Friday, November 28, 2014

More Illness and Injury

It seems like this happened years ago too...

I remember going riding with some friends from Alabama that I hadn't seen in a few months and we both had the same story: we'd been sick for almost the entire fall with only a few good days here and there.

This fall is shaping up the same way.  I've been sick off-and-on since early October.  I think I only got 1 good week total in since then.  I can't shake this last round.  My kids are both sick now.  My niece was sick and coughing last night at Thanksgiving dinner and I was hyper-aware of it.  I'm starting to feel like Howard Hughes.  I imagine flocks of villainous germs swarming around me with bad intent.

And that's just half of it.  I smashed my finger at Blankets a few weeks ago and it's just barely well enough to think about pulling the brakes with.  Then I smashed my nose on my top tube last week changing my bottom bracket when a crank bolt gave.  It's no fun having a runny nose and a busted nose at the same time.  No fun!

I barely even feel like a cyclist any more.  I can't remember what that urge to ride feels like.  I remember that it exists, but I don't wake up with it any more.  When I think about riding, it doesn't strike me.  I went for a run a few days ago too, just to do something, and it felt like I hadn't run a mile in my life - beat me to pieces.  I'm still a little sore today.


Health and fitness, return to me!  Return!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Illness and Injury

Not my two favorite things.

Funny how they seem to accompany one another though.

October was pretty rough, by any objective measure. I was sick from the 5th through the 25th. I barely even left the house. It goes without saying that I forgot entirely about the existence of running and would have forgotten about the existence of bicycles if I hadn't had to go into the garage periodically.

On the 25th, feeling almost better, I ventured out into the harsh, cruel light.

Fall had apparently happened while I wasn't looking.

Most of the cherry trees in the neighborhood looked like this:

Cherry Tree

As they should. But three trees just up the street were totally confused.

Confused Cherry Trees

Yep. Blooming in the fall.

There is a species of cherry that blooms twice a year, but it's flowers look a little different and I'd swear that these aren't they. If they are, then they're the only ones in the entire neighborhood.

I was surprised to see them.

The next day I felt well-ish and figured I'd go ride at Blankets.

The suffering was indescribable. I think I almost passed out a few times.

I did see a herd of turkeys though.

Turkeys at Blankets

Unusual at that trail.

While struggling on the South Loop I noticed lake Alatoona looking especially beautiful and took a little detour.


Especially beautiful.

That's what I remember most about that particular ride. The rest of it was sufficiently unpleasant to have escaped my memory entirely. Well, except for the turkeys.

Over the next week, I literally rode on the road every day, trying hard to reclaim my lost fitness. And it worked. A week later I felt reasonably good and went for another spin at Blankets.

It was like night and day. I could actually climb again. Woohoo!

I had another balloon sighting too.

Balloon at Blankets

But I still don't get enough off-road miles these days. My roadie brain doesn't seem to be able to process dirt quickly enough. Near the top of the Dwelling Loop I caught the edge of the trail, crashed and smashed my knee. Man it hurt. I even remember saying out loud: "Man, why does it hurt so bad!?"

It just hurt though. It wasn't injured. At least not terribly.

Later I discovered that I'd managed to slice a little piece off of my left index finger, through the gloves. That happens sometimes and it always fascinates me. How can you get a clean slice, through gloves? How!?!? And yet, it happens.

Things were going well for the next hour, but somewhere on the South Loop I came around a curve into some roots that looked completely unrideable. I knew that they weren't. I'd just ridden over them the previous week, and literally hundreds of times in the past 10 years. But I was wrong. They were, at that moment, to me, unrideable.



Come on!

That one really hurt. I managed to slap my right hand down really hard on one of the roots and it felt like it stoved my entire body.

It took a minute to shake that one off.

I figured I'd better quit while I wasn't too far behind and just went home.

The next day my knee was swollen and a finger on my right hand was swollen and purple. It was difficult to type.

But two days later the swelling was gone and I felt like getting some miles in on the road bike. I added some new roads and a bunch of climbing into one of my routes. Then yesterday I rode the same route again and felt really great riding it. I felt like I was back. I had lungs again. I could push again. Woohoo again!

But then last night. LAST NIGHT. My throat started to hurt, then my head. This morning I'm coughing and stuffy and my eyes hurt.

Sophie and Iz had come down with something last week. I figured they'd just finally caught what I'd had all October. Nope. It's something new, and now I've got it too. Let's hope it's short lived.

Illness and injury. Ever-present it seems. Not my two favorite things.