The 53 Mile Itch

Jul 7, 2014 | My Iron Year, Training Daze

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Lynne Tapper

I am a lifelong endurance athlete with the dual goal of training and racing until my bones turn to dust and sharing that passion with as many people as possible.

Last Thursday I met some friends to ride for 3:30 hours.  We started at 6:00 a.m. and It was a glorious ride. I spent most of the ride in my small ring on the front and keeping my cadence close to 90 rpms. The theory is that this will give my legs a bit of a rest as I would prepare for the marathon run.  It worked out great. I fueled well, hydrated properly, and didn’t have the heavy leg feeling that often follows a long ride (and then a short run).

I truly wish that was the end of the blog post.  But…alas, it is not.

As an endurance athlete, I spend a lot of time swimming, biking and running.  During these activities, there are many times when I need to pee (or worse, as I mentioned in my previous post).  For the most part, I am able to relieve myself in the water…sorry…but it’s true or I come across a port-o-potty, a Dunkin Donuts or most often…the woods.

On this ride, we were about 10 miles from home. And while I didn’t want to take a pee break, I knew it wouldn’t be comfortable for the next 10 miles.  So, I signaled my cycling buddies and pulled over to pee. Laurie held my bike and said, “Be careful, don’t get poison ivy!”  Deb said, “Leaves of 3, let it be!”  We all had a nice joke about it.  I even said out loud, while squatting, “Boy, that would really suck to get poison ivy on your butt.” I should have kept that thought to myself!

I totally jinxed myself! That night, as I was lying on the couch watching TV, I felt myself itching a little on my lower back, upper buttocks.

Shit!  I got poison ivy!  I will spare you any photos!

It’s not as bad as it may sound. I used some Technu and Cortizone cream and was able to start it from spreading…thank GOD!

After a few days, I went to the Urgent Care clinic to make sure it wasn’t anything worse.  The doctor did mention shingles, but since I wasn’t in any serious pain, I think I dodged that bullet!  So, now I’m on Prednisone and some steroid cream.

Being on Prednisone does have one upside.  You get a little “manic” in your behavior.  This might explain why I spent 4 hours cleaning and purging my bedroom clothes closet on Sunday afternoon.

Of all the things that could happen to me 6 weeks from race weekend, I’ll take poison ivy.

I won’t mention all the others things that could happen…for fear of jinxing myself again!

As my swim coach said to me today, “Maybe we should surround you in bubble wrap until race weekend.”

Not a bad idea…but it might be a bit hot on some of these humid days.


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