My resting heart rate at the doctor’s office this afternoon was 40 beats per minute. That suggests my cardiovascular system is in good shape and would be a good omen for Lotoja this weekend. Except that other than for a routine checkup, being in the doctor’s office four days before a big race is generally inconsistent with good omens.
This was not a routine checkup.
On Saturday while hiking with the kids, my youngest daughter tripped. As I reached to grab her, I somehow twisted in just the wrong way and felt an explosion in the soft tissue in my back. I’ve had muscle spasms before—they’re always painful, and they always last way longer than I think they should.
Still, I was stubborn and convinced it was nothing. Saturday night I used the foam roller and took some Aleve. Didn’t help. Sunday I just rested and didn’t do much all day. Didn’t help. Since I didn’t ride all last week while I was sick and only had a short ride Saturday, Monday I really needed to get on the bike. I figured a nice three hour ride would loosen it up. Wrong. By Monday night I couldn’t go to sleep, it hurt so bad.
So today I went to the doctor. My doc is a cyclist and knows what I’ve got going on this weekend. I got a prescription for Lortab, physical therapy, and he gave me my choice of two muscle relaxers, one that works a little better but is more expensive, and one that’s cheaper but doesn’t work quite as well. Time being of the essence, I chose the more expensive drug. Physical therapy starts tomorrow. The doc assured me that none of the drugs will adversely affect my performance on the bike.
Sam assured me that the muscle relaxers are on the WADA banned substances list. Thanks, Sam.
Ordinarily, I’d be heartbroken about getting injured a week before my biggest race of the year. Except I’m no longer sure it’s even the biggest race of the year. The nice thing about doing lots of races is that the more you do, the less important each of them is. I’ve already accomplished more than I thought I would this season, so whatever I do at Lotoja is a bonus. I’m really just using it as a tune-up for ski season. Besides, James Crawford and Tony Anstine are the favorites to win the category anyway.