Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I Know Why the Nettle Stings

I don't, actually.

Know why it stings, I mean.

But I DO know that it DOES sting. Or at least I know that whatever I grabbed ahold of in Discovery Park to fix my bike stings, because my fingers are still "buzzing" with that "needle-y" kind of pain.

Should I cut an X in my skin and try to suck out the poison?

Wait, before I leap to any incisions, let me back up... two days ago I decided to run some stairs, followed by sprints. My hips felt pretty tight, and I could tell that it was affecting my ROM (and thus tugging on my lumbar spine), but for the most part they went ok. About 4-5 hours a later, however, I noticed that my left knee was bothering me. In fact, most movements became a little uncomfortable. That same discomfort was present today, so rather than going for a run (I don't think I could have done it even if I had wanted to), I decided to take my bike out for a ride. Keep in mind that this is a 13 year old bike. Not in the best of shape. I've taken it to the gym and back, and around the neighborhood a bit, but that's about it. Today I decided I was going to ride out to Discovery Park.

The trip out there was pleasant and rather uneventful. However, on my way back up the hill in the park I noticed a scraping sound. At first I thought that my little foot clips were on the bottom side of the pedal (instead of my foot being in them), but I quickly noticed that they were no longer securely attached and were dragging on the street every time I pedaled around. Trying to be as creative as possible I started looking for things to stick through the holes so that it would stay attached to the pedal. The little twig worked momentarily but in very short time the clip popped off again. That's when I decided to find something to tie in through the hole.

You would think, with all the strong, fibrous plants out there, that it wouldn't have taken long to find something with enough strength to hold the clip to the pedal. You would also think that I would have noticed that the first thing I picked up had thorns on it. On the contrary.

It's hard to say whether it was that, or the next couple of things I plucked from the ground that really did the damage. My eyes were looking for something strong enough to hold a knot and I wasn't really paying attention to anything else. Not that I would have known what it looked like anyway. All I know for sure is that right now, as I type, my index and middle fingers on my left hand are throbbing in a pin-prick-ness kind of way.

Moreover, not only did I not find a plant with the required tensile strength, I also seemed to become fully aware at how muggy and buggy it was right there where I stopped. Irritation mounting, I took the clip completely off the pedal and tied it on to my crossbar. THEN, with that issue temporarily resolved, I got to resume my climb up that big a$$ hill. Ugh.

What is it with cycling, anyway? It's not that I didn't work hard on my ride. I kept up a decent pace, and I pushed it hard on climbs, and I was huffing and puffing intermittantly...but when it was all said and done, I didn't feel very taxed. Certainly not like I do after a run.

I guess a heart rate monitor is my only solution. Need to see exactly what's going on. The feedback will be useful because I have a couple of clients who cycle quite a bit and are disappointed that they aren't losing that much weight. Hmmmmm...

Two sidenotes: One, I have to give a deposition on Thursday. I've been called as a witness in a trial. I wasn't all that stressed about it, but the lawyer I talked to is making me watch a tape on depositions. He wants me to see all of the "tricks" they're going to use. Tricks? Great. Secondly, when I went in to the aforementioned lawyer's office on Friday afternoon I realized, once again, how SOOOO happy I am to not be working in that kind of business environment anymore. Those veal-fattening pens and flourescent lighting and re-circulated stale air posing as air conditioning. Ick.