I wish I could be talking 'Sick What' like Anthony Clark, but this was more like what....I've got to puke again. After dinner Friday night I knew something was wrong. My stomach was hurting. I went to bed early only to wake up around 10 in more pain. I went for a little walk to try to help things out a bit, but to no avail. At about 2:00 am the party started. I puked 6 times about every 40 minutes. When morning finally arrived it was also coming out the other end. Not good before the final stage. I barely was able to get out of bed.
I hobbled down to the mess hall and found Drew Edsall and he helped me find the Doc who was on staff volunteering at the camp. Luckily for me he was there otherwise there was no way in the world. I would have been able to race. He gave me some anti nausea meds so I could start getting some fluids down without barfing them back up. He also gave me a couple of Liters of IV fluids. I've had an IV in the past for dehydration and normally I bounce back and almost feel better than before...this time the doc asked if I felt any better and I had to answer no. I was still in a world of pain. I had barfed out all of the previous nights dinner and all the fluids I needed to rehydrate from a hard Stage 6 and the necessary preparations for a final Stage 7. I was completely totally empty.
After getting the IV I could at least stand up without feeling like passing out and take a sip of water to wet my whistle. The IV took a while to push through, so I only had a short time to prepare to race. 45 minutes later I was on the start line getting ready to rock my own world. Any other normal day and I would have been in bed all day long.
Supposedly Stage 7 was an easier day w/ only 3,300 feet of climbing and 26 miles + more dirt roads than last year. With no food in the system, no desire to eat or drink, and the fear of crapping my pants the entire ride I knew it was going to be hard. I wanted to have a good start and maybe make it with the lead group to the first enduro segment, but no way...they were gone on the first climb and I was lumped into the group between 20th and 30th position.
I was OK in the singletrack besides the rocks that made me want to barf/crap from all the jostling, but it was the climbing that was really killing me. I had zero power...I was getting dropped on nearly every climb and suffering at 110% effort,. I was hoping to ride tempo all day and feel pretty comfy but right away I realized that I needed to go harder because todays tempo pace wouldn't have got the job done.
I was in a group w/ the DUO Team leaders from Canada and a couple of U-25 riders. The stronger of the two Canadian riders is a Semi-Pro Hockey player...he used to weigh 220, but now is down 20 or 30 lbs....he was stronger than his partner so on some of the climbs his buddy would grab on the back of his jersey and take a little bit of a ride. So here I am sick as can be getting dropped on the climbs by a 190 lb Canadian beast with a his buddy dragging him down like a lead weight by holding his jersey. It was not only physically tough, but it was mentally tough.
Luckily I finished. With lots of experience I knew when I had to go hard and what group I needed to latch onto to make it to the finish. I maintained my 3rd place overall by finishing 10th on the day. After the race I was pretty much asleep all day and all night. Totally spent. Full TSE Recap to come soon.
Watch more video of 2013 Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage Race on cyclingdirt.org
I initially thought I must have had some sort of food poisoning, but now I'm not so sure. I had some deli meat from the grocery store after Stage 6 which was the last food I ate before puking up dinner...I blamed that deli meat initally, but now I am still having some fever like symptoms waking up in the middle of the nights completely soaked in sweat. So maybe it was a little stomach flu virus not food poisoning. I guess I'll never know.