For the first time ever (at least the first time I can remember) I stopped all exercise over the Christmas period. It wasn’t intentional. I had planned to do the Escuela de Baile intensive flamenco course and was looking forward to it immensely, but fell prey to one of the nasty viruses doing their rounds this Christmas, catching such a bad cold that I could do little for 3 days other than stay in bed.
This put all my plans awry. I couldn’t train when I wanted, couldn’t do the work I had planned and, because I wasn’t exercising, found the struggle to get out of bed to be more of a struggle as every day passed (I’ve discovered that hard exercise really does help my chronic fatigue). Having taken on the Etape du Tour and, more urgently the ride across New York State I am very concerned. Getting fit enough to do these would be demanding for someone totally fit. The first of these; crossing New York State, while the easiest of the bunch will include getting up at daybreak for photos, keeping up with an Olympic athlete, doing daily tours, interviews and activities on top of the cycling, then making notes, processing photos and writing about it every day. It’s not a walk in the park, needs sound preparation and my levels of fitness and endurance need to be quite good. I’ve also started to teach myself how to cycle uphill through the episodes. I’ll be able to stop when I need to on the Huck Finn ride but the Maratona dles Dolomites is a race and you’re not allowed to continue if you fall too far behind at the start of the Etape du Tour.
I have a lot to recover. During chemotherapy Mike Grisenthwaite advised me that I could carry on cycling provided that I could comfortably talk to someone (an easy way to manage my heart rate as I didn’t have a monitor). Keeping things at this level meant that I wasn’t compromising my immune system further but it meant that I wasn’t able to keep my fitness levels anywhere near where I’d have liked.
Now I have other concerns. Since these episodes often make me feel like I have heat stroke, I worry about how I might know when -or if – it’s prudent to stop. I’ll have to find someone to ask. Meanwhile I need to work out hard. I need to be fit enough to complete the Etape and sufficiently accustomed to cycling through the episodes that I don’t need to rest on inclines.
I’ve been too tired to post anything for a while but hand wrote this on January 11th