Monday, August 3, 2009

Getting back to normal?

Nah, not really. I never felt that great either day this past weekend. No hives to speak of, which is at least a great improvement from last weekend where I woke up in the middle of the night both Saturday and Sunday night with massive hives breaking out on my torso and my hands just absolutely on FIRE.

The Doc had suggested I back off the Benadryl to only at night, and take Tagament in the mornings. I did that both Saturday and Sunday, and upon arriving at both of our ride destinations each morning I felt absolutely sick and twitchy inside. No bueno.

Add to that I haven't eaten my normal diet since Friday morning, and life is still in a bit of chaos. I can eat veggies, I can eat wheat, grains, dairy, and apples and bananas. No other fruit to speak of, no fish, and no nuts. This makes me sad since almond butter and jam sandwiches are one of the highlights of my day, especially as my post-ride food!

Justin has been really patient with me, and helpful in that he's dealing with his own almond butter and fruit cleaning, since it makes me sad to be around that stuff.

So, breakfast has been steel cut oats with sliced apples, cinnamon spice, flax seed (seeds - flax, sunflower - don't seem to be bothering me at all), and honey.

Post-ride food was chocolate milk and turkey sandwiches. Not very exciting. The doctor didn't say no citrus (oranges, orange juice), but she also didn't say that was safe. So...?

We got up whenever, ate breakfast and lounged around on Saturday before heading out to Daley for some fast-paced hill climbing and then some techy singletrack redo's. Out of the gate we headed for the first easy hills and then hit the Old Tank Trail singletrack on the way up to Stanley Peak. It only has two techy sections, but I went back and back and back again and again to try to clean this rock step up followed by a tight turn, and then a rocky switchback. I never did put the entire section together, but I did get the rocky step-up two separate times.

After we got to the fire road ascent I said let's descend and try it again! I probably tried that step up about 15 times before we finally climbed all the way to Stanley's Peak and then finished out on a singletrack down to the Ranch House.

We did our normal loop up Cardiac, which I cleaned for only the 2nd time ever (stoked!), then over to Burnt Mountain, down Bobcat, and eventually over to the fire road before Rock Ridge. I put in my last good effort and the HR wouldn't hit anything above Z4. Fatigue?

We jetted back to the parking lot to get some more water, then headed back out the main fire road and up Old Tank Trail, around, and back to the parking lot again to finish up.

Since I can't eat most of the bike food (nut bars, carb drinks with berry ingredients, FRUIT leathers, etc.) I knew we needed to stop somewhere to pick up some goods. We planned on hitting up REI down in Leucadia. So, naturally a stop at Pannikin's was in order!

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

I was set on NO FOOD, but Justin wanted to get a cookie, so how could I resist? This wasn't just any cookie; this was a cookie that had eaten about 3 other cookies.

Last bite

We both thought this quotation was very apropos

We drove down to Solana Beach to stop in at B&L instead of heading inland to REI and I picked up a few bars and some Margarita Bloks. Hoping that is enough to get me through. I've got some old old Apple Crisp Electrolyte drink with caffeine that seemed to work, and the Espresso Hammer Gel, while it includes Energy Smart(R) with fruit juice, didn't seem to cause me any problems either. We got a refill tub of Hammer Vanilla gel that I might also take with back east in case I get sick of Espresso! Hoping to be back on my normal race mix next weekend, but I can only add one item at a time, so not sure if fruit juice and berry mixes is the best idea. I think probably in powdered form it'd be ok, but not sure I am willing to risk hives during a race?

After that we headed back north on Coast Highway to find some parking and hit up THE BEACH! Yeah! Can you say we were finding our balance for the day OR WHAT??

Despite Eric saying it'd be a zoo we u-turned at a light right into a parking spot and traversed down to the beach near So Carlsbad and had no one around! The tide was coming in and it was overcast, but we still splashed around a little before heading back up to the truck to check on the bikes.

Photographic evidence:

I had seen a sign off 78 for Barnes & Noble, and for once in my life Justin was okay with me buying BOOKS! I was so stoked. I knew we'd both need some reading material for the long overnight flight and also for the week in between the races.

I had so many choices I didn't even know where to begin!

