I didn’t finish Cascade this year. I started getting sick on Friday and despite consecutive 12-hour nights of sleep, crushing fruits and vegetales, and praying to the immune system gods, I was done for by the weekend. I woke up on Saturday feeling terrible and got worse as the day went on. Fever, headache, body aches, cold sweats, nausea (though I still had an appetite of course), mucus, the usual works. By race time that night I was still planing on at least giving it a shot, but after the 15 minute ride over to the crit course I was ready to call it quits. It took quite a bit of convincing, but Joe got me to start the crit and see if I could just make the time cut and then pull out and conserve for the circuit race the next day (the hardest day of the race). I made the time cut fairly easily and spent 35 minutes at the very end of the pack just tail-gunning and getting heckled by fat ass spectators to “try harder” and to “never give up.” After a while I began laughing at the irony in what they were saying to me.
I woke up the next day and felt slightly better than I did the day before. After three cups of dark coffee I was almost feeling good again. My duty in the race was to get bottles for as long as I could and if I felt good enough, to conserve and try to make it to the finish. I made it through the first lap with no problem, other than feeling very very sick and tired. I did the second lap and my throat began closing up, but still I knew my legs were good enough to continue on. My legs were still fine for the third lap but I was feeling bad enough that I began to worry about making myself too sick to recover in the next month for my trip to Europe, so I sat up. I spent the next couple hours in a depressed daze while waiting with my teammates for the three survivors on our team to finish (Lang was our top finisher at 30th, followed by Logan and Cody). I drank gallons of water but never felt satisfied and I was in a perpetual state of bonking, somehow not remembering that food cures bonks. By the time I got home to our host house I was messed up enough to fall asleep on the toilet before I revived myself with a cold shower. I’ve raced while being sick before, but never this sick. I began to feel normal a few hours after eating a million calories at Pilot Butte Burger.
This has been the biggest let down all year.
After all those weeks thinking about Pilot Butte Burger, riding past it after my intervals, dreaming about it at night while my stomach grumbled hungrily in never ending complaint about being forced to settle for salad once again. Pilot Butte Burger’s amazingly delicious and huge burgers were all I thought about for days on end and now…I couldn’t even taste anything. My nose was too plugged up to enjoy the mouth watering beef, onion rings, bacon, and cheese on my BBQ burger. The fries were ruined on me and my chocolate shake was just a cold, bland liquid. It could have been just ice for all I knew. Just ice! Oh wait I got side-tracked. Not being able to compete was the biggest let down.
Bigger even than breaking my collarbone last month. After all those painful, excruciating intervals on O.B. Riley road and suffering up Pilot Butte while dreaming of the final stage of Cascade…just to get sick before I even got a chance at it. It’s a cruel sport. And it’s always a gamble. Basically all that training was for one single race last weekend, White Rock. Luckily I got a result, but it’s hard to imagine I did all that hard work and dieting just for one day of racing and that I’d get sick before I could put any of that good form to use again. I knew I didn’t stand a chance in the mountainous stages at Cascade, but that circuit race is just my style. There’s only so many chances each year, and lately they seem to all be slipping by. I think I enjoy training more than most people do, but to spend all that time and not get to see it put to use is more than frustrating, it’s like really frustrating. In the lead up to the race I did a total of 57 intervals in a period of 10 days for crying out loud!
I’m fortunate though that I even get to try any of this so I’ll shut up and put on a happy face now that I’ve got this complaint off my chest. I’m looking forward to Europe (still not 100% sure where I’m staying, though I leave on Wednesday) and I’ll be back in mid September to WIN Univest Grand Prix! Haha. Better to have too much self confidence than too little.