I Don't Handle Setbacks Well

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.

1 comment:

NobbyNick said...

Hey Doug!

I’m a little older than you, but I still get sucked into the same mind set. I try and I try to remember that I’m not going to win the Olympics. I try and try to remember that I’m not going to win an Open local event. Shoot in all honesty I don’t see myself winning an expert local event, but that doesn’t keep me from wanting to kick ass. I even have a hard time when I ride the same loop too many times and start getting frustrated when I’m not shaving my time down. The guy I want to be doesn’t care. The guy I want to be is out there to do his best, but is also out there for fun. FUN. Why can’t I remember that! It’s all for fun, and maybe to keep from getting to fat.

Don’t hurt yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. If I was to guess I’d say you were not over your last cold when you raced Ore Crusher and now you are paying for it. Either race the 24hr event to have fun, or if you don’t feel like it, sit back and have a beer and cheer your friends on. I’ve gone to a couple of races this year and last and just watched, cheered, and taken photographs of friends beating themselves up. It’s a fun change.


Nick V.