One of the most hilariously clever movie lines ever written comes from the original silent movie version of “The Patsy”, where the lead character is so angry with her sister that she exclaims, “I’ll hit her so hard, she’ll starve to death bouncing!” I think it gets funnier the more you think about it.
Okay, so this is not so funny. The last several weeks of Ironman training, culminating in the day-long endeavor that was the Ironman, hit me hard. In the last several weeks of training, all I could think about was how tired I was, how burnt out I felt, and how I couldn’t get enough sleep. My coaches seemed to think that a lot of this was mental, and so I tried to focus on the tasks at hand and struggle through the fatigue. It always seemed to take me a full week to even sort of recover from the colossal weekend of training, And, of course, I was still training during the week.
After Vineman, I gave myself a week to do nothing, then I tried to pick up some light activity. Everything was tough at first. Then, the weeks went on and things didn’t get much easier. I would try to go for long runs and would feel like falling asleep mid-run. Any hard effort would leave me so exhausted on weekends that I would have to take a nap or drink coffee to stay awake afterward.
After about a month or so of this, without much improvement, I spoke to Coach Brad, who will be heading up IronTeam this winter. He mentioned that I might want to see a doctor, because most people bounced back to 100 percent after their Ironman race in a month or less. So, I made an appointment.
My new doc had a great bedside manner, and wanted to know everything about my lifestyle and family history before examining me. When she got around to examining my lymph nodes and throat, she said, “Someone has told you that you have a nodule on your thyroid, right?” Um, noooo…
She pulled out a mirror and showed it to me. A huge lump in my neck, and I hadn’t even known that it was there until I knew what to look for. Ignorance is bliss, I supposed.
She had me schedule an ultrasound and a nurse drew blood. She told me to come back in two weeks and she would have all of the results then, and we could talk about whether I would need treatment or next steps. She said that it is possible that I could have thyroid issues, or the lump could be inactive, in which case we still may have no leads on the whole fatigue thing.
In the meantime, I’ve continued regular person training, and have thrown in some yoga, Pilates, and the occasional hike to keep things interesting. I’m holding back on training for anything specific until I know what’s going on with my health situation. I’ll know more in a week!