Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Update, excuses - who can tell?

This blog covers a variety of topics, from cycling to cycling. We discuss road conditions, cycling gear, the camaraderie of cycling and most anything related to the cycling life. Today, however, we are going to discuss me, Rider Three.

It is with some irony that this blog follows up a discussion about core strength (by the only combination doctor/bike shop owner in town), because this is an update is not only about Rider Three, but really it is about core weakness.

Two Monday mornings ago I hauled my lazy carcass out of bed, onto my bike and up Hatch Road to meet the Morning Ride group. Monday is known as "Mellow Monday," but this ride was less like "It's easy like [Monday] morning" and more like "I'm going off the rails on a Crazy Train [on Monday morning]." I got dropped going up Windmill Road, but there was a re-grouping at the top of Baltimore before a high-speed crazy train run through the Valley. Made it up Hatch again and, miraculously, ahead of a couple of riders (This is virtually an unknown phenomena).

Then, as the Spring of 2011 shall forever be recalled, it started snowing again. And raining. And sleeting. And freezing. So I didn't get on my bike again until the following Saturday. But, and this is an important but, with the desire, fortitude, necessary spunk and determination that THIS week, by goll durn, would be the week that I made it out to the Morning Ride every day.

This past Monday morning I again hauled the forthwith described carcass out of bed, onto my bike, up Hatch as the dawn broke over the South Hill and to the designated start. Lo and Behold, I was the first rider on said corner. A first for me and either a sign of the coming apocalypse or, as I was anticipating, the start to a great week of early morning rides and warming temperatures. The ride wasn't so mellow again, I got dropped again going up an early hill, the run through the Valley was unnecessarily hard, then I again managed to stick with a couple of people up Hatch. All was good and every reason to look forward to Tuesday. So, I headed home, got ready for work and got a hernia.

Say what? Yes, you read that correctly. I got a hernia. That would be medically described as your intestines sticking through a tear or weakness in your abdominal wall. Fun, huh? I, of course, being one of those prototype males who will ignore all medical issues until the pain is too much to endure, did what I could be expected to do. Drove to work, sat down at my desk and got to it. Except that I couldn't sit still, couldn't lean back, couldn't concentrate; really, couldn't do anything except ignore the protuberance that had developed on my upper abdomen and try to cope with the pain that was ranging from "oh shit" to "holy crap". So, I headed to the doctor, had them shove the thing back through the abdominal wall and got ready for Tuesday's ride. No, I didn't really do that. Instead, I contemplated how much this sucked and missed Tuesday's ride.

Now, only time will tell when I will make the Morning Ride for a solid week. Right now I have a surgical consult to look forward to, probably followed by surgery and then several days of grimacing every time I breath, move, sit, stand, lie down or move.

Lastly, I know you are curious about how I got a hernia, right? It is cycling related also. I crashed my bike. No, not on the Morning Ride or on the way home. I crashed it last Fall at the Capital Forest 50/100 and created the hernia then. It hurt less and I sought only internet diagnoses and the protuberance went down on its own during the course of healing up from the other injuries from crashing, so I was able to ignore it as any medical-attention-fearing male would do.

I knew that race was hard, but I didn't know I would still be getting over it 6 months later. So that's my excuse, or my update, or whatever, but it may be a while before I have more tales of cycling. In the meantime, follow Dr. Bruce's advice to work on your core strength and don't let any handlebars jab you sharply in the stomach when you crash.
Rider Three

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