The Athlete’s Hangover

I wake up, body battered. Lying in bed for an hour trying to get up. Every muscle in my body screams for relief. I roll out of bed and step on a heart rate monitor that is misplaced on the floor. I wonder how it got there. The smell of sweaty clothes fills the room like a waft from the men’s locker room at the gym. My morning urination is much darker than it should be, resembling apple juice. I need to drink more water. My swim goggles and swimsuit are hanging on the shower curtain. I find some of my clothes from the day before in the bathroom and the others in the hallway leading into my bedroom. Every step I take down the stairs feels like needles stabbing my quads. I wonder which workout caused this pain. The blisters on my forefoot are starting to break open. I hope I am not bleeding on the tile. I walk into the kitchen with a case of cotton mouth that feels like the Sahara Dessert. As I pour water into a glass I notice an array of water bottles spread throughout the entire kitchen and living room. Some with remnants of water and others with electrolyte mixes. I wonder which workout each bottle was from and which bottle was mine or my mom’s. I find a tire lever by the stove, an allen wrench on the counter, and a set of new brake pads on the kitchen chair. I grab a bruised banana that resembles the bruises on my body and pull the peel back. I throw the peel in the trash and notice an assortment of candy wrappers and other quick energy supplement wrappers. I wonder how many calories I consumed yesterday. I can’t find my watch. My pedals and saddle bag are missing from my bike. I wonder why I took them off. I have a couple mis-matched cycling kits to choose from. I dig my sweaty, dirty leg warmers and gloves out of the hamper. I grab some energy bars that expired in 2009 and a couple of the bottles from yesterday that are lying around.

This is my hangover from a 3 workout day.

I roll my bike outside to see John Sherwood and my mom waiting for me to go for a 3 hour road ride.

Nothing like a little hair off the dog that bit’chya to set the morning straight.

My mom and I set off on our first ride with John. We head down 2499 to avoid the construction that surrounds our house (they are slowly trying to trap us cyclists in Highland Village). I lead them off onto the sidewalk that winds through the neighborhood to Chinn Chapel. A women walking her dog on the sidewalk caused me to slow down. I give the old roadie hand jester to the riders behind to slow. Then I hear some screeching and a metal to cement sound. I turned just fast enough to watch John sliding Super Man style across the sidewalk onto the grass. The way his arms were trapped under him as he slid made me think he was possibly unconscious. So I gave the infamous “Ohhhh Nooo!”… Luckily he was ok. I was hoping I did not ruin his training ride within the first 5 minutes. He had some great winter cycling gear on that allowed him to slide across the cement like a penguin on ice. Only one minor tear in his tights showed. Those super man and cobra back core exercises kept his head up just long enough to not slam it into the pavement.

We went on to have a great 50 mile ride in the sprinkling rain and wind.

I promise this stuff is not as dangerous as it sounds. Its just that crashes always spark writing stories.

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