Ironman

I almost died this week

No that’s not click bait. I did almost die. Whoever coined the term “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger“, had never experienced exercise-induced anaphylaxis. But before I get to that story, let me catch you up on what my journey has entailed since I last wrote.

Last month my Garmin app alerted me that I’ve hit a new VO2Max, 44ml/kg/min to be exact. If that is gibberish to you, don’t worry, it was to me too. But it basically means that my cardiovascular system is stronger than it has ever been and its ability to pump oxygen through my blood is high. (YAY)

A week later, I got sick with cold/flu and had to be down and out for the bulk of the week. This was after I had the week all planned out to the tee, by the hour… incl. exact times that I’d train and times that I’d work, routes I’d cycle & run and gyms I’d swim at, and the entire week’s alarms set. Yes I know I’m pedantic and a bit over the top, but that is the only way I fit everything in. So anyway I lost a week of training there. (NAY)

Someone also tried to steal everything off my bike while I was inside the gym swimming one day. Luckily they only got the saddle bag, but it contained all my tools and a few tubes. Also very draining to deal with that at the end of a day that started at 04h30 and had 2 training sessions and a full work day in it. (NAY)

I am starting to feel fantastic in my swims and canal swims are getting easier, even though the distance is getting further. A few weeks ago I did over 7km of swimming for the week, my biggest swimming week ever. (YAY)

Buy now you are probably thinking: Ok ok Roggie, so you are telling us about all this training stuff. But WHEN DID YOU ALMOST DIE?

Last week I started feeling more and more tired when I woke up, and I had a few bad training sessions. I thought it was normal because it’s common to be constantly tired during Ironman training. On Tuesday Fadeelah was going to be in town for a meeting so we had planned to go to gym and have breakfast together afterwards. I did a 60-min wattbike session. It didn’t feel particularly abnormal, it felt like a usual 60min wattbike session. I had a shower, got dressed, and we went to Food Lovers Market for breakfast.

While I was eating, my throat felt funny. I thought it was a reaction to something I was eating, but quickly realised that it was not. It got worse quite fast and soon I was having trouble breathing because my throat was closing up. Luckily Fadeelah was with me, and she could act quickly to get me to a pharmacy across the road and have some emergency medication administered. I still went to the office afterwards because I thought it would subside. It stopped getting worse but it didn’t really subside, and I was unable to speak and struggling to breathe. I went home and climbed into bed with my mom bringing me soup.

On researching what happened to me I discovered that exercise-induced anaphylaxis is a condition where your body has a type of allergic reaction to training too much. So basically, I was overtraining.

It’s such a fine line between recognising when you are doing too much vs. just taking for granted that you will be always tired due to training for an Ironman race. Always check the signs and take heed if you are feeling unwell for extended periods.

I alerted my coach to what happened and he told me to rest completely for the rest of the week and then only get back into training on the weekend. I did just that, and had a fantastic 135km ride on Saturday, followed by a 25km long run on Sunday.

Roggie is back in the game!! YAY

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