As if work and the weather hadn't done enough to conspire against my lofty goals for next weekend's 24-hour race in Spokane, now it's my health. Last week had me laid up most of the week with a nasty stomach bug. I tried to stay positive and think about the fantastic weight loss I was achieveing, and figured that I still had some time to get some last-minute long rides in. I felt better by Thursday night and was able to go up to BC for the Ore Crusher, albeit in a less-than-perfect condition.
I laid around the house with Kristin on Sunday and relaxed, but by Monday morning I had a pretty bad sore throat and some minor sinus and chest congestion. It's gotten worse each day this week. Kristin has it too. She even stayed home from work yesterday: the two of us laid on the couch all day coughing, spitting up glow-in-the-dark phlegmballs, and taking turns boiling water for more and more Theraflu.
The cold got worse throughout last night. I couldn't sleep on account of a fever and bouts of coughing and a stuffed and runny nose. So I went to see the doctor just now and he thinks I might have pneumonia setting in. I had "walking pneumonia" several years ago -- it started out as a cold, then just totally wrecked my strength and left me very weak. He prescribed some antibiotics, told me to stay off the bike for a few days, and come back to see him if I didn't feel fine in 10 days.
So now I'm looking at missing the Tour de Cure century ride on Saturday and my planned 80-90 mile ride for Sunday and will have missed much of my peak, bulk training for the 24-hour race. I know those who don't engage in endurance racing might not think this is a big deal, that it's "just a race" and I should get over it, but it's not that easy. Even though I haven't trained nearly as much for this race this year as I did last, there's a deep personal investment made in getting oneself ready for such an event. I'd hate to see the $255 entry fee go to waste, but that's the least of my concern. I'm entered into a dozen or so events this summer, but only two were my true focus, my "A" races if you will: Spokane 24-hours, and Leadville 100. Everything else took a back seat in my mind.
And now I'm not even sure I'll be able to race next weekend, let a lone have a shot at performing as well as I did last year. And therein lies the problem: I don't see much point in doing something if I don't honestly believe I can better my performance from last time. I set the bar pretty high for myself last year and right now I see no way how I can even come close to matching it. I might still go and seve as a cheerleader for the guys who I've been training with the past 6 months, or I might go and just ride a couple laps for fun, and sit around and drink beer. Whatever I decide, I think right now the biggest challenge is going to be to not feel sorry for myself.