Somewhere in the middle of my second lap I started to feel woozy (which at first I didn't realize was from that goddamn stinging insect.) I made a few mistakes on the technical stuff, but I never went down. I had to walk a climb here and there because of poor judgement, but I chalked it up to "racing." Meanwhile, the stinging pain on my stomach was getting worse, and that whole area was going numb. The legs felt good though, and shit, I was looking good too.
Photo cred: Ositoking Racing
And yeah, my attire was quite comfortable. I was in Florida, after all.
When I passed through the start/finish line again, I decided to take a quick break. I grabbed something to eat, and looked in my truck to put something on my insect sting/bite. I found nothing, so I hopped back on my bike and headed out for another lap. I figured that I would start feeling better soon but that wasn't the case. I kept making little mistakes on the easy sections of trail, so I slowed down to see if maybe it was a speed thing. I looked at my heart rate and it was sky high even though my effort was minimal. I decided to keep my slower pace and see if it got better.
I was still looking good though:
When I got back in the tech stuff again, I didn't have the coordination to navigate any of it. I hopped off of my bike to walk some stuff and at one point I decided to just stand on the side of the trail to see if I could recover. I looked down at my hands and they were shaking like crazy.
"What the hell is happening?" I thought to myself.
I eventually got back on the bike and started pedaling. The rest of the lap was a big blur until I hit the start/finish line again. I remember it quite well because a guy standing there said I have to fix my number plate. I told him there was nothing wrong with it. I also might have told him to fuck off. Sorry not sorry.
This time, I was definitely taking a break. I had a brief conversation with The Gentle Ginger (which I barely remember, sorry Tim) and then I walked over to my truck. I sat down and texted the little lady to give her an update and to tell her about the stinging insect. She told me to take a Benadryl. She knows her shit, so I found some in my truck and took them.
As I sat in the seat of my truck with my heart still racing, I looked out of the window...
Those shitters were the last thing I saw, because I dozed off.
This has never happened to me before. I've been bit/stung by all kinds of critters down there in Florida and it's never had an effect on me. Also, any time I've ever taken allergy stuff it has never made me go to sleep. But in this case an insect ruined my day, and a couple of silly little pills put me out. I woke up about an hour and a half later, not sure why I was sitting in the front seat of my truck.
Once I figured it out, it was at that point I called off my race. I could barely move and was still groggy. I wasn't even mad about it though. I got in a decent amount of riding, and with plenty of hours left in the day I could still join my friends that were done racing (or didn't race) in the finest heckle spot in the South.
I grabbed a beer (for when I would feel like drinking it) and wandered over to see the Jax crew in the trailer park. My man Joe was already making incredible progress with his Wizard Staff.
I plopped down in my chair and waited to feel good again. Once the sun started to go down I was getting back to "normal." I cracked my first beer of the day and joined in on the heckle-fest.
That gets its own post.