Thank you for all of the well-wishes to those of you who reached out to me on here and Instagram ❤
Last week I was diagnosed with shingles and I’ll say it: it really sucks. Hard. BUT the good news is that it is a mild case and I should be back to my regular self soon. Since I am taking so much time off from regular workouts, I’m putting my scheduled 70.3 training on hold and just doing what I can….one day at a time.
My pain is mostly well-controlled with ibuprofen/Tylenol and cool compresses, calamine lotion is my new bestie and Roga shorts are a godsend. My appetite isn’t great and I’m tired but that will all improve with time. What’s the one thing that really annoys me? The tape I’m using to adhere sterile pads to my skin to cover up the rash when I’m at work/outside of my house–irritates the hell out of my skin–and it’s freaking paper tape!! Okay, I’m done, I realize it could be much much worse.
My shiny new Trek Speed Concept 7.5 made it home on Saturday afternoon and Tyler set it up for me in my trainer on Sunday. I was bummed because it hurt to bend at my waist and at that point thought it was muscular and didn’t want to injure myself more, so I knew I wouldn’t get to try out my new toys just yet. The plan changed to swim-a lot-until my side pain resolved because aqua therapy works wonders on muscle pain. Then that freaking rash popped up along with the shingles diagnosis. So, that derailed my swimming plan (ugh no swimming for at least 10 days-not great for 70.3 training but at least it’s still early in the season).
I ended up getting on my bike and just doing some easy spinning on Monday evening. I couldn’t get into aero position but it just felt good to move my legs. I made it about 4 miles then stopped because the shingles pain was a bit too much to handle.
Tuesday I rested-just did some the Deep Relaxation Jasyoga video (or what I could do comfortably) and went to bed early.
Wednesday I woke up actually feeling well-rested and ready to MOVE. So I took I put on some cycling bibs (did not pull the straps up) and a sports bra and cycled it one mile at a time on the trainer-still just spinning, no aero. I read the REI booklet I got in the mail on Tuesday and listened to Stacy Sims PhD on the Run to the Top podcast. My initial goal was to make it five miles then reassess and continue on if I felt good. I was starting to sweat (sweat burns my rash something awful) a bit so I got off at five, turned on the fan and cycled on. I made it to 10 miles, relatively pain free and decided to stop before I wear myself out too much. I think getting on the bike did more for me mentally than it did physically-I was SO happy….but paid the price later on in the evening with some pretty intense pain.
Thursday REST day. While getting on the bike Wednesday made me happy, it definitely had me run down and I had an increased amount of pain throughout the night and into the morning. Decided today was best spent resting. In the afternoon my pain decreased significantly, so I did get to ride one of the new bikes we got in at work for a few minutes which was nice 🙂
Friday Another REST day. Realizing that pain actually wears you out. Also found that sleeping on the sofa helps control my movement while sleeping, therefore I am sleeping a bit better. And lastly, a tight tri top keeps my ace wrap in place so it doesn’t bunch up while I’m at work making for a more comfortable day. I tagged along with Tyler when he was walking the dogs, it was nice to get outside and move even if it was just a couple of miles.
Saturday Woke up feeling more itchy than painful-this was a welcome feeling. I also felt well rested and ready to lead my group ride. I had two ladies show up, one being my good friend Laura! We rode a total of just over 15 miles and I remained relatively pain-free. I took it easy the rest of the day aside from walking the dogs again. I had a really hard time getting to sleep due to the pain, kind of the same as Wednesday night when (the same day I rode on the trainer). It wasn’t as bad as that night, but I still didn’t get to sleep until 11pm even though I was incredibly tired.
Sunday was supposed to start dark and early volunteering at the REV3 Westfields sprint triathlon…I set my alarm for 4am but slept right through it. When I finally woke up at 4:30am, I decided it was best to not volunteer and to get more rest since I had to work from 10a-5p at the bike shop. I emailed the volunteer coordinator to let her know then went back to sleep. It was a good call-I slept till almost 6am. Right before getting out of bed I did some deep breathing exercises from the Hit Reset book. I accompanied Tyler and the dogs on another short walk then headed off to work.
So, I’m about a week into this mess, and likely have 2-3 weeks until all of the symptoms are resolved. The good news is that some of the rash is starting to crust, which means I’m getting closer to getting back to the pool to train. The pain, for the most part, is tolerable and the fatigue is kind of improving. I know the pain can linger for a bit after the rash heals and I’m prepared for that. I’ll just be happy when I can start getting back to training again without having to keep the rash area sweat free!
The only change this setback brings to my race season is that I’m no going to race the Jamestown Olympic on June 10th. I’m sure I can “get through” the race, but to be honest, I don’t want to slog through a race I’m not fully prepared for. I want to race it (against my previous Olympic times) and go into the race feeling prepared. My two goal races, REV3 Williamsburg and Maine 70.3, are still definitely on.
What are you currently training for? How did your training go last week?