My Skull is One Giant Toothache

Not that my teeth hurt, mind you, but that's the best way I could describe the pain. I've never had a sinus infection like this before. Every bone in my head feels like a giant throbbing toothache being squeezed in a vice. I was hoping to feel at least a little better today, but so far it's the opposite.

Thanks to those of you who left a comment or sent emails wishing me luck getting better.The decision to bail on next week's race would be easier if so many of my training buddies weren't also racing. I was really looking forward to being out on the course all day and night and having the chance of running into some of the guys I ride with regularly.

And I know we do all of this stuff for fun. It's definitely all for fun -- and I really don't care how I fare competing against other people -- but a big part of the fun for me comes from doing myself proud. There are some events that I enter strictly to see if I can finish (Cascade Creampuff 100 and Leadville 100 in particular), but then there are events that are races. By design, soloing a 24-hour race isn't necessarily something one does for fun. It's an exercise in masochism and tedium. The course being fun only helps to make it a little better, but there's really no way in my mind to enjoy being on a bike seat for 24 hours. The fun comes from pushing yourself to do better than you have in the past. And therein lies the problem, the possibility of that happening has left the station.

Who knows, perhaps this mindset is just a nasty holdover from my track&field days: I didn't care how many races I won, it didn't mean much if I didn't come close to setting a new P.R. in the event (and you can count on one hand how many head-to-head races I lost through high school and college). To me, some events are about simply finishing and some are about time.

Soloing a 24-hour race takes a long time to recover from when you're feeling perfectly fine. I think at this point, if I try to race next week I'm not only going to struggle and fail to enjoy myself (the enjoyment comes from impressing myself) but I'm going to risk wrecking my chances of doing well in any of the other races I'm scheduled to enter in June and, possibly July.

But all of this is in the grand scheme of things rather trivial. Right now the thing bumming me out the most is I'm too sick to give Kristin a kiss goodbye when she leaves for work.

And that's the real shame.

3 comments:

Criscipline said...

Feel better soon, Doug. I'm sorry about the race but everything happens for a reason. Maybe had you gone you would have been eaten by snuffaluffagus. A big one. With bad breath.

Doug Walsh said...

Thanks for making me smile. That was pretty funny.

Snuffaluffagus -- one of the most uder-appreciated and under-utilized creatures in Sesame Street history. It always seemed like a special day when snuffaluffagus showed up on the tv.

Anonymous said...

Get well soon. Take the time off your bike to take care of your back.

kob