I’ve now written about a couple of symptoms that I have to deal with such as heat intolerance and balance issues, but I think that one of the most debilitating symptoms is fatigue. Now I know a lot of people will say, ‘but I get tired too’. Unfortunately this type of MS fatigue is a bit different than just getting tired.

It is the type of fatigue that can hit you at any time of the day, even after 8 hours of sleep You can wake up and feel like you are part of the bed with 2 tons of concrete on top of you. You feel so tired that you just can’t get up. There were times that I would have to leave work because if I didn’t go then I wouldn’t be able to get up off the tram to walk the one block to my house. Your legs get extremely heavy and it is even hard to lift your arms up.

With this type of fatigue you can also experience cognitive issues where you can’t think straight and you tend to forget things, I call it my brain fog.

Therefore it is fine line of being able to do enough training to stay at the elite level to be competitive and doing too much so that you end up crashing. If this happens then you won’t be training for a few days or even longer.

This is why most of my training, whether it is cycling, swimming or gym, is done in the morning. Most of these days start well before the sun comes up but at least I am able to get a whole session in.

Early morning rides before the sun comes up.

Early morning rides before the sun comes up.

There are days when I get home and I have to have what I call my ‘nanna naps’. These naps can be anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple of hours depending on how tired I am. I used to push through and not worry about resting but I have learnt over the last few years that it is important to listen to my body and rest when I have to. If I don’t listen to my body then I have my husband who will order me to lie down usually because I look like crap!

Unfortunately there are times when my races are in the afternoon hours, so it is all about planning to make sure that the fatigue doesn’t set in before I race. So it’s about resting completely and structuring your day a bit later than normal.

There is no place for excuses no matter what symptoms I am experiencing because I am well versed now in putting structure and plans in place in order to train and race.

 

nb~ thanks to healthyplace.com for the featured image

About the author : CarolC

4 Comments

  1. Lyn Stacker 16/11/2015 at 1:40 am - Reply

    Hey Carol
    What an informative and thought provoking read. Sometimes we forget just how lucky we are. You are a true champion.
    Cheers Lyn

    • CarolC 19/11/2015 at 2:30 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Lyn!

  2. Deniko 17/11/2015 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Dear Carol,

    Your story is an amazing inspiration! I am an old woman as it goes for professional sports (32) and I only decided last year that I want to race bicycles professionally. Riding makes my heart sing, but it was only after more than ten years of struggling that I ever realized that this was a dream that I was even allowed to chase.

    I’m late to the game which means I have a lot of obstacles to overcome that the young upstarts don’t, but you prove to me that it can be done.

    • CarolC 19/11/2015 at 2:29 am - Reply

      I am so happy to hear that you will be giving it a go! We are never too old to chase our dreams and believe me 32 is not old! Don’t ever let anyone tell you CAN’T do it or you will NEVER be good enough. Those two words need to be put in the trash. If you have the desire and the will you WILL do it. Best of luck!

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