The last few weeks have been encouraging. Gone are the mornings that I wake up with aches and pains in all my joints without even riding the day before and gone are the days I can't get my heart rate above 110 on a ride. Things seem to be coming back to almost normal, just very slowly. I say almost because there are still days that aren't good, but I'm counting more good days than bad in the last few weeks and that is a huge change. It's not even something I can measure on day to day basis, but more of a week to week thing like how many good rides did I have last week - 2, and how many this week - 3. It might not seem like much, but to me it's a huge mental swing after feeling so bad for so long.
I'm still left without answers as to what brought it on, especially two years in a row at almost the exact same time. Over training that brings on sickness? Quite possibly. Sickness that brings on over training? Quite possibly too. I'm left with a lot of questions and no real answers other than I know I have been completely blown away for 3 months of summer two years in a row that comes and goes about the same time each year.
So for now I am being extremely careful as I start to put some miles back in the legs. Every morning begins with a few different heart rate check techniques I have been using, then a self diagnosed "how do I feel overall this morning" test, then finally I check my previous weeks/months heart rates and compare it to how I feel this morning and how my heart rate is responding to previous days training before I finally decide to ride or not that day.
Like I said, I have been able to get out more each week over the last few and am finally at a point where I might consider it training and not riding anymore. Last week was solid, this week is starting out good, I just have to be very careful and take it slowly and hopefully the trend continues and I can hit a race in a few weeks to test the waters. That's the goal at least.