Monday 22 April 2013

Apr 21/13 - Bad Luck Strikes Again

   This post is a little different in that it's actually Friday April 19th as I sit down to write this opening paragraph. Usually I wait until Sunday evening when my training has completed to take the week in review. What makes this week so different? I'm supposed to be racing a 10km trail race in Niagara Falls tomorrow morning and here I sit in bed where I have been almost exclusively for the last 3 days. I awoke Wednesday early morning to discovery something inside my guts was very wrong. Very, very wrong. The diarrhea that began shortly there after still hasn't ceased and was quickly followed by relentless vomiting  Chris came home early from work Wednesday afternoon to take me to the emergency room.
Enough said
By the time I got there I was so weak I could barely stand on my own. I had been vomiting at least every 15 minutes for about 12 hours at this point with absolutely no relief in sight. Wtf could it be? The most frustrating part is this was the 3rd time in 6 months. The first one I blogged about occurred on New Years Eve and had both Chris and I laid up for days on end. The second was in February I believe and I had to be taken from a job site by ambulance after collapsing in a port-a-pottie with uncontrollable vomiting. Both of these instances were written off by the attending physicians as food-borne related. Then a couple weeks ago I awoke with the worst migraine I have had since I was a child. That lasted nearly 12 vomit and pain-filled hours.  I think you're starting to see where my frustration is coming from. Yes maybe they are all just non-related events, but I can't help thinking what the hell is going on here
? I quit drinking several years ago, stopped smoking pot about a year ago, became a vegetarian 5 months ago and exercise daily. This should be the healthiest point of my whole life and yet I have never had so many bouts of illness bring me down in such a short span of time.  As I write this I am beginning to hold down food, but am already down about 7lbs in 3 days weighing in at a measly 143lbs. Unless something completely amazing happens in the next 12 hours tomorrow it looks as if my race is already over.

This goes for 1.5km!
   So not too much to report this week. Monday I had the day off as my boss had a doctors appointment. It was a beautiful spring day so I headed back to Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area where I had just run the previous Saturday. I slipped on my Five Finger Spyridon trail runners and headed out on the trail towards Crawford Lake. I felt amazing. Everything was working as it should and the run was effortless. I had brought my Go Pro camera to get some footage, but had left the memory card in my laptop. I also realized as I geared up to run that I had forgotten my Garmin watch. For the first time I was running completely by feel. I decided to run to Crawford lake which was 7.5km. At least like this I would have an Idea of my distance. I still felt amazing when I arrived so I ran the 1.5km raised wooden boardwalk that circumferences the Lake. All in all it was a perfect run. Awesome weather, legs were still strong and no blisters or issues breaking in my new shoes. 16.5km total and I was feeling very positive about the race this weekend.

   Tuesday was a really tough workday physically for me. I drilled out and drove in 100 cement Tapcon screws into the walls of my bosses cold room. We were installing drywall in there and much of the day was spent working over our heads. By the time I came home that night I was physically devastated. In in hind site it may have been that whatever would be taking hold of me in less than 12 hours might already have been starting. Needless to say though that mixing a 10 hour day of physical labor with trying to train in the evenings has been my greatest challenge in taking on triathlon. I fear that it maybe the consistent wearing down of my body through work and training which may be leaving me susceptible to illness. It's just another reason backing my decision to look for employment in a different field.

Time passes...

   Well now it's Monday morning, the day before my 39th birthday and I've finally gotten the chance to finish this story. I had thought about posting the first half and leaving this portion as a cliffhanger, but I didn't want to leave anyone on the edge of their seat, biting their nails for days on end.  So how did it all turn out? Not so good for me I'm afraid. It was a tough
weekend to say the least. By Saturday morning food was staying down, but still not well and was making quite a "splash" on exit. This was supposed to be an amazing weekend away for Chris and I. I was racing on Saturday in the "Head for the Hills" trail race in Niagara Falls and then it was straight to Calabogie (just outside Ottawa), where she was racing her bike at Calabogie Motorsports raceway. I was totally demolished by this point from the flu and her from the stress of taking care of me and watching me fade away. 

Not a great idea, but I was desperate
   It was bitterly cold Saturday morning as we arrived in Niagara Falls. No I wasn't even thinking about racing, I could barely stand! I just wanted my race sweatshirt and bib. We had to travel out to St. Catharines anyway since my father and I share the same birthday I wanted to drop off a gift and see him briefly. We began the long drive to Calabogie around 10:30am and I was already eating gravol like it came from a candy necklace. I had eated barely anything in days and had to stop for fear that I would have "issues" on the road. I was in and out of consciousness for most of the trip. I tried eating little bits here and there and even broke my 5 months of vegetarianism to eat almost half of a plain Wendy's Jr. burger. I was so ill I went for anything my tastes buds would crave and it strangely came back to fast food.

