Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Crash... Mash! Things That Matter and A Few That Don't

Decided to sport the Women On Wheels kit (covered by a jacket. I was cold!)

I am trying to decide what days to stay at the horse show next week and what days to commute.  This show is always difficult because it is about a two hour drive from home.  Last week I tried to commute several of the days but since the interstate was shut down for construction, two hours became three and a half in a hurry.  That meant that I was essentially burning the candle at both ends trying to work, drive, and train.  I did get a couple of quality sessions in but more days than not were sub-standard and the fatigue I carried into this week ruined my best training day of the week.  I would like to avoid a repeat of that, if possible.

Last week was disappointing.  After feeling like I was finally turning a corner the week before, I had a really tough week.  Monday and Tuesday are always my best/long training days (my weekends) and yesterday was no picnic.  I had planned to do a master's practice for the first time in a long time but was so tired that when the email telling me the pool heater was broken came through, I was all too happy about it.  There is nothing quite like a long... oh, like 18 hours long... sleep to make you question your well-being.  Still, when I woke up I was hoping that I had cleared the hurdle and was looking forward to a good workout later in the day.

That afternoon, I headed out for my run and immediately knew that my breathing was not right.  I kept my head up and tried to control my breathing as much as I could but by 15 mins, I was starting to hack and wheeze.  It quickly snowballed into an attack that shut down the rest of the run.  I had been avoiding taking the meds prescribed for my breathing as I felt like I was just drowning in chemicals lately, but when I got up today, I immediately started on them.  I wish I had some answers to why my entire system (oh, yeah baby, absolutely covered in hives today) seems to be in revolt.  I don't really have any answers.

If I can persuade my skin to let me put on cycling clothes, I will head out for a ride today.  A little bike therapy seems to be the cure for all that ails me... except for the times that I don't keep the rubber side down.  THAT is another matter entirely!  I am not sure anymore what is happening with my body and I am no longer sure that I am doing myself any favors by continuing to indulge the problems, but I am tired, itchy, cranky and running low on motivation.  The road back to health for me right now seems to be a long one, poorly lit and full of potholes.  I just wish I understood this more.  It would be easier if I could tell myself, you have "X" and this is what you can expect.  Instead, I am just dealing with a myriad of symptoms and without knowing of a central underlying problem, I feel like the treatments are scattered and disorganized... and an awful lot like the mad scientist's chemistry experiment.

I am making progress but it is not an easy thing.  I will have a couple of good days and then.. BAM!.. back to square one.  Fortunately, the quality and duration of the good days has been on the rise.  Now if only I can keep my frustration levels in check, I'll be okay!

On the upside to last week, I attended the Pedaling For Safer Roads II ride.  It was a large gathering of all types of cyclists at City Hall.  We then rode slowly through downtown, with a police escort, to the (state) Capitol.  There were speakers at both ends and it was an incredible experience.  There is nothing like looking around and seeing everything from hipsters on fixies to racers on $10,000 racing machines, to pedi-cabs, folks on cruisers and commuters... everything.  Some people had their bikes really decked out with  Christmas lights and others had them really decked out with carbon fiber.  It didn't matter.  We were all there to honor some cyclists that had lost their lives and send a message to lawmakers.  It was a great experience not to mention a challenge.  It is not easy to keep a TT bike upright going less than three miles per hour in a huge group!
The riders were beginning to gather at City Hall.

Part of the crowd listening to speakers at the capitol.

Awesome bikes everywhere!

Nothing more to say.

I have come to realize lately how much I like the cycling community.  On the second or third ride I did after getting the bike fixed, I was prepping to leave from where my car was parked when another cyclist pulled up on his bike.  He was returning.  We chatted for a moment and in my insecurity, I mentioned that I wasn't feeling very strong or confident because of the crash.  He offered the customary words of encouragement and concern for Seabiscuit's health (a true cyclist), then I headed off.  That particular ride was... trying.  When I got back, I was feeling a little defeated.  Then I saw a piece of paper stuck under my wiper blade, along with a gel and a little patch kit.  It's things like this and the protest ride that throw everything into perspective.

Mike on a Colnago has no idea how much he helped a duck that day.


  1. I love that top photo, and the ride sounds great, except for having to go that slow while clipped in. It is fun to be at events where you are reminded of the diversity of cyclists and equipment.

    The health situation sounds very frustrating, VERY.

    1. Thanks! I like it too.

      It was a little scary so I kept one foot unclipped and just resting on the pedal. There was never a point when I had enough space to do a full revolution of the cranks so I just kept chipping enough to stay upright.