July 30, 2008

I HAD to Ask...

The title of my last post was "What Next?"

Epididymitis. That's what's next.

It is an inflammation of the epididymis. As in testicle parts. And my right one is even larger than normal. And it hurts. For guys, it's a lot like blue balls that won't go away. So I feel like I'm back in high school, except now all the time instead of only after a date.

I noticed the first signs on Saturday. I woke up with a sore lower back, but figured I had slept wrong. Sunday was the same, with some tenderness in the nether-regions. Nothing major. Went for a good mountain bike ride even. But by Sunday night I was in heck (not quite hell), walking all bow-legged, wanting to puke and running a fever.

It felt like my Ali was using my nut as a speed bag, on a really hot day.

I noticed the swelling Monday and even with my minimal math skill put the symptoms together and went to the doctor to find out what the hell. Not that I go to the doctor often, but when mysterious stuff is happening with your junk, you bloody-well go to the damn doctor.

The doc was very tender with the boys, and didn't mind when he hit the tender parts and my toes curled enough to buckle the tile floor. I am still thankful he saved the prostrate check for another day. Maybe after dinner and a couple of glasses of that fruity wine the ladies like so much. I was happy to hear there was nothing serious like cancer or torsion to be concerned with.

SO! I am on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for the next few weeks. The swelling is going down but there will be no training until the weekend. Maybe I needed a break anyway.

How did it happen? I have not a clue. Certainly not by any of the sexually deviant methods outlined on webmd, but reading it made me feel like a bit of a perv. A simple urinary tract infection . . .

Just lucky I guess.

July 25, 2008

What Next?

This is turning out to be a banner summer for physical issues, folks.

I have swimmer's ear in my left ear. This is bad. There are few things worse than swimmer's ear. I am fighting it but don't feel like I am winning. Aside from the pain and discomfort, it messes with my swimming.

Riding yesterday, I was halfway through a 5x5 strength interval when I had a wasp enter a vent in my helmet. I stuck my finger in the vent and grabbed it before it could sting my head, but it got my birdie finger.

There is a cloud of obsenity over east Layton and the Great Salt Lake still. And I'm sure that somewhere a baby cried.

My finger is still fat.

At least it doesn't affect my swimming.

XTERRA is coming fast. I still haven't decided to register or not. I know I should, and try and kick that swim demon I have. Still, I need to make sure I avoid failure this time.

Ear be damned. I need to get into the lake this weekend. VanGogh painted with one, I can swim with an ouchie in one.

July 20, 2008


It is Sunday afternoon and I have to say that I am worked. Physically I am a broken man. Worked-ed.

It started on Thursday with an innocent road ride up the Morgan Valley to an old church. Coming back it devolved into a fight for survival against a headwind. I am not a big guy, so headwinds hurt my widdle wegs.

Friday I got more of the same with a 4 mile trail run. Unfortunately it was hot and I spent most of my effort digesting a steak from my company party. A steak and not 1 but 2, count 'em 2 eclairs.

Saturday I met some friends and faced off with my old nemesis - Pineview Reservoir. After my initial freak-out, I mellowed into a long, solid stroke - keeping the bank within reach and the bottom in sight mind you - and swam to and from the dam. Coming back was into a good current. Then, with my confidence brimming the top of one of those little cups you get at the dentist when you spit in the basin, we did it again, only I stayed out from the bank this time and couldn't see bottom. This, dear friends, is huge for me. Another triathlon could still be in my future. Swimming was followed up by a 6.25 mile trail run from the truck up Wheeler Creek to Maples and down Ice Box. Lots of uphill.

Lastly, today I hit one of my favorite mountain bike loops. North Ogden Divide down to Pineview up Skyline and back into the divide. About 2 hours of getting my ass handed to me by a new guy (I knew I would, I fear anyone who rides a new hardtail), soild climbing, some flat road and about 45 minutes of great descending.

Overall the last 4 days have been awesome. But I need a break. Or at least a recovery ride. Or a beer. A beer would be good. I'm gonna go have a beer right now.

And then I am putting up chair rail the "rest" of today.

July 17, 2008

Ear We Go!

Of all the shit luck, I have an ear infection.

I don't get ear infections.

So what the F*&#?

Speaking of "what the F*&#," what the F*&#? is it with these idiots in the Tour de France? Three doping positives, with one being a rising star, Ricardo Ricco. I'll just say he seems like a little a-hole anyway and this comes as no surprise. Still, the fact that guys are being nailed, then they do a room search on one and find a pharmacy (amoxicillin to share please?) is very telling. I have been a firm believer in Floyd Landis, but with every positive my faith dims a little.

Sorry, I know neither of my loyal readers gives a warm-water enema about cycling, but it's the only sport I really follow. And I'm a guy and guys need sports, even if the players wear gaudy lycra suits.

Yeah, ear infection, I have never had an ear infection in my limited memory. This is making me nuts. It's frigging July, not exactly ear infection season. I can't decide whether to ride tonight or head to the infirmary to make sure my brain isn't trying to escape through my eustation tube. Still swimming, but wearing earplugs to minimize water entry which is probably a good idea anyway.

On the bright side, Smarty Pants is making headway in potty training. She is getting to where she'll hold it, but doesn't always like to go, so it's a weird thing to have to deal with. But we are headed in the right direction. That direction being the elimination of diapers, specifically smelly one that I need to handle, with my hands.