My weekend supplies
We arrived at the rent house we were sharing with 4 other cyclists just outside of the racetrack in Calabogie around 7pm Saturday evening. I felt like a leper and I could tell by the looks on their faces most of them wished I hadn't come. Part of me wished I hadn't either, but my commitment to supporting Chris was too strong to allow me to stay home. I spent most of the night creeping downstairs to decimate the lower bathroom in hopes that no one would hear the terrible sounds emitting from my body. I went everywhere with a container of Lysol flu disinfectant wipes to decontaminate anything my disgusting body touched.

   Sunday morning came and I somehow was feeling a little better, almost human. I had a hot shower and held down some peanut butter on toast. We packed up and headed to the race. I was an awesome venue. An actual car racetrack, taken over by hundreds of cyclists from all over Ontario. Chris hadn't eaten or trained all week because of how sick I had been and all the stress it caused her. Now she was feeling like shit and under prepared. I was feeling like shit and guilty. It was also as cold as an ice cream headache and the thermometer was reading -5C even though the sun was shining. Everyone warmed up and got into the line up just before 9am. Then it was 11 laps and 56km to go.
Chris is on the right in the white kit & helmet
I'm always so proud when I see Chris in her cycling kit, lined up to race and she is always the most beautiful girl in the field. It was great for spectators because we could walk freely around the 5km track taking pictures and watching the race from different vantage points. At one point I saw the ambulance head out onto the track, but Chris appeared around a corner before I could worry. Good thing too. It had been a bad crash and one girl had to be airlifted to the hospital. Cycling is a lot more dangerous than people would suspect or at least more than I personally had thought. Chris did great for her second race of the season coming in 5th despite the previous weeks events. You can read about her point of view HERE. I was feeling better so we stopped for gas and breakfast to celebrate on the way home. Breakfast was a mistake. Chris had eggs and I had a western. My mom always made westerns with a little ham and some peppers, this one was just eggs and chopped bacon. This was the second time I had broken my vegetarian streak in two days and little did I know that in just a short time I was going to pay for it. Not 30 mins down road the terrible abdominal cramps started. We were a long way from anything except winding, rocky Ontario roads and by now the pain was so intense I was convinced that something had ruptured inside me and I was going to die out here. We had no signals on our phones and couldn't find a hospital, but we both knew there wouldn't be one for sometime now. We were both beginning to panic. We stopped at a small restaurant and I stumble in to ask for a bathroom. I was alone in there, but could here voices outside and assumed they could probably hear the horrors of what I was doing to their bathroom. I never thought it possible to have liquid coming from ones body in such a violent way for such a long time. When it was over however I felt a million times better and had rendered their bathroom virtually unusable. I purchased a bottle of water on the way out and tipped the lady a few dollars. "Oh thank you" she exclaimed!  "Your welcome" I replied and then muttered "it won't even cover the cleaning bill" under my breath.

   Well I made it home and slept well last night with the help of some Imodium and Gas-X. Feeling better today and holding down food consistently. I'm certainly on the road to recovery now, but the sad part is I lost a lot of weight and strength over the last week. I'm weighing in at a pathetic 139lbs now and have lost a lot of my muscle mass and stamina I worked so hard for over the last few months. I have no races in May except for Tough Mudder and I have the next two weeks off work to regain my strength. Oh and the reason for the two week vacation will be explained tomorrow as their has been some great news that occurred during this difficult week. I have a birthday gift that I want to share with everyone I know tomorrow that will hopefully inspire my friends to think about different possibilities in life.


  1. Oh man I feel for you! You have truly had the week from hell and I can only imagine how frustrated you are. The fitness and strength will return. I love how you and Scully support each other in each others respective events - that is truly awesome! Hope that you are getting better and the next couple of weeks result in you back to being healthy. Looking forward to hearing about your news!

  2. Fuck I love the shit out of you!
    All of that was difficult to watch you suffer through knowing there wasn't a lot I could do for you except be there. I've never felt so much stress watching someone I loved so much feel so horrible. Nor have I ever panicked as much as I did in the car when you were writhing in pain, curled up in a ball beside me and gripping everything in sight. While trying not to scream. No cell service and not a medical facility to be found. Panic doesn't even come close to what I was feeling.

    I love you to pieces and I will always take care of you as best as I can.