After some hemming and hawing I dove in to Thoreau's "Walden", or rather... into the 24-page Introduction, which more than anything was some other dude's dissertation/essay on Thoreau and his works. It gave me some interesting backstory/insight, but was mostly a lot of erudite writing and a bunch of instances of "mythopoeic" and "Thoreauvian". Srsly.

I am so far enjoying what little of "Walden" I have been able to read, and am enjoying the discussions I've had with Justin on the topics. Not about to head "Into the Wild" any time soon, but it should be a good read none-the-less.

Dinner was so good, this is all you get to see.

Sunday we planned to head up the mountains (sort of) of Idyllwild. It was going to be warm up there, too, but we felt like hitting some singletrack, and it'd been a LONG time since we'd ridden Thomas Mountain - Ramona Trail!

The plan initially was to do 2 race pace laps at Hurkey followed by Thomas - Ramona, but I pointed out it'd wind up being over a 5 hour day and we still needed to drive to OC on the way home!

I felt seriously ill anyway, but sucked it up for training's sake, and we'd made the entire hour drive up there.

We parked off of Little Thomas Mountain and traversed the highway back to Hurkey. Hit the timer at the transition to dirt, banged out a lap back to the stop sign on the Highway in just under 44 minutes. Again my HR was supressed, but we had some fun and for the first time ever I actually middle ringed the entire course. Yes, I have always been that weak. Not yesterday! Figured it was about time I put the gym work to use and just get the legs pushing bigger gears.

We got back to the truck and despite the fact that I felt bad, started pedaling up the fire road.

I was riding strong until I found out that I was climbing in mid-Z4 and Justin was barely touching Z2. Sucky. I struggled the entire 7 miles up, feeling like I was pushing a lot harder than I apparently was. Stopped for a Clif Brownie bar that I don't remember tasting, and since it was chilly in the shade we headed down the singletrack.

The trail had NOT seen much action at all this spring or summer, as it was apparent. Not much overgrowth, but no tracks and while not really loose or bad, it was somewhat sandy from lack of use.

About 1/3 of the way down I started feeling dizzy and kind of out-of-body-ish. Yeah, weird, right? I took it really slow. Despite feeling physically off, I was determined to at least enjoy myself, so went slow but had fun and did some body english like I was really booking.

The final turn-off down Ramona

Token bar shot

Surprisingly enough when we got to the techy singletrack I was cleaning most of the swichbacks (including the difficult rocky ones) and generally having a great time! Wasn't going very fast, but I think I made it look good anyway.

Taking a breather

This techy spot was massively "cleaned up" from the last time we rode it, but still fun

Was happy to be done, especially after about a 3-4 mile traverse on bumpy rocky unimproved (and unused) dirt back to the truck. Felt super ill when we finished up, and spent most of the drive west trying to sleep. I had the a/c on 70 in the truck but it felt like it was about 90 inside. Weird stuff.

I ate, but neglected to hydrate really well since I felt so sick to my stomach. We got over to Rock N Road and picked up some goods, then headed back home. Traffic (for once!!) wasn't bad on the 91 at all. Weird!

We were both starving when we got home, so Justin re-heated our taco leftovers and while we were eating Luke regaled us with his stories of victories over the weekend up in Mammoth! Sounds like good times up there fo sho.

All in all, good weekend. No hives, I haven't taken any meds since yesterday morning, and I hope that I won't have to again. Possibly by late this week I'll be back to trying nuts and nut butter (I think I am missing it most) and will go from there.

Now? Just sitting here with my bowl of lonely yogurt and apples n cinnamon. Can you OD on apples and bananas? I miss my granola (it all has almonds, almond/peanut paste, or berries - d'oh!) and berries. I have another apple, another banana and a turkey sandwich to look forward to! Oh yeah! ...not.


Luke said...

looks like you are working through it with patience...hopefully it wont be long now!

dig the pannikins quote...very fitting!

Ryan Weeger said...

whoa so thoreau now huh? channeling your inner desire to dissapear into the forest at windham and come out the winner? hope so! good luck out there with the race and all that reading material.

Pedal Circles said...

haha - perhaps! Windham will have all the big names (WC pro's), so I will settle for a good result :)

I was an English major, so not all that long ago I would've plowed through all those books in 4-5 days and written a paper on each to boot ;)

JOY said...

yippee on getting the Tao Sport book! you will like it! Best of luck back east!! you will LOVE!!!!!! the courses/atmoshpere/people and competition!!