One week before the Never Summer 100k

I'm focused now on preparing for race day, the 25th of July. I'm working 9-5, but not thinking about work after 5 p.m. I'm not working on any open source projects after hours or any house projects other than gardening, cooking, and cleaning. Instead I'm sleeping in, exercising moderately, organizing my gear, and packing drop bags. Next week I probably will not be responding to any non-emergency emails.

I had a virtual appointment with my doctor on Friday to talk about my allergies and some cold-like symptoms, including an intermittent fever, which developed last week. I recorded an ear temperature of 99.8 °F on Wednesday. The high temperature concerned me because COVID-19 cases are increasing again in Larimer County, and also because the race organizers are going to check temperatures at the event and disqualify racers (and crew) who are hotter than 100.4 °F. I approve of this! But I don't want to get DQ'd if I'm not infectious. My doctor diagnosed me with a sinus infection. I've had a serious sinus infection before, in Winter though, never in Summer, and this is exactly what it felt like. What a relief. I'm taking a five day course of amoxicillin and expect to be free of symptoms before July 25.

My doctor also recommended using Nasacort® (Triamcinolone) to treat acute allergy symptoms which have been interfering with my training since the end of June. I'm using the Kroger brand of this over-the-counter steriod. On July 10, when I was still optimistic that I would eventually stop feeling crappy without any intervention, I joked on Strava about getting a "therapeutic use exemption" (TUE) and some "pro cycling strength" medication to cope with my allergies, and now, here I am. It's not a joke. Triamcinolone is, of course, the steroid which Team Sky is alleged to have been abusing at the Tour de France. Use of triamcinolone by athletes in international competition without a doctor's orders is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). I am going to be squirting it up my nose once a day, only, not injecting it into my butt or leg muscles like cyclists have done to enhance recovery and lose weight.

I feel good right now about the steps the race organizers are taking to make the race safer with respect to COVID-19. Masks are required at aid stations. There will be no self-service food or water, no communal plates or bowls, no use of the warming tent unless you're dropping out. Racers are starting in waves of 10 every five minutes. Parties before and after are cancelled. It's not risk-free, but it's outside on a one-way loop except for the six miles to Clear Lake and back and it won't be hard to keep a safe distance from others out there on the trail. I hope conditions don't change next week, but if they do, I trust the organizers and Jackson County to make the right call.