Saturday, July 3, 2010

Guiding Highs....and sunny smiles

I apologise for the lack of KP presence on my blog, but it has been a pretty roller coaster of a rough ride these past few months. I have been trying to stay upbeat and positive, which means I have avoided writing a report because I don't want to be dragged back down into my wheel stopper of a ditch with another race report where the outcome has been another DNF and more negative healthy feelings circulating body, brain and soul. However I'm fortunate enough and very thankful for certain people in my life who seem to know the right words to say and are not putting any pressure on me right now. I feel like I'm starting to wake up and every now and then I feel like some extra buzz is returning to these ol' legs and the muscle weakness is on its way out.
So I guess I should explain what I have been up to, where I am at right now, and where I'm hopes.
My last attempt at racing was at the third round of the British Mountain Bike Series, almost a month ago now. Ian and I decided to use it as a test because I have always enjoyed racing at Margham Park and didn't want to miss out on the race after a third and second place finish in the first two races of the series. However the main reason is that we wanted to see how my body responded to racing this time after a period of rest in Luchon. Training was backed off and AQR work load reduced considerably leading up to the event. I don't like doing nothing, but Ian was not taking any KP crap, and was enforcing a home holiday. If he caught me working or training hard he was going to send me home to my parents in Oz and tell my mother to really 'mother' me, because he knows I hate mothering and fuss of any kind.
I started the race in the muddiest of muddy conditions. In some ways I was pleased because it would mean a slower race as I knew KP leg speed was not at its best, but I also knew my Soda and I would need to work together to survive this one, proper team effort as I really didn't want to let my sweet Soda down. There was no point taking risks on the descents and I tried not to use too many gears to avoid chain suck or a mechanical of any kind. I managed to lead the start down the tarmac straight and waited for the attacks from behind. Rosara Joseph and Lily Mathews attacked and I focused on staying on their back wheels, but the foggy feeling in my brain returned and then as I relaxed down the slippery descents my insides went into spasm. So here we go again because I'm either fighting a flat brain, energy-less legs or choking back tears as I feel like something is ripping inside me. I ended up pulling out before I had even reached the finish line for the second time this year, and only third time in my racing life time grrrrrrrr!!!!
So thoughts of 'I'm too old for this', 'I'm lazy', 'I'm just not trying hard enough' were circulating around my brain and really not giving me a would think I would be kinder to myself. Ian and I had a flight to catch so left the muddy slopes of Margham behind and headed home to sunny Luchon.
More doctors and more tests later with an ultrasound revealing numerous 1-3mm kidney stones in my right kidney, that the doctor called kidney sands. The high parathormone in my blood is still too high but could be linked with the kidney pain, but then a trip to a specialist has revealed that it could be vitamin D deficiency, which I have since learnt can affect the parathyroid glands, as well as the kidneys, calcium and phosphorus levels, which can then lead on to more serious diseases if not taken seriously....good golly gosh the human body is so complex! 
So I have been ordered to sunbake....YOU WHAT? I'm Australian and sunbaking in my life time is a big NO! NO! What about skin cancer and the slogan I was brought up with 'BAN THE TAN!'. As most AQR guests know I religiously wear layers when out on the bike and overdose on suncream every day. In the past Ian has not allowed guests to take photos of me when out on their summer holiday because he thinks I make Luchon look cold.
Can't I simply eat enough food with vitamin D?
The doctor then asked me if I would be happy to eat a daily dose of liver....NOPE! No can do I'm afraid. So when the latest test results arrived it has confirmed vitamin D deficiency, and even after a week of exposure to the sun and a proper cyclists tan line which I'm quite proud of I must admit, I'm still way too low. So I have to take some vitamin D concoction every day and sunbake for at least 30 minutes front and back without suncream on. I actually have to wear a bikini, which I haven't done so for years (gulp).
So where do I go from here? Well the doctor wants me to report back in a month, but he thinks it could be a few months before I'm truly back on track and I have to take alot more care over the winter months now that he thinks I'm predisposed to this condition, especially when we return to the UK. I have to admit I'm relieved that a proper diagnosis has been confirmed now and I can put this year behind me and move forward. Someone once told me that when you overcome hurdles it will only make you stronger in more ways than one. I feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I can start to get excited about my biking future again wher ever it may lead me.
Now for some news that I wasn't prepared for, but must get my biking butt into gear if I'm going to do Cotic Bontrager and Australia proud in 2 months time. I have been selected to represent Australia at the Mountain Biking World Championships in Canada!!!!!! Right time for another 'OH MY GOLLY GOSH MOMENT!!!!' I have spoken to some of the selectors and coaches in Australia who know about my health issues this season, but thankfully there is no pressure for me to be at my very best in 8 weeks time, because no matter how hard I train I don't know how long it will take to be back to normal, but I will do my darnest to get back on track and get these legs up to KP race speed, hopefully sooner rather than later :)
I'm very grateful that Cotic Bontrager are sticking by me, thankyou Cy, Griff and Helen, plus Australia's Chris and Neil who have kept in touch and helped me focus on the bigger picture. Plus a big thankyou to hubby Mr Potter for your continued yes you can start building my 2010 COTIC SODA race bike KP blog I will reveal the latest SODA has a bit more of a twist this year....but as sweet as ever :)
Cheerios for now
A Quick Release Holidays
Tel: 0845 1304824

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