Followers of me on twitter will know, I've been unwell recently. Nothing too serious that will send me to my bed. But it has been a concern for me. Its a about a 6 to 8 week illness really. It started back March. A training ride for Flanders with Kev and Carol out in deepest East Yorkshire. A hard ball breaking route taking in a relentless number of climbs. Well, it broke me. I threw up in Carols car on way home and spent 2 full days vomiting and glued to the toilet. This illness left me with chronic stomach ache. It lasted 2 weeks easily. For two weeks I could hardly eat. I had to force food into me and continue to commute to work daily and work.(i have a very physical job that often leaves me unable to hold a cup at the end of the day). I had all this to do and it was getting closer to Flanders. I had to get well. I have already told you what happened in Flanders previously in this blog. I suffered. It is possible that it was as a result of this illness.
So on my return from Flanders, I thought it was just fatigue. The muscle aches, This dizziness. The headaches. I guessed I was just run-down. It never really occurred to me or even noticed that I wasn't really eating the usual amounts of food. I normally eat unreal amounts of food. The days passed, the weeks passed and I was eating less and less. Nothing seemed to appeal. Then what food I was eating, was passing through my body naturally but in 4-6 hours instead of 24 hours as in a normal person. The stomach cramps came back 2 weeks ago. Increasing in ferocity. I was being woken at 4am my pains in my belly. What the hell was going on? I thought all the worst things obviously. but I didn't have all the symptom of any one illness. Maybe one of each I had researched.
More alarmingly, I was still cycling. I rode to work one day. I felt tired as normal when I got home. I mean. why wouldn't I? I ride at 20+mph on my commute.I got up to ride the next day and my legs were shot. Even worse coming home. And that was it. I was off the bike. unable to turn a pedal in anger. No strength, no stamina. Its taken me nearly a week to get over 2 days of cycling. My body was shot. I was physically empty. The belly aches got worse and food stopped going in completely. Last week I ate a days food over the entire week. Less that 200 calories a day as opposed to nearly 4000Kcal a day. I seriously thought something was very badly wrong. So to the Doctor I went. Tomorrow I get the results on my first batch of samples and tests. We will find out whats happening with my body. Or what I need to be doing.
The good news is, I have had 2 days of a virtually normal diet. and relatively normal bowel activity. The bad news? my belly still hurts like bastard.
What have I learnt? Well I think I have been overdoing it. I did tweet that I felt I knew how Charly Wegelius felt in his final year with Omega Pharma Lotto. When his body refused to take food.. I feel this has given me an insight in to how much pro riders much punish their bodies and how carefully they must have to look after their engines.. I push myself hard. Very hard. I have a hugely physical job and I ride like a steam train. Perhaps I am asking to much of my 41 and 3/4 year old body? I don't claim I am doing what the pros do. What I am saying is, there comes a point when your body will just say " enough already" you wont get a say in this. You just have to deal with it. I've only been on my bike 5 times in 7 weeks. Very rare for me.You as a cyclist have to look after your own engine. Fuel it right, rest it well and service it regularly. If you demand a huge output, you have to make sure the input if the right sort and a good quality. Get the balance all wrong...and you're toast!(or just eating toast for 2 weeks).
I hope this is the tail end of this illness. Only time will tell.
Take care of your bodies guys. Eat right, drink more water than you think and keep off the coffee. This is all i have done. And its working.