First, lets define violently ill.
Friday evening we had a few friends over for a good old-fashioned-weenie-roast. The fire barrel was in full glory, kids were playing, Canadian Republican political theories were being shot down left and right. You know, a nice night. Before you get all “..well duh, don’t you know what’s in hot dogs?” I’ll tell you that out of sheer laziness I didn’t even roast, or consume a cased sausage of any kind. I had in order and in total, Tortilla chips and salsa(Canucky Jeff’s home brew), pasta salad(my wife’s home brew), and potato salad(ZenMasterKenny and CanuckyMeg’s home brew with effing vegan-aise). For the record, I blame the vegan-aise.
In any case, the sun set, and we sat in the back yard talking about how wrong Canadians can be about American Politics, and as it got dark, I started to get cold. As a fat man, I brushed it off, waiting for the outer blubber to seal in my marshmallowy warmth. As the minutes ticked by, I got colder and colder. Strangely, none of the small children running around barefoot seemed cold, and then CanuckyJeff said you look like your going to puke. At which point I realized that I felt like I was going to puke. The Canadians and Eastern philosophers dismissed themselves and I went into the house. At 74 degrees the house was exactly two degrees above what I deem acceptable between May 1 and Oct 7. Then the shivering began. The violent shivering that hurts. I quickly pulled on some pajama pants, a hoodie, wool socks and a blanket. I laid on the bed with a hot pad clenched tightly to my chest. This lasted until my wife came to bed and complained that I still reeked of weenie-roasting fire. At which point I took the first of the several water-heater-draining showers I would take through the night. Got out, pulled on the best approximation of footie-pajamas I could muster, and went to bed. For about 15 minutes. Then the waves of violent wretching began. As my wife can attest, I am no dainty puker. When I reverse chug, my entire gastrointestinal tract from my vocal chords to my butt cheeks gets involved. It is always loud, and usually unsettling. After the first technicolor yawn, I figured the offending food had been removed, and it was time to get some rest. After all I had a cyclocross race in the morning. Much to my chagrin, as soon as I got back into bed, the shivering returned, followed by aches, followed by a disgusting amount of sweat, followed by a hot shower. In that order, over and over again, until morning. My wife will tell you that in those hazy moments when I did doze off, her sleep was interrupted by delirious ramblings. On separate occasions through the night, I told her she should park next to me, take the “M” to the start line, and that it would be allright. I tried to pass them off as euphamisms, but I don’t remember saying any of it.
Once the sun rose, I got out of bed and realized that I may just miss the first race of the UTCX season. I was no longer nauseous(or whistling beef,…. I just wanted to get another good one in) But I was exhausted, achy, and still shivering. Once up and around, I felt well enough in my estimation to attend the race, just not ride in it. I told CanuckyJeff and Parrish to pick me up and I’d cheer them on.
When they pulled up with bikes loaded and smiling, I walked out and joked about throwing in my bike so I could just soft-pedal and earn pack points as long as I could finish. They laughed and suggested I throw it in so they had a B bike in the pits. Agreeing that would be a good idea I grabbed my bike but as I loaded it up, a overwhelming warmth came over me, and I felt as though I were floating just above the ground. At which point, I spoke these words(or something very similar)”Screw it, I’m racing.” Ran in the house and grabbed a pair or shorts, a jersey, and my shoes,helmet,etc. My wife, did not look amused when I told her I was racing, and would later send a sarcastic text to see if I survived.
Once at the race, more than one person mentioned that I didn’t look so good. Because of Canadian route finding, a longer than usual registration line, and a dispute as to whether or not I had pre-purchased a number plate, I had basically no time for a warm-up lap, instead loping down to the start line and waiting for what would come. I didn’t feel good, but I also didn’t feel bad. The sun was cresting over…..Suncrest(hmm), and I was no longer cold. The regular pre-race jitters were gone due to a conveniently low expectation of my performance. And when they started us, I grabbed a comfortable gear and went. Soon my heart rate was up and I was pedaling along. I had managed a front half start which was pretty good, and I found that I was actually picking off a couple guys as the laps ticked by. Not scorching the course by any means, but feeling okay. Whenever I sensed somebody behind me, I was gracious enough to wave them through. I didn’t want my delusions of grandeur getting in the way of their strong mid pack finish. Things were going great and I could see that I was on the verge of catching the back of the pack. If I couldn’t have a strong finish, I was at least hoping to say, that even though I was sick, I managed to lap a couple guys. All hopped up on mediocrity, I took a bad line on the singletrack and heard the black call of the burped tire. With it’s associated belch of filth emptying all my Stan’s onto the ground. Riding, I was maybe 90 seconds from the finish. Walking, It was more like 5-10 minutes. And so I walked. Being re-passed by every chubby dude on a mountain bike I had overtaken before, and a even more that had been hot on my tail throughout the race. As I walked up the final climb, I noticed Ryan Hamilton had suffered a similar fate(albeit with far more expensive tires than mine). They were holding the podium ceremony before I crossed the line.
Graciously Race Organizer Matt Ohran shook my hand as I crossed the line, and I had the pride of knowing that even walking and sick, I had earned valuable pack points for my Clammy Chamois team.
That is, until I checked the results online this morning and noticed that I was not listed as a participant. Not even DFL.
To add insult to misery, I also spent the remainder of the weekend in a continual ache, sweat, shiver cycle. Praying for death on several occasions.
On second thought, maybe next time your sick, just stay home and take meds.