mt Perry 6 hour I thought it would be nice to have a relaxing Friday night, pottering around with bike stuff, quiet dinner with the family. So of course at 11pm my daughter projectile vomits all over her room after coming down with a stomach virus. After the clean-up and a couple of glasses of wine I finally get to sleep, ready for 5 hours of driving in the direction of Bundaburg the following day.
Arriving at the course on Sunday morning was the toughest part of the weekend – 0 degrees! Brrrr…! The 6 hour was long, as 6 hour races tend to be, but the course was a lot of fun. Perhaps not as beginner-friendly as the Dell XC course with some wicked steep switchbacks and rock gardens in the back half. Naomi Hansen pushed me all the way and forced me out on a final lap that I really did not want to do, just to cement the win. I had just recently switched to a gluten-free diet and discovered that eating gluten-free bread requires more saliva than I can muster during a race. The nutritional lessons keep coming.
The following week started quietly as I recovered from the race but by Wednesday I was still feeling quite ordinary. On Thursday I woke with the familiar feeling of nausea when one’s child has shared their germs. By Thursday evening the seemingly innocuous virus had resulted in searing abdominal pain, an ambulance transport to hospital, an emergency endoscopy and a pleasant amount of morphine. Friday was spent with 4 tubes coming out of various orifices, either pumping fluid in or draining fluid out. On Saturday the diagnosis was Acute Viral Hepatitis – basically my daughters virus had attacked my useless immune system and shut down my liver, stomach and kidneys. Kids!
Finally released on Sunday after 9 litres of saline, 3 days of no food and quite a couple of kilos lighter I had strict instructions to take it easy and no training until my liver reading had returned to normal (from 2000 back to 40), so only recovery rides to the coffee shop and 30 mins of altitude training ( in the gym each day for a week. My boss ordered me back to work – oh the joys of self employment – so I’m not sure how much resting actually got done.
My coach has eased my back in to training and in the end the week off from training feels like a good thing, although I might take it in less dramatic fashion next time. I still struggle with the work-life-training balance and when I get it wrong my body reminds me in the strongest terms. It’s amazing how much less tired and more pleasant I am as a parent when I ease back on the other two factors for a bit. If Helica thinks this whole pancakes-for-breakfast deal is going to last though she will be sadly disappointed!