Saturday, September 29, 2012

Forget Running... The Duck Can't Breathe!

Where am I with my training?  Good question.  After the crash last week, I have been dealing with a number of issues from confidence on the bike to some really serious breathing issues.  I am about to break down and see a doctor again for the breathing problems but it is difficult for me to determine where one issue ends and another begins.

Since the last time I crashed in June, I have been dealing with some orthopedic issues that are proving difficult to manage.  My shoulder has been a problem as has my IT band.  While they have improved since June, much of the progress has come about as a result of other problems.

During the month of August, I pushed through fatigue.  I pushed too hard and too long.  I ended up with a case of exhaustion that set me down for two full days.  I couldn't get out of bed.  I barely had enough energy to feed the dogs.  It went far beyond just a little tired and felt like something seriously amiss.  I don't know if that carried a fitness price beyond a few missed workouts but I have been a disaster ever since.  My endurance and strength evaporated and even my motivation has been sporadic.

In addition to that, I crashed again, as you know, last Tuesday.  In addition to losing a pound of flesh, I badly bruised/cracked my ribs.  (The official diagnosis was fractured but with all the old injuries to the area, they couldn't really tell on the x-rays.  They might just be bruised.)

At the crash, I had an episode that I refer to as hyperventilating, although I am not sure that is really accurate.  I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't take in air.  I felt like I was breathing through a straw and as a result a manic, rapid breathing pattern (picture hyperventilation or asthma attack) developed followed by major dizziness.  Since then, I have had one of these attacks nearly every day.  With each one, it takes less to trigger the next.  They are terrifying and completely shut me down, not to mention I am walking around slightly short of breath with a sharp ache in my chest all the time.  I am also seriously fatigued and my limbs feel like lead.  It's not really making for a great quality of life.

I can barely run.  Wednesday, I tried to run and had an attack on the Town Lake Trail after just seven minutes.  Tonight was a dramatic improvement due to being a little more tuned in to the early signs.  I can only go about 5 minutes holding ~11:00 pace before I have to stop and walk.  Worse, I am having trouble getting through a night of work.  I feel awful, exhausted all of the time.  

At this point, I am trying to get through this horse show and get home.  I have a few weeks off in October which will give me both rest time and a chance to see a doctor if necessary.  My background in horses means that I will self treat a lot of things (cuts, injuries, etc- don't judge.  That is just how horse people do things.) but not this.  I am completely baffled by this, not to mention more than a little concerned.  I am concerned for my health and concerned for my training.  I seem to be losing fitness at an alarming rate.  I am really concerned that if this drags on very long, I will be forced to start over from scratch.

Some of these things were do to crashes, some due to fatigue and overload.  When all the books and websites tell you to guard against overreaching...  When they tell you to rest your injuries... When they carry on about recovery... LISTEN.  The price of this mistake is WAY to high!!

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