Sunday, April 20, 2008


Yep, apparently that's the story of my life. I'm moping around today, somewhat depressed about my Cohutta disaster yesterday. The race started in a misty rain, and by the time I hit the singletrack, the trails were pretty mushy. Thankfully I had my 2.35 Maxxis Ignitor tires on, which were allowing me to rail around corners and conserve some of my energy. The only problem was that mud was slinging up into my eyes, making my contacts all gritty and scratchy. Oh well, just deal with it for the next 9 hours...

I didn't have snappy legs at the start, and I never had snappy legs later on. At Aid #1, I was 10 minutes off my pace from last year. It was slower and muddy, so I figured really I was only about 5 minutes slower, taking the trail conditions into consideration. I wasn't feeling great, but I wasn't feeling terrible yet, so I thought perhaps things would pick up. The next 10 miles of fireroad were pretty sloppy and my bike wasn't working all that great, but it was tolerable.

As I hit the climbs up to Dally Gap, I found it harder and harder to keep my HR up and really push myself. I took a puff of my inhaler, but it didn't seem to be helping much. I had countless people pass me on this climb, which definitely shouldn't have been happening. By the time I hit Dally Gap, I was 26 minutes off my pace from last year, and slowing steadily. I was really sluggish heading to Watson Gap, and once there I stopped to go to the bathroom and assessed my condition. I still had the toughest climbs to come, and my lungs were so inflamed that oxygen wasn't being delivered to my blood at the rate I needed to be able to keep my effort even moderate on the climbs. If I made it to Aid #3 and my condition was worse, I'd have a pretty hellacious ride back, or else I'd have to hang at the sag and wait for the broom wagon. It was a little over two hours back to the White Water Center from where I was, so I figured it was wiser to head back, as opposed to keep going, which would have only made my lung inflammation worse, causing more damage and recovery time. Definitely a morale crusher, as I was looking to use this race to gauge my fitness.

The trip back was a struggle in itself. The higher intensity riding I did in the first 2 hours of the race really did me in, as my the end of the ride, I was having a hard time on all of the climbs. I was spinning in a super easy gear with a HR of 140 - but I was huffing and puffing like I was at was awful...the joys of asthsma and lung inflammation. After 6 hours and 8 minutes of total riding, I rolled back back down to the White Water Center.

I'm making an appointment with a pulmonologist tomorrow, in the hopes that they can prescribe something that will clear up my lung inflammation. Unfortunately, I'm probably going to have to take two weeks to a month off (or more..gasp!) to let it all heal. I did a lot of web surfing today, and found several articles that said exercising at moderate to high intensities in below freezing temps can cause permanent lung damage...argh..thanks to the weather at the Checkpoint Zero race for royally screwing up my season. I need to get this worked out before August because I really want to make a good showing at the TransRockies. I just want to go back to feeling normal. I've done a good amount of training, so I feel strong, I just wish I had the lung capacity to power my legs. Hopefully I'll know more tomorrow..


Danielle said...

Sorry that your race didn't go as planned Lisa.

Rest those lungs and you will be kicking butt with Carey at the TransRockies.

Carey Lowery said...

I have faith in your strength, tenacity, and your doctor. We will both be ready to kick some a$$ in August!

Namrita O'Dea said...

don't let Google scare you. you're young and fit so i'm sure you'll heal up just fine with some rest and medical attention. good luck!