July 15, 2008


Wow. I have been busy lately. I'm still finding a little time to train and keep up with things around the house, but work has gotten way busy and deadlines are starting to loom and cast a pallor on my other wise sunshiney-ass day.

I wish I could say I've had fun and exciting things happen lately, but I'm married so the best thing lately has been Wifey's new game she likes to play. Yeah, it's called Count Duckboy's Gray Hairs. "Oooohhhh, one, two three (starts to whisper-count). Wow, you have a lot of gray hairs in your sideburns, you are getting old! Oh my, look at your beard!" (More whisper-counting.)

I never knew she was so observant.

I never really cared much about shaving. I do now. My head could be next. Is 34 that old???

On the brighter side, I actually made it on a ride the other day. With an actual neighbor.

For the two, maybe three people that read this stuff you might remember the post about neighbors. I actually rode with the guy. It was fun and no deaths to be reported. He did well for it being his first trail ride of the year and kept all his skin intact. I, however, did a slow-speed fall over and jacked-up my thum-bee, and took a chip out of my carbon seatpost. So now I'll be riding in fear of it splintering and sending shards into my nether regions. Of course, this would occur at the furthest possible point from rescue.

Time to buy a new bike. I wish.

July 9, 2008

Only I

Only I can take a 5 minute sprinkler fix and turn it into an hour ordeal. Only I can install a short riser, break it, end up digging up the lawn, cutting the line with the shovel, and fixing it, only to think I have a leak now. Only I will have to go home and check for leaks, turning the hour ordeal into an even longer ordeal.

I hate lawns and landscaping. I swear if Wifey would allow I'd have a condo. No more grass. No more weeds. No more stress about having the shittiest looking lawn in the cul-de-sac. Just more time to ride bikes, run and swim. Maybe even work on bikes and motorcycles. Or wash my truck. Or my motorcycle.

Speaking of swimming, people that make it look effortless baffle me. There's a dude at the pool that is in his 40s and is obviously a "swim champ." (Quoting Bolder.) Guy just strokes away and makes it look incredibly easy passing me and passing me some more. And I just flail and struggle. It sort of sucks and I constantly have to remind myself that the amount of time I have spent actually able to swim comfortably is a drop in the pool compared to most people I see at 5:30 am. Really, I've only been comfortable in the pool since last June, and basically took October-June off.

Honestly, how much can I expect from myself? I guess I just hate to be less than even marginal. Only one thing to do, swim more! I have to do at least one triathlon this year and the swim must be successful. I don't think I can handle another winter living with failure.

July 7, 2008

Happy Birthday

After a great holiday weekend spent golfing, swimming (mild panic ensued) and recovering from disease, I'm back up to about 80%. Still feeling nasally but the sore throat is mostly gone except for the mornings.

Smarty Pants had a rough night last night, which pretty much means I had a rough night also. No pool this morning was the result. But now that I am feeling better, I'm going to jump on the training again this week.

My sister would be 41 years old today had liver cancer not taken her from us. For birthdays, we used to look for cards that were pretty tasteless. I still give her one every year. This is the third birthday without her, and contrary to what people say, it doesn't get any easier.

Happy Birthday Sis.

July 2, 2008


Somebody decided it was time to turn nature's thermostat up.

It's hot here in Northern Utah. With the heat come the bugs. I have a mild allergy to mosquitos, meaning if one nails me I don't just get a little bump, instead I get a large welt and do my best to not itch until I bleed.

My lawn also appears to have an allergy to bugs. Specifically the eat the grass at the dirt line bugs. It looks like hell! I thought the grass was just in shock from the sudden heat, but turns out I was just in denial (the mindset, not the river) and the grubs made a snack of it. My neighbors hate me. Probably for reasons other than the lawn though.

My final buggy battle is with illness. That's right, the Duckboy household is sick. Wifey and Smarty Pants have been battling the snotty hacks for the last two weeks. Smarty seems to be kicking it finally, while wifey is still hanging on to hers. I think secretly she enjoys waking me up at night with her booming cough, which is why I sneak down to the couch.

But now I have it, too.

You would think that being a little bit healthier than the average mouth-breather that I could avoid most of these illnesses. Nope. It's worse actually for healthy people. Most people get sick like this:

1) Wake up one morning and feel like shit.
2) Feel terrible for a few days.
3) Get better. Total sick time: about 10 days.

This is how I get sick:

1) Feel great, but...
2) Feel a little off the next couple of days.
3) Feel a little more off for a couple more days.
4) Fianlly realize something is wrong. Hope it doesn't take. Feel like this for a couple of days.
5) Get frigging way-layed with disease. My immune system was nothing more than a little Alamo fighting a losing battle. Coincidentally, it takes about the same amount of time for my immune system to fall as the Alamo.
6) Disease COMPLETELY takes over for two more weeks. Raids the fridge, grabs Wifey's butt, drinks beer all day and lays around.
7) Disease finally drinks all the beer in the house, gets bored, pukes on the floor and leaves.
8) Rebuild immune system.
9) Slow and arduous recovery.
10) Get better. Total sick days: 25 - 30

We are off to Bear Lake for some recreatin'. I'll be leaving the bikes home and taking my wetsuit (low 60s water temps - brrrr) to see how bad I can scare the jeebers out of myself in the water, last year I did a pretty bangin' job of it. I'll toss in the running shoes also. And the golf clubs. Should be fun for all involved. I can't wait to get Smarty into the pool again.

Have a great 4th holiday. Try not to burn or blow your faces or appendages off.