My account of life both on and off of two wheels...... "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

On the Horizon.

In an attempt to try and get myself out of my latest funk, I have decided to start planning my 2012 race season.  I am trying to put the focus on something ‘positive’ (there is that word again) and setting my fitness goals.

The upcoming season looks like it is going to start early.  The local H2H series has changed things around a bit.  Our club race, The Chainstretcher, is now the first race of the year when it is usually one of the last races of the year- this should be interesting.  I would have raced it early or late season- it is one my favorite places to ride and it holds a special place in my heart.  I am  not sure if I will be racing cat 1 or 2.  I will have to wait and see as to how my fitness builds this winter.  I may start out in cat 2 just to get my feet wet- in many ways I feel like I am starting over.
Only a week after is Single Speed A Palooza!  I love this race.  The first year I raced this was the first annual and the spring that I had met G.  I did not have a single speed bike  yet and he lent me one of his so I could  race.  I knew I had a good one even way back then-  he hardly knew me and he let me race his bike.   
Anyway, back to the race schedule.  I may or may not race the Bearscat 50 again this season.  I will be racing the Dark Horse 40 as it is the 10th annual and it should not be missed.  Another goal for this season is one I had before my diagnosis- to complete a 100 mile race.  There are two that I am considering but I need to think about which is going to work out best.  Those races are Wilderness 101 and the Shenandoah 100. 

So those are the broad brush strokes for the season as I am undecided on all the races I will be racing in 2012, but what I do know is I have all the hopes to have a strong season ahead.  I have no reason to think that I cannot come back strong and get my speed back. 

So, where am I at with my most recent setbacks, recovery and mood?  I don’t even want to write it but it seems like I am back on track.  Dr DP gave me the go ahead to go hog wild with cardio, just no bouncing or lifting.  That comes  next week.  This was/is interpreted as I get to ride my bike on the road.

I was thrilled with this.  I was feeling better and the weather was supposed to be fabulous.  G and I decided to rest up Friday night and lay low. Shortly after dinner I was not feeling so well.  I was nauseated and could not figure out why.  The only thing I could think was I took my antibiotics right after dinner and my thought was that maybe it didn’t mix well.  Sure didn’t- I was sick most of the night throwing up.  Really?! 

I felt much better in the morning and there was no way that I was going to miss my chance to ride.  G helped me get my ‘mango ride’ all set up for my ride on the North County Trail.  This is the bike that has been with me the longest.  It is my forever faithful and I thought it fitting to take her out first.  I figured it best to take the mountain bike since I would not  ‘bounce’ and I could still get my pedal in without having the discomfort of reaching for the lower bars and brakes on my road bike.  It was a great plan and I was able to enjoy back to back days of riding this past weekend.   I felt even better the second day besides being over dressed for the warm weather.  It was 65 degrees and sunny- what a huge gift in November!  I pedaled steady and my peck muscles felt less stressed the second day.  It didn’t feel horrible on Saturday but I could tell the muscle had been cut and they were still healing- surgery was harder than I had thought it would be. 

I figured this past weekend was a good start to get reacquainted with my bike.   If I have no more snafus then I will start my real training again in January.  This year will be so much different than the last.  I am so excited to see where this season will take me.

Geared up for the first ride in over 5 weeks.  Wish I took more pictures but I was focused on riding. 
Thank you to those that checked in on me since my last post and for all of you that keep reading. 


Thursday, November 17, 2011

I feel like I am pedaling backwards.

The past 5 weeks has been full of intense emotions for me.  Exercise is as essential to my life as air and water.  It is what keeps me moving forward.  It keeps my body and my mind ‘right sized’.   The lack of exercise has been a struggle this go around. 

I had written a post last week but obviously I never posted it.   I was going to update everyone on how well I was doing- because I was.  How excited I was to be cleared to ride on the road- baby steps.  How I was so thrilled to be going to my Pilates instructor training class all weekend.  Well, that all got derailed last Friday and quickly my post became outdated and my spirits took a dive.

I was feeling off last week.  G had been sick so there was a good chance I was fighting something off.  On Thursday afternoon, I had noticed my right breast had red blotchiness on it.  Hmmm, what is this all about?  It was not my radiated side so I was even more puzzled.  I knew I had to follow the protocol.  Take my temperature, keep an eye on it and call the doctor in the morning if it has not cleared up.  Well by the time I got to the doctor on Friday afternoon, I had a low grade fever and felt pretty much like junk.  The blotchiness has spread and DrDP was unimpressed but not panicked- thank goodness.  Part of the anxiety of all of this is the unknown.  What is normal and what is something to worry about?  She had me get blood work done to determine if I had an infection in my blood.  The results were normal.  In fact my white blood cells were the best they have been in a while!  She offered to put me in the hospital for IV antibiotics but that would mean I would be there all weekend through Monday.  I opted for option 2- head home with oral antibiotics and the understanding that if I got worse or there was no improvement come Monday morning, I was going into the hospital.

The weekend was pretty uneventful as I had to cancel a lot of plans.  I felt defeated.   I should have been at my Pilates training class all weekend.  This is something I have been so excited to do and is part of my attempt to start my ‘new’ life.   How was I ever going to make this class up?  Disappointment seems to be running ramped in my life.  I would really like to see some things change for the better.   I have learned a lot throughout this experience and one thing for sure is, I will never take for granted a healthy day and a day free of doctor appointments.

I know what you are thinking.  “Stay positive, be grateful for what you have” Positivity is easy to say when you are on the other side of it and frankly, it doesn’t help to hear that.  I have so many things to be grateful for and I am good with that.  But honestly, I am over it.  I am over feeling like crap and waiting until the next time I can go out and feel good on my bike or a hike or just be myself again.
In this land I call the Cancer Vortex- I have met so many amazing women in all shapes and sizes.  Some have been through similar experiences or worse, some are stronger than me, some are suffering horribly, some are even better off than me.   I have started to reach out more to help others and in turn it is helping me.  I will continue to put one foot in front of the other to try to get my spirits back up again.  In the meantime, if you think of it, give me a holler!  It would be great to hear from some of you. 

So far I have managed to keep myself out of the hospital.  I will be heading north to Maine for the Thanksgiving weekend.   I will be visiting some friends and family which should make for many smiles.  I am praying that I stay healthy between now and then and that I remain healthy from this point forward.  I really need to put this latest surgery behind me and get on to some serious or not so serious living! 

Thank you for reading and if I don't get a chance to post before hand-  have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!