Friday, September 12, 2008

Got a headache from my cyclo-cross ride...

not from hitting it against anything but rather from thinking too hard. (I have actually managed to avoid trees, wooden beams and concrets awnings for ten months now.)

The weather today had come close to cyclo-cross season proportions - 13°C, overcast and rainy - so I figured I was in for a very uncomfortable ride since I am not quite mentally prepared for crap weather.

But once I reached the woods, everything changed. It was so extraordinarily beautiful and peaceful that I almost forgot about the chilly rain. The thick woods were bright green and covered in mist, making me feel like I was riding through an exotic rainforest shown on some nature channel. The only sound I heard was that of rain droplets hitting the leaves. I brought my iPod for the ride but obviously opted not to turn it on for fear of ruining a magical moment.

For the first 20 minutes of the ride, my mind was devoid of any real thoughts. I was in the moment of the ride - enjoying every aspect of it. But when minute 21 arrived, it brought with it a little bug that lodged itself on the back of my throat. It entered during an inhale, as they always do. It was then that the heavy thinking started.

What should i do? Try to swallow it or cough it out? I am a vegetarian so I really cannot eat the bug in good conscience. But if i cough it up, it will surely lose its wings and die. I tried to delicately release it from my throat with short bursts of air but to no avail. It only made its wings flutter more, causing me to dry heave a bunch. That didn't release it either.

After various attempts of getting the critter up and away, I finally struggled some more with the idea of swallowing it. If i swallow it, will it make it but halfway down only to take twice as long to re-emerge? And what if it does make it all the way down, will my body be okay with taking in non-plant protein? Will I be okay with it? Can I actively swallow a bug while keeping my feminity intact? (Girls don't eat bugs, you know!) What if only half of it goes down?

Decision time - it's going down. I reached for the water bottle in my back pocket only to realize it is still back at the house. I guess it is on to plan C - denial. Failing to fill my mind with any thoughts that can distract me from the perceived sound of fluttering wings, I turned to the iPod for help. Eminem and I finished the ride together.

As I pulled up to the house, the rain stopped and the sun popped out from behind the clouds. (Isn't it always like that.) Water never tasted so good -or functioned so well. I will keep you in my thoughts, my mini-winged friend.

19 comments:

Rickie Rainwater said...

Boys don't eat bugs, they eat rocks and dirt. Perhaps I should start thinking about getting back into mountain biking. It use to be my zen, my form of meditation, especially living here where just down the road is the National Forest and the best mountain biking. I couldn't afford to think about my job, my troubles, my relationships, because I had to focus on the trail and pick my line extremely well. If I didn't focus, I most definitely would get hurt, and possibly severely far away from assistance. Not being a vegan, and not worried about my feminity, I do indulge in a bug on the back of my throat once in awhile while out on the road. Ok, I admit, boys do sometimes eat bugs. Today's training ride, was hell. The wind was very strong and after 17 miles of mostly head wind, it was very humbling and I felt really out of shape, fat and slow. Good wake up call. We should be getting hurrican IKE in a few days so either I practice riding wet, or work on my gut. Probably lower back exercises.

chr15 tree said...

You are such a sweetie for thinking about the bug. I would have thought what can I do to stop myself choking!
That ol spit or swallow dilema, eh? (sorry).

After my [road] ride tomorrow it's crossbike only til next spring... yay!!! trying to line a few races up, working around the major home projects we have got going at the mo.


Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

PEANUT said...

Be safe in the hurricaine! Sounds scary - or perhaps I watch too many scary hurricaine movies?

It is always a special time for me when I can mentally put the road bike away in favor of the cross bike. I still have a couple more road races so that moment is yet to come for me. Enjoy!

Rickie Rainwater said...

By the time the huricane gets to Northwest Arkansas, it will just be a lot of rain, but Galviston is getting blasted, and that would be bad. My motivation is poor. I decided to sleep in today and perhaps my body needs it. There is still plenty of time to ride today, but I will just have to see. I agree with chr15, you definitely are a sweety. So be careful out there in the woods.

