becoming a happy adult in a sunny sustainable world.
On May 1, 2010, I suffered what I thought was a minor concussion after a bike crash. I didn’t go to the doctor at first because I didn’t think anything about it. And I actually didn’t even stop training. I actually didn’t even go to the doctor until a Judge made me. But, itty bitty concussion…didn’t even actually hit my head. No biggie. Unfortunately, the effects were far longer lasting than I ever would have expected. For the year following the accident, I was incapable of training hard. I was tired all the time and I was as slow as molasses. During 2010, I assumed it was just the normal Ironman training exhaustion. But then the race happened and I bombed.
The year following, I still did not recover or improve like I should have. I was sure I was just old and chubs and never going to be fast again. My 1:39 half marathons became a struggle at 1:50+. Training 6 hrs per week felt like the 18+hr wks I had during Ironman training. After a year of tests and trial and error treatment, my doctor finally figured out that there were endocrine issues (poor regulation of both cortisol and thyroid hormones) that were effecting my energy levels and it most likely tracked back to pituitary damage from my crash and concussion. I had been struggling against Post Consussion Syndrome with pituitary damage for over a year. Now on thyroid meds for the last 10 mos, I’m FINALLY feeling like myself again.
I’m now finally able to race again. I have a *surprise* PR under my belt when I ran the hilly hilly Augusta half marathon in 1:39:16, which shockingly came after almost non-existent training this winter. And an age-group win at my first tri of the season (which was also my first brick of the year). So now I’m feeling good and getting a smidge of confidence back, a resource that was a rarity over the last two years.
So, back in health, are there any lingering reminders of my post concussion syndrome? Yes, I struggle with getting back to racing weight…I’m hovering about 12-15 lbs above my pre-ironman weight. And there is a constant fear in the back of my head that tells me that this won’t last. That it’s just a fluke and I will soon be struggling to improve again. Actually, any time I start to drag a little, I have a minor panic attack. True story. But, both of those things can be worked on.
That means only one (ok, two) quesitons remain: What’s next? And…well…what’s next?
What’s next on the racing front and what are my goals for the year?
What’s up next to keep my health in check?
This weekend we take to the pond/streets with a home court advantage (a rare thing in Disgusta, because there are only 4 area tris). Goals: Top 3 women, if not top. And averaging sub 7min/mi on the run.
A public defender super heroine by day, I am a cupcake baker extraordinaire by night. And come weekend, I am an IronPerson. I deal with an NPR addiction daily and I dream of one day having Carl Kasell on my answering machine. I strive to be the best fur-mommy I can be, and when I have time, I'm learning to be a grownup.