Back On Track

Distance: 38.5 mi.

Time: 1:59:40

Avg. speed: 19.2 mph

Weather: 76-88º, humidity 87-66%, wind SW7, sunny

Song stuck in head: Party Out of Bounds - The B52's

August mileage total: 99 miles

So, what is the sensible thing to do if your quads are a little achy the day after doing your first feeble attempt at running after a very long (years) lapse? That's right: intervals!

Monday, I rode out to Sudbury Road (about 6 miles) and did 10 sets of 30 second max-effort sprints with about 90 seconds rest in between and then pedaled home. The whole workout took about an our and I logged about 20 miles total. I was able to hit 28-30 mph during each sprint.

Well, by Monday afternoon, my thighs were really upset with what I had done.

And yesterday - a planned rest day - they were in full rebellion. I made sure I batched together all the things I had to do upstairs in our house so that I would not have to go down them very often, as that was when the pain was most intense. By day's end, it seemed like they were doing much better but the quads got a good layer of Tiger balm applied at bedtime.

Meanwhile, I snapped up some new cleats at Belmont Wheelworks (the ones I ordered at Landry's haven't come in yet) to see if that would cure the new noises coming from my bike's drivetrain.

I set out for today's ride hoping that I was recovered from the "pain cave" I was living in earlier this week because I wanted to get some climbing in. I started things off with the Sudbury loop (map at end of post) and got to the foot of the Stow Road climb in about 45 minutes and feeling pretty good - but this first big climb would be the test.

I made it up in 5' 51", second best time ever. On top of that, I made the point of staying seated the whole way up and spinning HARD and fast ( >100 rpm) during the steep parts which worked very well.

I had the same experience going up the stepped climb of Prospect HIll, going up Rte. 111 back into downtown Harvard and up Taylor Street going back in to Acton. But Oak Hill Road coming out of Havard Center was different, as usual. I got up the first ramp without issue but that second part always slows me alt the way down to 7 mph. But I stayed in my seat and gut it out all the way up.

The rest of the ride was uneventful and I felt great the whole way.


Forgot to mention: I was walking through the grass in bare feet on Sunday and stepped on a bee, which paid me for my insolence by depositing it's stinger in that thinnest of skin at the base of the "little piggy that had roast beef" (medical llustration here). I haven't been stung by a bee since I was a kid and was blissfully ignorant of the "second sting" risk to people who are allergic - I'm pretty sure I've been stung more than once.

Anyways, I dropped to the ground because the pain was exquisitely intense, running from the site of the sting all the way up to my ankle. I got the stinger out and made sure there was nothing left in the wound. A little antibiotic ointment on the spot and I figured I was done.

Later that day the itching began, so much so, that it felt like poison ivy. When I got a look at my toe, it was pretty swollen and red as well as an area of my foot about 1.5 inches up from the base of the toe. The wound itself looked fine. It probably didn't help that I did that run after I got stung: the impact of my foot on pavement probably helped spread the venom around. I took some Benadryl as a precaution.

Yesterday, I was Googling about bee stings and seeing horrible combinations of words like "progressive necrotizing fasciitis". I figured if my toe was necrotizing, it would smell a bit worse that it usually does and be a different color than pink.

As of last night, it was still itchy, red and swollen - I was ordered by SWMBO to call the doctor if it wasn't better by this a.m. I took another Benadryl before bed so I wouldn't itch it in my sleep.

I'm happy to report that today, about 50% of the redness has gone and it no longer itches.

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