Monday, May 27, 2013

Rough goings in May ...


So it's been a while since I posted anything here. Had some time off from racing (didn't do a single organized ride of race since my failed Rapha ride!) But I have been riding as much as I can just the same. I have to admit, though, that it hasn't been all smooth sailing. There have been a bunch of nagging injuries -- my left hand just refuses to feel 100% and the hit I took on my elbow and right side in my crash turned out to be a bit worse than I initially thought and then I took a pretty nasty stem-to-the-knee when my front tire slipped off a rock while I was riding in Philly. And just last week my left hip and lower back tightened up so bad that Dr. Craig, my chiropractor, thought I might have a bulging disc. That one was painful enough to keep me off the bike all last week. I was walking around my office at work hunched over and feeling like Quasimodo. (Luckily, between a few really great adjustments from the good doctor and a couple of yoga stretch classes, I'm feeling much better the last two days!)

But by far the worst thing I've been dealing with this month is asthma brought on by allergies. The pollen in this region has been absolutely ridiculous this year. Every morning, I walk outside to see my black car turned green overnight. Normally, rain does at least something to alleviate the pollen in the air, but not this year. Everyday it seems that it's just raining allergens. And I've had a really bad reaction to it this year. After a few weeks of just breathing it in every time I was outdoors, I started to have these really bad coughing fits that would hit three or four times a night. I went three days without sleeping more than two hours at a time last week. And my lungs were sounding like a broken engine. Now, I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma last year, but before that I had never had to deal with any chronic issues. This year, it seemed to really escalate. I was using my rescue inhaler two or three times a day this month just to breathe. It finally came to a head this past Friday, when I ended up in the ER in the early evening after my second coughing fit of the day. I got two nebulizer treatments with Albuterol while I was there, and then I was released with prescriptions for a new HFA inhaler and some Prednisone. The nebulizer treatments did wonders on Friday -- I felt like I could breathe normally for the first time in weeks. And I felt pretty good Saturday morning, but I decided to bag a planned ride with Craig just to be on the safe side. Turns out that was probably a good call - I ended up doing my own ride on Sunday afternoon and afterward was coughing and wheezing again. The ER doc had warned me that I might have trouble the first time I exercised after the treatment, so I wasn't too surprised by that, but it kind of sucked. Luckily, it didn't become anything bigger than some wheezing and I was able to sleep okay last night.

One upside to sitting out the ride on Saturday morning was that I finally took the time to clean out the garage. Joanna and I have been living in this house for seven years now and this is probably the first time we've really cleaned out the garage in at least six years. So it was kind of dirty. And, it turns out, we had some squatters living in a few bins over that time -- I found mouse shit everywhere. (So much for the high frequency pest removal device I put in the garage last year.) It took the two of us most of the day, but I was really happy with the result:

The "after" shot - clean, lots of open space ... and absolutely no mouse shit!
The riding wasn't all bad this month -- I did have a few really great evening rides in Wissahickon and Belmont.





 And last Monday, I took the day off to go out to ride the Tussey Mountain Trail near State College. I had been wanting to get out there for along time now, and just decided the time was right for a day off and a road trip.

Early in the day, on the drive out, the weather was threatening and the sky opened up a couple of times in the three hours it took to get to State College
At the base of the Tussey Trail, gearing up for the long, rocky climb
The Tussey Ridge Trail ...
The NMBA beer stop!
At the bottom of the super fun descent off the Tussey Trail
Done and wasted ...
That was a great ride (even if it was kind of the start of my back issues!) I brought my Contour Roam and Canon HD cameras with me to do some filming. That's always a bit of a pain in the ass (especially the Canon) but if it yields decent footage, it can be worth the hassle of all the starts-and-stops. This isn't a great video, but I got some decent footage. I didn't get all that creative with angles or anything -- I basically just used helmet cam and standing camera shots. My favorite part is the descent through the switchbacks. It was such a fun section to ride!


Anyway, I had a great time out there and can't wait to head back and ride some of the other great trails in that region.

I did get out and ride today in Wiss again and felt really good for the first time in a few weeks. I'm still dealing with the effects of the asthma, so I think I'll maybe set up an appointment with my primary this week to see if I need more regular control meds. Until I can get this worked out, I may be out of racing for a bit. I was planning on doing the 12 Hours of Granogue, and I haven't completely decided not to yet, but if my lungs are still shitty I may have to bag that one. The next race I'm registered for isn't until the very end of June (The Six Pack), but I really would like to do Granogue or Stoopid 50 if I can. I'm hoping that I can get this lung thing worked out!

Finally, discounting my whining, Joanna and I had a really fun weekend. We discovered the Prism Brewery (less than a quarter mile from my office!) and then got out for a ride on the 202 Parkway Sunday morning.
The Prism Brewery Taproom!
They make a bunch of really cool beers here!

Finally, after my ride today, we spent some time together outside and then stopped by Molly Maguire's where I tried one of these:

Fruli Belgian Ale made with Strawberries!

Violating Man Law, sure, but this was one great beer!

Anyway, hope everyone had a great long weekend and got to take advantage of some rare awesome weather this year!

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