Le Terrier – Racing Ill
Well I think it’s safe to say the moral of the story is to not do it! I had been ill in the few days prior, night sweats, dizziness, headaches, cramps, dodgy stomach and generally feeling pretty rubbish, but having spent most of Saturday in bed, and gone for an easy hour on the bike, I felt ok and decided I should be ok to race. Sunday morning I felt ok, so headed off to Mikes for the race, having only managed half my breakfast, a sign something was up.
I don’t remember most of the ride really, I know that I was seriously struggling to keep up with Mike on the smallest of climbs and anything that got my heart rate up was causing me problems, so he went off ahead, and I carried on for what was to be a very long day! Le Terrier is only 125k, but with 3000m of climbing, its not an easy ride! I stayed in a comfortable pace for me, which involved going very slowly and being overtaken by most people, and just struggled round. The main problems I had were, I felt flat and tired, and couldnt sustain any power at all, and my stomach just didn’t want any food. I tried gels, energy drink, jelly babies, bars and all the food at the stops, but I just wasn’t hungry, and eventually stopped eating as I felt full and bloated, despite the small amount I had had.
It wasn’t a bad ride, I struggled through but I just wasn’t quick. It was basically good fat burning exercise, with some horrible climbs thrown in that sapped what little energy I had left. At around 95k I decided I needed to eat, so forced some Jelly Babies, drink and a gel down me. 5k later we hit a big climb, and I promptly threw it back up! My stomach was having any of it, so I was left to do the rest without food. Not bad training, but bad given my situation.
However, I finished it, and if I can manage 6 and a half hours on a bike feeling that bad, with very little food, at least I have some fitness. Fresh, I should be fine. It took me a while to notice, but once I had got home, showered, tried to eat a bit more, and got into bed to watch some tv and recover, it occured to me that I hadn’t actually peed that day! 6 and a half hours on the bike, and I hadn’t been to the toilet 2 hours after! Not good, turns out my kidneys weren’t too happy with the stress and went on strike for a bit! By the evening I had got my appetite back a bit and had a pizza. Mistake. I spent the night throwing it up! So I took Monday off work and slept, and have spent the last few days, trying to stay hydrated and get something into my body.
I have no idea what it was, maybe food poisoning, or a stomach virus but I seem to be over the worst of it now and I am eating proper meals again and they’re staying down! I went for a run this evening, and although I didn’t feel 100%, I am definitely getting better and it was nice to be back training.
Obviously this puts my Ironman build into a bit of a problem, given that I will miss at least 2 weeks of my main build. Not exactly ideal, though given the good base of fitness I’ve built up, I should be ok. I will spend the rest of this week easing back into training, and then start my build next week.
I don’t know if the race pushed back my recovery, probably not given my stomach didn’t really get any worse (or better) and I haven’t had any more fever since, but one thing’s for sure, I won’t be racing when I feel like that again!