I signed up for the Cycle Salt Lake Century this morning, committing myself to a 100+mile ride next Saturday. It should be good, my only concern being that "technically" I've not been cleared by my doc to do such an event. I've also not been forbidden. Shouldn't be that big a deal - except, I seem to have irritated things a bit yesterday. The following paragraph will be a little gross, so if you get queasy or just aren't in the mood, skip it.
So, yesterday, I took a shower (not the gross part) after a day of riding (only about 35 miles) and gardening. Hot showers have been wonderful for my sinuses, for the obvious reason that they tend to increase the moisture content of the air that I'm breathing. They also seem to loosen things up a bit. Afterwards, I blew my nose (carefully - I'm still nervous about really blowing my nose much, though it constantly feels like I need to) and out comes a nice wad of, well, what you'd expect to come out. Along with the normal, however, was a nice little blood clot. Truth be told, I was a little disappointed. I've read online about people having enormous clots coming out after septoplasty. Oh well, it's still only been 2 1/2 weeks, I'm probably not done yet. But I digress (and you thought blowing blood clots was going to be the gross part!) Afterwards, I filled a glass of wine and walked out to the front porch where Robyn was sitting reading (the weather here's been amazing, causing me to want to spend as much time outside as possible.) As I stood there, describing the clot I'd just produced, I felt a tickle in my left nostril. Thinking (or rather probably NOT thinking) that this was no big deal, perhaps an errant hair - I reached up, grabbed and pulled. I will not say that this was the worse pain I've ever felt, I still think that the stingray incident in 1988 has it beat, but I was definitely not expecting the RIGHT side of my nose to experience that much pain. Turns out, what I yanked on (and thankfully did not completely pull out) was a stitch, which, when I surveyed the damage in the bathroom mirror, was still hanging 1/4 inch out of my left nostril. Well, that was an unacceptable situation but as I am smart enough to learn from one painful lesson (usually) (well, sometimes), I didn't want to pull again. The only thing I could find to cut it was a full size pair of scissors (awkward). All I can tell you is that holding a stitch taunt with your left index finger and thumb as said stitch protrudes from your nostril while trying to cut ONLY this same stitch with a full size pair of scissors, and trying to do so high enough within your nostril so as to not have the remaining part of the stitch continue to protrude is not easy. Especially when you feel like you just got punched in the nose. Thankfully, I was successful and there was not blood (from neither the scissors nor the yanking of the stitch.) There does seem to be added swelling and soreness today, which if it keeps up will probably prompt me to call the doctor to see what I've done.
That actually wasn't so bad, was it?
In news of the Giro, Christian Vande Velde dropped out today after a crash. Still no word on his situation but I wish him the best. Young Tyler Farrar, also from Garmin-Slipstream, finished the day in 2nd, out sprinted for the 2nd stage in a row by Alessandeo Petacchi (LPR Brakes), and 2nd overall, 8 seconds behind Petacchi in the GC and 10 seconds ahead of 3rd place Michael Rogers (Team Columbia - Highroad). For the record, also 23 seconds ahead of some guy named Armstrong, who's currently sitting in 5th. Not a bad day.
edited to add: Apparently, Christian has two broken ribs and a severe contusion and sprain to his mid-back. Heal fast, CVV! Oh, and Tyler sprinted with a broken rear derailler cable, unable to shift. Showoff.
In other cycling news, Alejandro Valverde was suspended for two years for his alleged involvement in Operation Puerto (if you don't know what that is, I'm not sure many people do anymore, it's been going on so long. It has something to do with some doctor, some blood doping and some cyclists.)
In other doping news, the bumbling Belgian Boonen has stated that he doesn't think he has a problem with cocaine, but rather, with alcohol, which apparently from what he said, he uses too much of about once a year and then either is so shitfaced that he thinks snorting a line of coke a good idea, or is so sodded that others decide it's a good idea to slip cocaine into his drinks for fun. Whatever. Tom, you have a problem and you should take some time to think about it, and try to get some help. It's not easy. It won't be fun. Looks like you'll have all of July to think about it though, at least. I wish you the best of luck. Honestly.