This title will resonate with older TV viewers, because it was the tag line of a commercial for some cold medicine that unstuffed your nose so your voice didn’t sound funny. But that’s what I have, though it’s now on the wane, and it’s neither kitschy nor cute nor nostalgic.
In the wake of the frustrations of schedule, injury, and weather that grounded me for much of October, I vowed to myself that November would begin on a different foot. After the CCHA Convention in Forth Worth I’d come home and ride outdoors or pedal inside for at least 14 straight days, beginning Monday, October 31. On “recovery” days I’d do a super-easy indoor spin, but I’d go for long enough to get the cardio exercise requirement fulfilled (20 minutes, though I planned to do 30).
But on the plane flight home from North Texas, the guy next to me had a cold. He was sniffling and coughing the whole trip, with only half-hearted efforts to turn away. Worst of all, according to the conversation he had while boarding with his traveling companions, he wasn’t even supposed to be in that seat. He inadvertently sat there, and when the ticket-holder–one of his friends–came along they just switched off. I tried to keep turned the other way, where Jane was sitting, but it wasn’t enough. By November 1 I had my first symptoms.
Consequently I have only been able to ride outside twice since then, missing a couple of heartbreakingly beautiful riding days, sunny and warmer than average for this time of year. Those days don’t come back to you in autumn, either. Each one is an exception, and can’t be counted on again until late April or May. I’ve also ridden indoors three times, reviewing the 2008 Tour de France, when the Schleck brothers ended riding for the overall victory of teammate Carlos Sastre, a victory they ultimately delivered. Having a youthful Andy Schleck setting tempo on climbs gave Sastre a huge advantage over rival Cadel Evans, whose best support came from one guy, a slightly inconsistent Yaroslav Popovych.
The cold, luckily, has been a quick mover and not too deeply entrenched. It began, of course, with a sore throat, and then migrated into my sinuses. I have medicated aspirin and nose spray, and am now a dedicated Afrin user. I know, it can become addictive, but it really has been working for me for at least the 12-hour max, with shut-down results. I only use one squirt per nostril, and am weaning myself from it now.
So today, I happily proclaim, was my second day in the last three out on my bike. My muscles still need a lot of tuning, though, since instead of being eight-for-eight days on my exercise program, I’m only five-for-eight. Luckily, good weather is supposed to last through the coming weekend.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2011.