Rode myself sick

Since my knee surgery back in June (just a meniscectomy on the left knee), I’ve backed off quite a bit from the training regimen I was following all Spring. (Hell, “backed off” is an understatement. I QUIT.) For the past month or so, I’ve been back on the bike, riding 90-100 mile weeks, never at any real speed nor much regimented power work. The past three days changed a bit of that. Did about 125 HARD miles since Friday. “Not much,” you say. Again, I rode it HARD, generally with people who are quite a bit faster than I am; in my group, that’s just about everyone. I just kept going and going, which I’m generally proud of, but when your training regimen is characterized by Pop-Tarts and deskwork, you have to KNOW when to stop. Or at least slow down. I’m apparently an idiot that way. “Still,” you say, “that’s only a bit more than a single century.” Again, it was HARD. Dammit! What do I have to do to convince you that I was out there, killing myself!?

Friday morning was a hard, solo ride of 30 miles, followed up by Friday evening’s social ride. Nothing too bad, right? I do it every week. Only THIS Friday night social was witness to the ultimate in transparent cycling attire: the Bianchi Commemorative World Champion kit in white. That’s right, my fat was shoehorned into a full-on white kit. Including matching gloves. I was BLING, baby! I was STYLING. (I was FRED.) Of course, the truth of such attire is that you MUST ride like you deserve to wear it; you are a target for the rest of the riders, less from the meaning of the kit that for the gall to wear one in all-white. I obviously do NOT deserve to wear a uniform of such prestige, so the choice of a 13 mile social ride as a good one. I could attack most of the ride without concern for the vast amounts of riding required to get me home later. I could attack with impunity. (Ha! Always wanted to say that about myself.) And attack I did. (Chris said I “seemed motivated,” rather than simply melting under the withering force and awesomeness of my attacks. Judge for yourself their effectiveness.) Pizza and beer afterward was a welcome treat.

Saturday morning was the Chaires ride. This particular episode included an ill-fated attack up Whitehouse Road (no, I was NOT wearing the white kit). Again, much like the attacks fo the previous evening, my attacks were less withering and more irritating. This one merely spurred the meatheads into a crushing 25+ pace down the remainder of Whitehouse Road. I held on for a few miles until turning onto 59, at which point I was dropped like a hot rock. Thus followed a short interval between the fast group and the string of suffering souls behind it. Luckily, Jamie waited for me at the 59/27 intersection. And I began a long, hard ride keeping up with Jamie. I had some good climbs but Jamie’s newly found time-trialing ability was something to behold; he kept us at 23 or so for a LONG time. (I’m just not capable of a 1 hour 40k right now!)

Sunday’s was a 35 mile dirt-road ride, heading north of Tallahassee into Georgia. The recent rains abated for a few days, making the sand and clay roads pretty much perfect to ride–hard-packed and not too muddy, not too loose. Patrick somehow found a route that included 11 and 12 percent climbs (short, but steep) and Lanae was “riding slow,” meaning she was KILLING all of us. The creek bottoms and low places were the home of a new, unforeseen obstacle: horseflies. I’ve had horseflies attack while riding, but there were HUNDREDS of them. Most of them, on me. It became a race to pass people, leading your own swarm into them and hoping at least a few would find your riding companion a bit easier to eat. Slapping at the swirling cloud of monstrous insects was pointless; I found it easier to wait until one got a good hold on me, then splatter it where it sat–generally on my legs and bottom. This went on for HOURS, and we only cleared them once we found our way back to the east and the day wore on.

I was tired when I finally arrived home. We got lunch and I realized I had BAD heartburn. I never get heartburn unless I eat fried shrimp or raw onions; this was a surprise, and I don’t deal well with it. Milk did little to help, but the pharmacist at Publix suggested Pepcid Complete. After an hour or so, the heartburn was gone and I felt well enough to eat dinner. Afterwards, the kids settled down for a DVD and I lay in bed.

Soon, I started shivering uncontrollably. I knew I was feverish, and Jenny confirmed that I felt hot. Still, no nausea nor anything else came on, just shivering. Jenny brought me some ibuprofren and I lay there, trying to read or sleep, neither of which could I do. I just stared at the ceiling and shook. By 9:30 or so, my shaking subsided, but I still felt cold. I got up and went to the store to get milk and cat food, and by my return, I was ROASTING hot. The chills were gone, but my metabolism was absolutely through the roof. I lay on top of the covers in boxers, just steaming.

Luckily, Monday was fine, and Tuesday even better, but I’m taking a few days off the bike.