After several weeks of feeling good, and a couple rides where I actually marveled about how well I was doing, my body gave me a big middle finger.
It was last Friday, 8 miles into our ride at Lake Anna and we were at a stop sign, regrouping. I felt that familiar pounding in my chest. Its kind of like the symptoms of a panic attack, but without any of the mental component. I knew that if I pushed through, I would wind up feeling much worse a few miles down the road. I had Stacey hold my bike while I paced around a bit, since standing still is a big no-no with syncope and POTS....but it just wasn't getting any better. I remember looking at Stacey and telling her (I think?) that I wasn't right. There was a moment when I tried to lie back, with the end goal being to swing around and prop my feet up on the fence behind me. Nope! I immediately went tunnel vision, and as I sat up, I tasted metal in my mouth. That was when Stacey took off like a bat out of hell, riding back to go get my car. Liz handed me water to pour on my head, which simultaneously felt divine and like I was drowning. I felt like my heart was beating extra hard, in addition to fast. My HR monitor confirmed that I was indeed tapping away a nice allegro in my chest cavity. My hands felt like they weren't connected to my body. Liz continued to talk....possibly engaging me in conversation? Its a little blurry. I some point our voices sounded normal again, and I realized my heart rate had finally come back down to rest levels. I started feeling significantly better, to the point where I knew that once I was in the car with some A/C on me, I'd be great.
So a few things about this:
- Did I already mention how awesome my friends are? There really are no words. <3
- There is absolutely a part of me that feels bad that I threw such a wrench in our fun day.
- There is also a part of me that is proud that I was able to throw that wrench. I wouldn't have done that earlier this year even. Now I know what I need, and I'm not going to compromise.
- I bounced back really well. I was sort of tired and wasn't hungry at all for the rest of Friday. But I actually felt well enough Saturday and Sunday to get my workouts in. That's never happened before, and I credit me actually stopping before things went to far
- I don't know why this happened. And that's frustrating. It was super hot. I'd had some GI distress earlier that morning. Maybe because of that, I didn't drink enough plain water? I'm getting really good about getting enough salt, but if your total fluid is low, then plain water needs are higher. Or was it my bike fitness? I don't know, my HR was kind of high the whole time. I'm not great at hills, but I shouldn't be feeling the burn 7 miles in. Maybe it really was the heat.
I feel like I say this a lot, but where does this leave me now? Same place as before. Head down, getting it done, eyes on Waterman's International Aqua Bike. Not everyday gets to be sunshine and rainbows. I need to be okay with that, because letting myself get upset or sad is just asking for a downward spiral. Dark days make the light days even brighter.....or something like that. Sigh.