Friday, November 25, 2011

You Can Call Me Joe.

Some days I like recent Bruce as much as I like classic Bruce.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Situation Gets Rough Then I Start To Panic.

Of course, there are also a few convincing reasons why I don't have Chronic Fatigue, the first and foremost of which are that when I don't train for a few days, I'm back to my normal levels of energy. Wikipedia diagnosis only gets you so far, you know.

Chiropractors, however, don't even seem to believe in Chronic Fatigue, which I guess is part of the reason I finally agreed to go see one. Purely by coincdence I ended up working with the mother of another cyclist who had been burdened by mystery illnesses. That mother suggested I go see Dr Vic. So I did. I took the morning off yesterday and drove all the way over to Keilor, only to walk into his office and be confronted by a picture of Brunswick's own Stuey Grimsey, and a bunch of his mates. Seems Dr Vic isn't confined to just the odd cyclist, but rather that he works with Drapac pretty regularly - I was even introduced to him by his receptionist as "He's a cyclist, but not from Drapac." Which kinda twisted the knife, just a little.

He poked and prodded me, I squirmed and giggled, and after half an hour or so he nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders and said, in a brisk, matter-of-fact tone, "It seems like a nervous system problem. It shouldn't be too complicated. We should be able to sort it out pretty easily."

Which, as you could probably imagine, was pretty good to hear.

Now, I'm a pretty cynical individual at the best of times, and I'm not entirely certain that a few adjustments of my spine is going to fix this fatigue problem forever. But I am willing to entertain the idea that it might. And that alone is enough to give me some hope.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This'll Never End This'll Never Ever End This'll Never Stop.

The fatigue has reared its ugly head again. I've got a couple more appointments with specialists lined up. I'm starting to think it's Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which is a fun way of saying Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

If one of these specialists tells me that it is Chronic Fatigue, well, that will be the end of competitive cycling for me. I know that sounds a bit sad and all, but really, I'm not that sad about it. At the moment all I want is a definitive answer. If they tell me that it's something that can be solved with a course of antibiotics and a couple of weeks off work, I'll do that, then get back on the bike. If they tell me I need an operation, I'll do that, then get back on the bike. But if they tell me that it's a debilitating illness from which there is no recovery, well, I'll just have to do something else. That's ok, you know. I've got lots of plans and ideas that I've been holding off on because of cycling, and if I have an illness that forces me out of racing for good, well, I'll just start on them a little earlier.

Like The Boss says, "You get used to anything. Sooner or later it just becomes your life."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This Is A Story You Won't Tell The Kids We'll Never Have.

After so long off cycling, I'm kinda surprised to come back and discover some things haven't changed at all. St Kilda crits, while they seem much safer, smoother, and altogether better than last year, are still riven with teams racing and shenanigans, and - perhaps more importantly - are still really, really hard. That shouldn't be too much of a surprise, I guess. A bigger surprise occurred at the state omnium champs, which I swung by on my way to pick up Casey from work. A year had gone by and I thought that Brent Nelson may have moved on to bigger and better things, but it seems after a lighter year on the bike he's keen to take the smaller steps back to greatness. He did this by winning each event, and doing a 10.8 flying 200. That's freaking fast, especially given he's not a sprinter. So yep, surprised to see that nothing has changed there. And all of a sudden a little more nervous about the State Points Race Championships in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just Like A River.

I got some bad news the other day. My brother is getting married. Which isn't bad news in itself, I guess - his fiancee is pretty rad, and I suppose it's nice for them to have the ceremony and all of that jazz. The bad news was the date. March 11. Labour day long weekend. Or, as I like to think of it, Madison weekend.

Ever since I got sick and realized I probably wouldn't be firing on all cylinders by the Christmas Carnivals, I'd been thinking about the Bendigo Madison. I knew that I wouldn't be able to win the damn thing, but I also knew that every year they invite a bunch of locals and other likely suspects to ride it. And I figured I could be one of those blokes. So I set it as my target and asked my coach to build me up to it.

So perhaps you won't be so incredulous when I tell you I asked my brother to consider changing the date. He said no, telling me to wait til next year (and also suggesting I could probably do with the extra 12 months training, indicating that the competitive spirit that drove us both through our childhood years still exists). I then asked my parents to ask him, but they wouldn't, probably because they realized - a good hour before I did - that I was probably a little out of line.

My old man, however, loves a good metaphor, and asked me if, now that I've been forced to miss the Olympics, I could instead aim for the World Championships. I like metaphors too, so I got to thinking. The Austral is the week after the Madison, but I've never been too stoked on the Austral, so didn't want to consider it. However, if the tradition continues, the last race of the evening will be the Victorian 15k Scratch Race Championships - the race I wrote about here. Given the standard of the folks who turn out for the Austral Carnival I probably won't win it, but this year I'd like to finish in the bunch, and at least give some future Olympians a good run for their money.

So consider me refocused. My brother's nuptials may be a blessing in disguise.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Saw Her Standing On Her Front Lawn.

Last night I couldn't sleep because I had too much energy. This morning I got up and did an ergo session in the end room. Tonight I raced at the track. I'm pretty tired. In fact, I'm really tired. But I'm not fatigued. There's a big difference, and right now that difference means the fucking world to me. I didn't win any races tonight, not a single one. But hot damn I'm feeling good.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pants Of Denim.

I was laying in bed yesterday morning, using a popular online encyclopaedia to come up with new and entertaining theories about why my body continues to let me down, when a text came through from Ollie, asking if I was racing Coburg. Against all better judgement, and the advice of Wikipedia, I said yes. We met up at Bell Street and rolled up Sydney Road to National Boulevard. Half an hour later we were racing, and I was feeling alright. I didn't contest the sprint, but was happy just to have stayed at the front for the whole time.

Things were looking up, so I decided to back up the morning's racing with some track in the afternoon. The first Evening Enduro was starting at 2 (irony!), so I shoveled in some food and headed down to the Harrison Street Velodrome. I wasn't the freshest of daisies, but still managed to bring home some silverware, and - more importantly - team Bundy managed to snare the top two steps on the podium in two out of the three events. That's a solid victory for Columbus Max, Peter Bundy's framebuilding prowess and anti-carbon Luddites everywhere.