PEANUT said...

I am the Peanut. I speak for the bugs. (an obscure reference perhaps?)

Rickie Rainwater said...

Peanut, would you have talk with the flying ants that bore through my little house in the kitchen tile in the spring, and the occassional roach that I would very much appreciate it if they stay out of my space! I figured out the little ones that fly into our mouths while riding. Their stomachs are much bigger than their eyes and they see a big thing zooming along with a bright shinny helmet on, and they say to themselves, " hey, that looks yummy," to only get stuck on the back of our throats. Those silly bugs! So you should have a little sit down talk with them.

PEANUT said...

Hey rickie:
I just spoke with your flying ants and occational roaches and they all agreed to pay rent.
Hope that helps.

Rickie Rainwater said...

Thanks, I was hoping to suppliment my income a little.
rickie

Rickie Rainwater said...

Just back from a nice 26 mile ride with my best time. I ran into some rain, but it felt good and wasn't too heavey. I have one month to prepare for my century and I will need to really focus on my diet, and working on my muscle balances. I feel so much better after I ride.

PEANUT said...

While you were out riding, I was working on my next article for VegNews Magazine on preparing for that next big sporting event.
Glad the rain didnt wash you away.

Rickie Rainwater said...

Is Vegnews everywhere? I could use some pointers. My maximum distance at one time is 62 miles. I was a little down with some type of allergy or cold last week, but I have ridden every week between work days. I don't ride generally with anyone so I don't get the benefit of the draft, so I'm sure my fitness is ok, but it seems like my energy level and motivation is sort of lacking. Definitely want to read the article. I hope you don't recommend eating bugs as I would prefer to get my ATP and protein from other sources! I hopefully will be able to team up with someone to share the load against the wind. I crossed Wyoming in 2000 but that was a long time ago.

GCDavid said...

I was having a splendid cross training race, until my steering tube snapped, nearly impaling me (and my nether regions) into the sharp end! Luckily no stitches, or spontaneous vasectomy.

Pictures at my blog.

First cross race of the year for me tomorrow!!!

PEANUT said...

Hey GC
Wow, what a race you had! A real adventure. For those of you who are reading these comments, here is the link to his site:
http://gcdavid.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/catastrophic-failure/
BEST OF LUCK tomorrow at your first cross race! Do remember to have lots of fun.

chr15 tree said...

GC - Ouch!

Christine - Last road 'race' went OK, set a PB for the course but finished a lowly 11th... Damn! I was fried!

Hope your headache has gone :)

chr15 tree said...

Oh yeah I put some pics on my blog (should you want to see)

http://chr15tree.blogspot.com/

Rickie Rainwater said...

Nemo is going to get white tires and white bar tape. I will send you a picture when she is all dressed up for her big ride. Also, I decided to stay away from the "race only" Open Corsa tires even though they are crem le crem of the tire experience. Only problem is they don't hold up well and puncture easy from all the reviews I have read. Be good!
rickie

chr15 tree said...

Rickie:
White tyres, white bar tape... oh so Euro!

Seriously which tyres did you go for, Siena would look so cool in white!

(Sorry Christine - hijack over :) )

Rickie Rainwater said...

Gary,
I went with Vredestein Fortezza TriComp Black/White 700x23 which will arive in a week and I got a killer deal at Biketiresdirect. I will be using Specialized Roubaix Bar Tape when I get my tires. I wanted to dress Nemo up for her one year birthday and the Tour De Cure for Diabetes. The open corsas would have been dreamy, but since I'm not a racer and I am on a low budget, I figure the Vredesteins would last longer and would be more puncture resistant. My friend toni in Florida has been using them for a while and they have performed well. I couldn't find the other Corsa tracks that are used in the classics which are a little wider, but I think I made a good choice. Peanut, I love your "Peanut at work" photo.
rickie

PEANUT said...

hey chr: hijack away!
rickie: The bike setup sounds sweet. looking forward to seeing the photos.