June 7th & 8th
Was very nice to get a shower, wash some clothes and sleep in a real bed with air condition comfort last night. My night was not without its moments though.
I had a dream that shook me up a bit. This very rare occurrence had me sitting up for several minutes up with the light on to clear my mind, while I was up I felt a slight discomfort in my right lower abdomen. Great! I thought. Is this something to be concerned with? Or is it just gas? Well, figured I’m either going to bust my appendix or a fart.
Woke in the morning to the feeling of nausea again. This is starting to get a bit frustrating and not quite sure what has brought this on, but I have my suspicions. Going down to the hotel breakfast was merely a; ‘I know I need to eat, but I really don’t want to’. After forcing down some food choices I figured would not upset my stomach any further, I went back to the room. Eager to hit the road I thought instead that my best bet was to simply stay put for a moment and let this feeling pass.
Taking time to ‘wait it out’ worked only marginally, and I was anxious to get back on the route, so on the bike it was. The nausea did eventually disappear after a few miles of peddling.
The weather forecast yesterday showed rain for the next several days from a system that had flooded areas of Arkansas and other parts of the south. The forecast was spot on and I didn’t have a moment of riding that wasn’t in the rain. Considering the weather could be 90+ with high humidity, I was quite OK peddling in my full rain gear.
With just a few miles remaining before reaching my potential stopping point for the night, thunder was quickly threatening my position. Coming up on some type of commercial building just off the road, I pulled in to utilize their front porch for a moment or two. Turned out the building was a type of banquet hall and they were setting up for wedding reception taking place tomorrow. The people there to set up seem perplexed by my presence, but not curious enough to talk to me…. Awkward.
With the thunder passed, it was time to make the remaining miles to where I would rest my head for the night. Had a couple churches on my radar, hoping one will have pavilion I can utilize for my tent and gear.
My luck, no pavilion at either church so I set up as close to the building as I could for a bit of shelter from the impending weather. Also try to remain out of sight of passing cars. Being alone, I sleep a little better being out of sight just to avoid any hassle from any potential trouble makers. Keeping the pepper/bear spray in my tent with me at night helps me sleep better too.
Was absolutely bombarded with storms last night. My little tent struggled to keep me and everything in it dry. Did my absolute best to keep my sleeping bag off the tent floor which was more representative of a pond. Once the big storms passed I was able to fall asleep.
Up and ready to go at first light, I took inventory of what was still dry, and that did not go very well. Things that started the night out dry, like my shoes for instance, no longer were. Despite being able to keep those shoes fairly dry yesterday, with shoe covers, they are completely soaked this morning. Have no idea how that happened considering where I kept them.
The sleeping bag and the shirt I wore yesterday is about the only thing that escaped a soaking last night.
Putting things away, my unwelcome friend nausea is back. This is something I’ve only made a couple mentions of in this blog but it’s been something bothering everyday after the first couple days. Unfortunately, it’s getting more intense and lasting longer.
With everything all packed away it’s that time again to force down some breakfast that I really would rather pass on. Unfortunately other issues accompany this ‘nausea’ so its really starting to concern me. Is this what’s going to take me off the route? Made a call to my girlfriend Julie after breakfast to share my frustration. Love how that woman knows the right things to say to ‘talk me off the ledge’.
For the last several days I never have an appetite. I stop to eat only because I know I need the energy. Food hardly ever goes down easy.
I’m frustrated and grasping for solutions.
Only 16 miles into todays ride I’m struggling with a choice of stopping early and taking a day off or pressing on. I desperately want to press on. To say I’ve become a bucket of emotions from this is an understatement.
With some well much appreciated advice of friends, family and a mom who has consulted the family medical professionals (and is concerned it could be something worse), I made the hard call to sit idle for the day.
When this first started happening to me, I marked it as ‘eating foods I’m not used to’. For the previous 2.5 years I’ve been on a custom diet, which has served me very well, giving me plenty of energy throughout a day and also allowed me to push hard at the gym daily. Here on the trail, my diet has been 100% altered from what my body has been accustomed to. I have to eat what’s available.
Figured I would acclimate to my new food choices in just a couple of days, but my body seems to be fighting the change with even more vigor as the days pass.
As I sit here, in yet another hotel room, spending money from my very tight budget I didn’t intend, I’m very concerned about my future on this route.
Have been praying the whole way for various reasons, mostly for people in my life. This issue however has me talking to God a lot.