"If you were a full on pro, you could toss this season away," is what my doctor told me when explaining my diagnosis of EBV. He went on to say taking it easy would be the best thing I could do and racing would not be a good option.
I have felt like poop. Last weekend in Garmisch I could barely turn the pedals and felt exhausted. Training rides I have reduced in both volume and quantity to aid in the recovery process, hoping that I might be able to salvage a late mtb/ cyclocross season this year. So going to Neiderlinxweiler in Saarland this weekend I was just looking to go for a 'training' race to build on what little condition I have. Also, i promised myself to quit if it did not feel right or thought I was going to incur more damage to the body.
So from the start I took a conservative approach, letting others dice for position, buying my time to see how I felt on the first climb. Surprisingly enough, I felt pretty darn good, and quickly lept up through the field until I found myself hoovering in the top 5. It still felt strenuous on the climbs, and little wobbly, but good. The flats and descents I was flat out morting and was pulling people in and passing them. The one 'tricky' descent fun was to be had pulling mx-style block passes and finding much faster lines than what others were taking, aiding in my cause to move forward. Lap 2 I found myself in 3rd with 2nd in sight, a great feeling for sure. But towards the end of that lap I could tell the body was not liking the efforts I was putting in. So I settled in to a steady pace to see where that left me, and with no improvement, some overheating and seeing that continuing I was running the danger of doing some damage to myself, I pulled the plug.
Quitting is normally not an option to me, but given the circumstances it was the right decision. Besides I can take a lot of positive out of this race, and it gives me something to continue building on. Having a rough first part of this year have been a challenge physically and mentally with lots of set backs, but every situation has a positve and negative aspect to it. At first I rejected my diagnosis and then was depressed, along with being angry about it. But there is a positive, and I am starting to receive the message.