I went for a cycle this morning…in 1°C. Yep, I actually went out again. It had been forecast as the quietest day of the week, so I thought I should try to make use of that aspect. Frost was everywhere, clear skies and the stars were still out (forgot to look for meteors though, hmmpf) – all very pretty, but blimmin-y flippin’ freezing too. Spent much of my time during the first third of the ride looking out for iced-up water on the road or frost patches, or trying to sing to myself to ward off the increasing sense of pain in my hands. My legs were cold, my back and bum were cold. Feet were chilly (but that’s normal)…
..but my hands. My hands! They were so cold and I couldn’t change gear or hold on properly. On the way there, I realised I had pins & needles in my left hand and wrist – that’s a newie, and I was a bit disconcerted. I kept saying to myself, “You can turn round at any time…” – this happened especially as I approached a place where I used to turn when I was just starting out properly. Then, as I approached ten miles (“I can make up some miles on the exercise bike…”), then thirteen, then fifteen…and yet I did not turn around to head for home (my nice, welcoming and warm home.) I REALLY should’ve turned ‘round at ten miles as things became ugly after that point.
Honestly, what is it with me? Why couldn’t I have just been pleased that I’d actually made it out for a ride? There’s a part of me that can hear certain people saying to me, “Nope, not enough. Just not good enough. You’re a failure, plain and simple.” It wasn’t exactly cycling weather (well, not for me it isn’t. Apologies to all the alphas out there who like to cycle in -50°C temperatures. Well done…but that’s just not for me.) and, as I’d gone out well before the sun rose (to avoid the general population seeing me), it truly was freezing! I had my trusty gloves on (I think the trust in our relationship has soured a little), and many layers – but not enough. I have Raynaud’s, which spices things up – I have blue fingers even during the dizzying heights of British summer temperatures (it also worries people when I finish events – despite me feeling warm – with blue lips. Would’ve looked great in my goth days, it’s not so good now tho’…!). So. Very. COLD!!
As I set off after my turn-around point, I realised that, actually, I really was very cold to the core. The sun was low in the sky at this point – but, nevertheless, it was out, and I tried to tell myself that each time I was lucky enough to cycle through an unshadowed bit, the sun’s rays were warming me up…yep, it felt like I was in the Bahamas…not. I tried to speed things up as I was a tad concerned by now. I was shivering and full of lactic acid too. As I came to the ‘nine miles-ish to go’ point, I was singing increasingly loudly to myself in a futile attempt to ward off the pain and cold, and to try to kick my mental attitude into gear. Probably shouldn’t have chosen a song that makes me well-up though…but it sort of did the trick, for a while it did anyway. I could see my destination on the horizon and I could’ve wept: in joy, but also in sheer misery, as I knew I had at least thirty minutes of agony still to plunder through.
Pain in my hands and wrists, a frozen face (despite my headwear-scarfey-doodah-thingie), frozen thighs (weirdly) and a cold back and botty – oh! the excruciating, sheer and pointedly mean pain…I really was starting to weep by now. And I was becoming really concerned: with my health professional’s hat on, I could recognise that things were a little serious now. I was feeling spaced-out and not very ‘with it’. Luckily the way home from here was a stretch I know well, and I sort of went on auto-pilot, got my head down and went for it. I REALLY wanted to get home.
Now, it’s often the way with me that I will crave a cup of tea during training and events. It starts off with a desire for prosecco or champagne (!), but swiftly descends (or ascends, I suppose…depending on your personal preferences) into a kind of plea-bargaining of, “Yep, tea, that’ll do!”. During the last two weeks, I’ve started to experience horrid nausea when I’ve eaten or drunk anything after exercise. I’m used to drinking electrolyte-y/recovery drinks when I finish my training – I’ve done this for years with no problem. Suddenly, it’s a big, constant problem. Last week, after an indoor cycle (hardly strenuous, frankly), I had a vitamin drink with an electrolyte tablet (I’m used to this) – moments later, it all came back up again. Now, even sipping a drink (said combo, or water, or tea) makes me feel utterly nauseous. I had a cuppa after my run yesterday morning (I actually went out! Hurrah!) and spent the rest of the day feeling dreadful. It was only by bedtime that I felt normal-ish again. This morning, when I got in to my flat, I was dizzy, freezing, and lost my hearing too for a wee while – it scared me, to be honest. I finally started to feel un-dizzy after about forty minutes, but it was a good ninety minutes before I felt any warmth creeping back into my body.
So, why is this happening? I tested my blood sugar (just out of interest) and it was fine. Not low blood glucose, then. Why am I feeling dreadfully nauseous after exercise? And how do I deal with the ‘I need to re-hydrate but it all comes back up’ bit now? I’m used to rehydrating and know the symptoms and signs of dehydration…but how can I prevent dehydration and/or rehydrate if it’s all just going to be a waste? I daren’t ask my GP – the answer is likely to be, “Well, don’t do the exercise then!”. (A helpful response, eh…)
It’s bothering me. I truly do not know where to find a solution to this (internet searching has proved fruitless – and full of scaremongering!). The saga continues…but, at least I went out for a cycle.