Monday, July 20, 2009

18 Hours of pedaling, two near-trips to the DL, a fairly fast non-race, and too many chips at Austin Grill: my last Saturday

This past Saturday was 18 hours of a tipsy roller coaster adventure with a happy beginning and ending. All of what the title of this post implicated actually did happen on what otherwise would have been a regular, run of the mill, summer Saturday for a wannabe weekend athlete. Here goes.

8 am: Start waking up, fully aware of why I decided to postpone my long run until tomorrow, still very tired from getting home at midnight from the Nationals-Cubs game the night before. And from the work week.

8:30 am: Finally wake up, I better eat breakfast and get moving if I want to make my 10:05 am spin class and not be useless during it. Three small bowls of Kashi cereal and I'm good to go.

10:40 am: Class is going well, it felt good to be there especially since I don't get to go as often anymore. I'm doing a pull pedal exercise, where I'm pulling the pedals essentially. Using my hamstrings more than quads. Getting a solid workout in until....Well, you ever get a muscle knot in your leg? Where it feels like your leg is tied in a knot and you can't extend your leg to get rid of it? Instead of getting one when I'm sleeping that goes away in 15-20 seconds or less, I get one in the middle of spin class. Yup, after three years plus of classes, I get injured in one. Near-DL Trip Number One. I practically had to stop to try to get rid of the knot, couldn't do it. Pedaled very lightly to shake it off, which I just barely did. I could still "push" or what you usually do while riding fairly hard. Pulling, forget about it for the rest of this day. I did finish the class but could feel tightness in my leg when I tried to stretch it, or do anything for that matter. This didn't go away until I grabbed lunch. Of course I worked the upper body with some weights before leaving the gym since I felt I had to in order to balance my exercise.

12:15 pm: Moe's. Lunch. Good. Hey, it worked last time I gave blood, this pre-donation meal at Moe's. Fish Homewrecker Burrito. Works. For. Me.

1:31 pm: I arrive slightly late for my 1:30 pm appointment, go through the pricking of the fingertip, at least I think it's called that. It's what they do to draw just enough blood to see if yours can be used. Details are a bit fuzzy, keep readin', I remember the tech saying I had 15 or something points and only needed 12.5 to be able to donate. All right, finish the questionaire and off I go!

1:50 pm: I've donated blood in the past and never experienced anything but slight lightheadedness. I go through the prep, squeeze the handle every 5-10 seconds like the tech/nurse told me to. I'm under control. I've got the daily vitamin supplements back in the apartment to take to help get the recovery going.....

In the next minute, it became obvious that I, Jeffrey Patterson, am the dumbest mofo if Fairfax County, at least for one day. Take your supplements before donating blood, if not first thing in the morning, you ******g dumbass! I start feeling queasy, nauseous, and as light headed as I have left in a long long time. I issue a panic call for some water to try to stave this feeling off until I can get some food/sugar/juice back into my system. Didn't work very well, next was the damp towel on the forehead, another on the throat/neck area. I spend the rest of the time just trying to survive without throwing up or passing out. I hadn't felt this horribly since the infamous food poisoning almost keeping me from making the flight for last Christmas episode.

2 something: Done, I try to sit down while eating some pretzels and drinking either a Welch's grape juice or a water. I can barely do this, so I, feeling just as desparate as before, lay down on the floor. Yup, no shame here, I couldn't sit without feeling like I wanted to collapse and didn't need a concussion from smacking my head of the floor. 15 minutes later, after lots of water, pretzels, and grape juice, I move from the half bed, half chair to where I can stand up and move on my own. I felt better when the Red Cross folks mention that I wasn't the first one they've seen crash on the floor to avoid falling on it with no control whatsoever. Near-trip to DL Number Two avoided. The only real consequence was starting my laundry a lot later than I thought I would. Okay, that's not a consequence. After my supplements and a lot of orange juice, I was back to my normal self.

6:30-8:00: I drive to Rockville with some friends for the Rockville Twilight 8K. This is more of a social thing for us Pacers Fun Runners, especially considering most had gone for their long training run earlier that day. For a few hours, I didn't think I was going to run at all. The paperwork I received at the donation room said no strenuous exercise for 5 hours after giving blood. The race started almost seven hours afterwards so I decided to run it, but not take it at race pace.

8:45-9:45: I run the race, can't keep up with my friend, who I told to go ahead, I'd be fine. Other than wanting a portable facility at each mile (I'll leave it as this: I needed it after less water than I normally would) I was running with no issues. Of course, I wasn't going as fast I would have if I tried to race, which I didn't for obvious reasons. My final chip time was 44:25, under 9 minutes a mile, which was a pleasant surprise. Taking it easy to avoid any complications from earlier, and I still ran a pace that I couldn't run at full speed two years ago! That is something I'm proud of, but am even more proud of being able to follow my instincts and judgment and go out for a fun run.

up until 2 am: Lots of chillin', socializin', and general fun until we decided to try to find somewhere to go for dinner. Austin Grill was still open and serving the late night menu! Woohooo! Guacamole tacos, yeah! Sweet potatoes, yeah! Chips after chips! Yeah, for a while! Tortilla chips, especially ones that good, are my worst food weakness. Something really hit home: I'm 50 pounds lighter than I was on 01/01/08. That total would be 55-60 if it wasn't for tortilla chips. Keep the chips away from me, I need to eat my real meal! After the meal we all headed home, I finally made it to sleep at 2 am, which for an old, tired dude like me, is pretty damn late, even on a weekend. Sunday I woke up at 11:10 am, the latest I had woken up in almost a decade not counting ridiculous hangovers. And my food poisoning from last year that extended into Christmas Eve.

That was 18 wild hours! This Saturday is just a mere long run and volunteering at the Crystal City Twilighter 5K. Not too much, not as much of a late night. Oh wait, there isn't an Austin Grill in Crystal City, is there?

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