Well, the past week or so has been pretty interesting for me. I honestly still don't know what was going on with the body, but I'm guessing the combination of riding stress and life stress (long century in a lot of heat, riding the next day in more heat, little rest coupled with work stress, plus two hard days on the bike in the heat - one with a big bonk) led to a bit of lowered immunity and other wacky hormones running amok, and what do you get? THE RASH!
When I first started getting red itchy spots on Wednesday (I'd had a really bad itchy scalp on Tuesday night, but assumed that was sweat related with my Halo headband) I guessed it was heat rash. When I thoroughly broke out on Thursday into a massive splotch of red itchiness right after being outside, I still assumed it was heat rash. Some people thought stress. I took an oatmeal bath Thursday evening, and two Benadryl lessened the redness.
So, Friday I took a sick day thinking that sitting inside, no work, no riding, no heat would cure what ailed me. Well, I went outside around 4:30 to take out the trash and then the breakout started. I got to making dinner around 5:30 and finally around 6 took a Benadryl since the back of my legs was a massive breakout. Got better, and I woke up Saturday guessing that it wasn't the heat but possibly something I was eating that was causing my problems.
No fruit on Saturday, which led to no gel or carb mix on our ride. It was hot out. The lack of available bike food that doesn't contain fruit left me carrying this:
Yup, that was it.
It was really warm, and I was sweating, and physically/mentally stressed, but no breakout. I had a few mental issues and just physically didn't feel good, but Justin kept chalking it up to the hives and meds.
3/4 of the way through the ride we stopped to refuel
We both finished the ride pretty tired and stressed out, but all afternoon I still didn't break out. I had about 1/3 of a small banana as we watched a movie. My right hand got super itchy, but looked fine, and I went to bed happy that I hadn't broken out in hives in over 24 hours.
1:45 a.m. I woke up with my palms SCREAMING and a set of hives starting out around my belly button. Took two Benadryl and went back to bed, and finally was able to get back to sleep. I felt a little groggy the next day, but the hives had subsided. Yay.
Was really just struggling with what was going on. I hadn't eaten any fruit the day before and still broke out, so I had some berries in cereal, we watched the final stage of the Tour, and eventually got out for another hot ride here in the valley. Didn't take much food-wise still I wasn't sure what I could eat and we didn't think it'd be too long of a ride. I did take my gel this time around - it was scorching hot when I finally took a shot of it and I think it literally burned my throat!!
Justin was finally able to take me on a tour of our local Roubaix-like road. It's covered in oil, but not paved. Oddly enough, it was the only stretch of road on the ride where my tires were black instead of dirt brown!
Got home, ran some errands, enjoyed some English Toffee coffee
And set about getting dinner together. We enjoyed some Zynthesis, steaks, and asparagus. SO GOOD.
Yet again I felt a sigh of relief when I didn't break out all day. I wasn't taking Benadryl except when I was getting hives, since it beat them back down. Well, here comes 3:40 am and I'm woken up with flaming palms again, and a hive patch on my stomach again.
Got up super groggy from the Benadryl, was "asleep at the wheel" all morning, and went in for a doctor's appointment around mid-morning. Doc suggested I take 4 Benadryl a day (1 25mg pill 4xday - not too bad) and consider eliminating strawberries "since they irritate a lot of people". Nothing on how to figure out what is really causing my problems. So far I'm on day 3 of Benadryl round the clock, and I must say I'm not breaking out in hives now, but I am tired all day! Not falling asleep tired, just oh I could use a nap tired. Since I'm not sure how long to continue taking 4 Benadryl a day, I'm actually going to scale back to 3 today and probably 2 tomorrow. Will try 1 on Friday and see if I don't break out. Would prefer to not be taking this stuff, since I'm sure it isn't helping my training or recovery, but at least the stress from worrying about hives is mitigated. Though, if I back off the Benadryl and break out again, that will lead to stress!
Keeping up with training this week despite the body oddness. Hope I can get through the workout today. Anyone got some motivation to spare? We've got two weeks of big races and travel coming up, so I'd like to be in decent race shape! Should be interesting.
Will get a shot or two later, but thanks to Luke for a killer selection of wines I hope to be trying out soon!