Today, however, I registered 410 on the first puff. This time, the nurse urged me to try a few more times to ensure it was a correct reading. Since my normal is in the low 300s, a 400 reading may lead to registering too low for shots the next time around. "If they ask, tell them you were having a good lung day," she said.
A good lung day. Why can't all the days be good lung days? Who knows whether this good lung day was a result of my allergy shot vacation, or something else entirely. (I've been having an interesting discussion with a blog reader about a chronic condition caused by c. pneumoniae.) Either way, my lung capacity is fairly low most of the time, and that may just be the way it is. It effectively means I'm out of shape, except for my muscles and joints are strong. So I can pedal or walk all day and not become tired, but ask me to pedal or run *relatively* fast, and I'll falter immediately.
The aspects of endurance racing I've always loved are the mastery of mind over matter, and the beautiful intensity one can experience when challenging the impossible. I suppose that hasn't changed. I remind myself that I can still do my best, still experience all the awe and wonder, and still have a great adventure — without fixating on the end result. I can muddle around in the snowy woods, listen to ice crystals chime in sub-zero air, take a nap under the stars, walk my bike for a while if I make it all the way to Sunday when 8-12 inches of snow is predicted — and if that's not enough to finish the race, well, I'll walk my bike to the highway and spin happily back to Island Park. I'm going to do the best I can, as slow as that may be. I'm not going to try to force it, like I did last year — with disastrous results.
So, I'm filled with dread, but excited as well. The Fat Pursuit starts Friday evening and will have live tracking here: http://trackleaders.com/fatpursuit17
At times like these, I'm reminded of scenes from the TV show "Arrested Development."