Monday, October 18, 2010

A tough couple of weeks

I cannot believe today is the 18th and I am just now posting my first blog in October.  Where did this month go?  There is a reason for my non-writing and for a change it has nothing to do with a lack of motivation.  It was a lack of energy and that’s slightly different.  I was hammered a couple of weeks ago by a serious cold that moved into my chest and I’ve been trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to recover ever since.

Marshalls Of course, all of this started just days before Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo where I volunteered to be a on-bike Marshall for the Medio course.  This meant going to a couple of meetings prior to the ride and then helping to serve as the “eyes and ears” along the course.  (There will be a separate post on how cool being a Marshall was.)  If it wasn’t for being a Marshall, I would have skipped the entire event. Yep!!!  I was feeling that bad.  However, as a Marshall you have a partner and since my partner was my good friend Jeff, I couldn’t let him down.

It all started Monday night when I started feeling cold-ish.  By Tuesday morning I was not feeling well at all and only managed to hang in at work until around 10:30.  I stayed home completely on Wednesday to deal with a high fever and constant coughing.  By Thursday morning the fever broke and I was starting to feel a tad better.  This was good since the ride was Saturday.

Coleman Valley Saturday was a beautiful day that promised everyone of the 6,000 riders a great time.  Well, perhaps everyone except me.  I was still feeling weak although I thought my symptoms were gone.  So, after standing around freezing, coughing, and telling everyone I was “fine”, Jeff and I were given the green light to roll and we joined the masses on the open road. 

Things were going well.  I knew I was weakened by my cold so the plan was to stay easy and consistent.  When we climbed our first hill I quickly discovered what my biggest issue was going to be on this ride.  I couldn’t take deep breaths.  So, I adjusted my gearing and cadence as I rolled along and enjoyed the excitement of the day. 

Coach Tim with McDreamy The rest of the day was ok.  I stayed true to my plan to ride easy.  The climb up Coleman Valley was challenging but I, well everyone, was rewarded with stunning views of the California coast and Pacific Ocean.  In addition, we also hung out with McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey from Gray’s Anatomy) who was joining the ride after a personal invite from Levi.

As we continued on, Jeff and Pete, another Marshall, stayed with me to make sure all was well.  During the ride I did not push the descents, join pace lines, push the big ring or any other activity that would waste precious energy.  The result?  I crossed the finish line 62 miles later.  And although I was very tired, I still had decent power and enough energy to enjoy the bike expo.  It wasn’t my strongest ride ever but I survived.  Actually, I it was probably one of the smartest rides I’ve completed.

After the Fondo, I took the week off to continue recuperating.  Although I continued to feel a little better, I still had a full mucus factory in my sinuses and the inability to breath deep.  I tired riding with friends this Saturday but turned for home after just 18 miles.  My heart rate was 20-25 beats higher then it should be so I know I am still feeling the effects.

I am definitely on the mend however, I think I need to realistic about my strength.  This cold hit me hard.   It usually doesn’t take me more then a couple of days to bounce back and it’s been two weeks this time.  I am sure this is just another sign of aging process as I stare down turning 50 next April.

Still, I need to create a plan to get my strength back.  But, since it is the off season I don’t have to go crazy.  I will probably stay nice and easy until the first week of December.  That’s when Coach Tim will resume his garage rides and start getting us ready for 2011.  Until then, I am going to recover, relax, and hope for better weeks to come.


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