May 1st marks the start of a new training year for cross country skiers. Usually racing finishes in March and April is a month of rest and recuperation, still active but not structured training.
This year has been very different for me in that I have had to take a break from racing on account of my health. Last June I picked up Mumps which completely floored me, after the initial infection passed I just didn’t recover properly. Doctors just couldn’t work out what was wrong, all blood tests were normal and nothing appeared abnormal other than the fact I felt exhausted after even 15 minutes of easy cycling, my vision was blurred and I had a dodgy tummy.
I started back at Uni in September still feeling pretty awful, I was very gradually building back up my exercise volume throughout the term but not really feeling any different. In January my mum suggested I try a full GI analysis through Genova Diagnostics, a lab she uses regularly in her work as a nutritional medicine practitioner. They picked up I had 2 parasites: – Dientamoeba fragilis and Blastocystis Hominis. The former being a fairly well recognised pathogen.
A double dose of pretty potent broad spectrum antibiotics and I took a retest. This morning the results came back clear and parasite free!
It’s been a pretty rough year in many ways but I’ve managed some fun stuff along the way back to fitness, including a few weeks of skiing this winter and even having a bash at Orienteering! I went along with the ‘EUOC legends’ to the Jan Kjellström Orienteering festival in the Lake District which was awesome! Having done no orienteering previously, I managed to get hilariously lost every day. During the longest event (7 km according to the race organisers…. 15.5km according to my Garmin) I was scrabbling about in the woods looking for 2 of the 25 controls for just over an hour. A considerable chunk of time considering the winner of the race took 55 minutes. The very lowest point came when I had to ask a child of around 6 if she could point out where we were on my map. The banter was great though, I’m a little bit sad I didn’t get involved with the club sooner. I’ll definitely be back next April to run some more circles in the woods. I’ve got serious respect for those that can run and read a map proficiently at the same time!
I’ve now got a few weeks of fairly easy volume training whilst I get these Uni exam things out the way before I’m off to Sognefjellet (Norway) for my first training camp in a while! I can’t wait to get back at it and regain my momentum.