Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cured, like ham

Typically, there is greater variation within a population than there is between populations.

This great variation is true within our house, even when it comes to illness. Mama and the kids have spent two weeks or so struggling through this coughing, sneezing, sometimes queasy bug. There were days when Mama fell into bed immediately after the kids, and days when the kids wandered around in a fog. And most of those were days when I was in Boston for training or at work.

So, I had some immunity or good luck or something and managed to avoid getting sick for several days after my return. But then, of course, the hammer dropped.

On me.

As I wrote, on Friday morning I got up feeling like I'd been pulled...not quite apart, but pulled quite hard in every direction. I didn't have the coughing, sneezing or queasy, but I was rather not in the mood to eat either. But I still was able to ride into work and get through the day, even if I wasn't quite feeling it. Not too unusual for a Friday of a short week, since short weeks don't mean less work, just less time to get it done.

By the end of the day I was feeling like someone had gone after me with a carpet beater and then hoovered the energy from my blood and bones, so I fueled up in the best fashion of all athletes--with 20 ounces of steaming hot coffee, cut with just so much milk. Because I only drink half-caf, I figured this would be enough to get me home, which is about all it did.

I went through all of my routines for packing up, leaving the office, changing into my bike clothes, getting to my bike and assembling my computer, lights and so forth, and thank goodness I could do most of that by muscle memory. Despite that, however, I did leave the shoulder strap that I use to carry my panniers hanging down next to my rear wheel, where it spent the next hour somehow not swinging over, tangling in the spokes and throwing me to the ground.

And I spent my next hour and 20 minutes getting blasted by a 45 mph wind. Fortunately, was as accurate as ever and for the first portion of the ride, I was being blasted from behind. For the last third or so, however, it was like riding into a gale, which is, in fact, what I was doing. And which, in fact, sapped the last bit of strength from me.

I did manage to make it through until Jewel's bedtime, thanks to Mama's vegetable chowder and some rice with butter and salt, and progressive layers of clothes, so that I went to bed and curled up in the fetal position under a down comforter wearing two shirts, fleece pants, heavy wool socks and a fleece hat pulled down just about to my collarbone.

And three hours later I woke up, cured.

But more cured like a ham than cured like all better and feeling fine. While I felt miraculously refreshed and no was no longer aching, I couldn't get back to sleep for several hours. But considering what Mama and the kids had been through for two weeks, I knew I had gotten off lucky. Eventually, I went back to bed, fell asleep and then stumbled through today, thanks to a one-hour nap and a trip to Pupatella for dinner.

And tomorrow, I'll have some exciting news to share with you about my ride.

Papa Bradstein is going to ride 200 miles curled up in the fetal position, wrapped up in a down comforter.

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