On Friday night I was hanging with some girl friends, many whom I haven't seen in months. Casually, I explained what happened to me over the past month or so... even more so what happened this past winter. I realized I haven't talked about it at all to anyone but my husband and mom... and maybe a coach or two.
Well, here it is. No pretty pictures. Just lots of words. Hang on!
In an earlier blog, I explained that my lack of rest was messing with the body and mind. That's saying it nicely. Basically, I hit the wall and never fully recovered. I felt slightly better in Beijing but couldn't explain why I really wasn't myself physically. At least in Beijing, I felt better mentally... I was laughing, I was sleeping, etc. Even then, the performance in my racing wasn't stellar.
In the Scratch qualifier, I finished easily in 5th. In the final that night, I finished somewhere around 15th after losing my sweet position with about 3-4 to go. Frankly, in the scratch and the points, I felt more comfortable and confident with my positioning then I ever have. That told me that despite my results this winter, I was learning a lot.
The points wasn't so exciting as I didn't qualify for the finals. No big excuses... just didn't get it done. I learned a TON watching the women's final that night though. That is the fitness I will have next year. I can sprint as fast or faster then those women... I just need to be able to recover :) Sounds simple. Right? Going from a sprinter to endurance racer, well, that is the goal.
The Keirin, I did this winter as a little "reward" to myself. I LOVE sprint events. Love going fast. Love the thinking. Love the fact that you have no room for error. But, not training as a sprinter doesn't get you very far when you line up against the fastest women in the world. I came in 3rd in 1st round which doesn't really matter when only 2 go straight to the semi-finals. So, I went through the reps. I actually raced a damn good race and was really happy with my tactics, awareness, and lack of hesitation. But, at the end, one girl came around me with a bigger sprint... only 1 rider moved on.
I explained that I stayed a handful of days after with my dad in Beijing. From there I flew back to LA, grabbed my car and started driving for Colorado. Home, sweet, home.
Here's where the story gets interesting....
After being home for about a week, I came down with a nasty infection that basically took over my whole body. It presented itself in my elbow. MRSA. Look it up. Apparently this is a very serious antibiotic (most) resistant form of Staph. After a week of trying to self diagnose and get advice from MD friends, I decided to go to the Urgent Care. Since I couldn't much bend my arm because it was so swollen, the docs drained me and set me up on a drip of antibiotics. I was to check in in 2 days.
When I returned 2 days later and they looked at my lab results, I was instantly treated like a leprosy patient. "Um, you should go back to your room and wait for the doc." Come to find out, my body was dealing with something serious and highly contagious.
There was a long discussion with the doc about where I could have possibly contracted this. Was it ironic that it presented itself in the same EXACT spot I crashed on in November? Could it possibly have been lurking in my body that long? We don't know. What I do know is that the 2 girls I crashed with- 1 came down with a Staph infection shortly (a week or so) after the crash and 1 called that camp the last of her track season due to exhaustion and needing an off season. I can't remember but I think she got sick too... Heather, if you read this, let me know!
It could have been a totally strange coincidence that the infection presented on my elbow in the exact spot I crashed. But, it could have been lingering in my body too. Docs don't know enough about MRSA yet and this is what scares the medical community.
After a week of lots of drugs including pain pills so I could sleep.... oh, and, draining to wound every 2-3 hours for about 5 days.... I am back and healthy.
My girlfriends couldn't believe I hadn't told anyone all of this and that I basically held myself up in my house. What's my solution? Share it with everyone by blogging.
OK, done with gross stuff and onto better news:
This past week I started training again. Count it... 4 whole weeks off the bike! Never, since I started racing in 2006 have I taken more then a week off the bike. So, I am well rested and now really sore after 1 full week of training.
What have I been doing? Well, it was snowy most of the week but here is a snap shot:
2x sports conditioning classes (like crossfit)
3x core classes
4x indoor training either on rollers or spin bike
1x 2.5 hr fixie ride outside... love this bike!
1x 3.5 hr group ride with the boys
On this cold morning and after killing it in Sports Conditioning class this morning, Greg made me Buckwheat pancakes with yogurt, apples, blueberries, walnuts, bananas, and real maple syrup. YUM!