So, for me the off season has come and I am focusing on getting completely healthy before I start what I think will be the best year of my triathlon career. Next year brings the Quelle Roth Challenge where I fully intend on tucking under the 9 hour mark. It is not going to be easy by any stretch, but I am going to give it everything I’ve got.
I just returned from China last week. Each time I go I jump in with both feet and do my best to absorb as much of the local culture as possible. As food is such a big part of the culture I seem to always end up eating very bizarre things. This time around, the week started out relatively tame with the most peculiar items being pig stomach, esophagus, and the ever popular boney fish (more bones than fish, why bother?). Nothing to really write home about there. It wasn’t until my second to last day, when I was in the small town of Laiwu visiting a very nice casting factory that I was presented with something I felt was truly unusual. Scorpions.
This got me excited. I like giving my taste buds a challenge and this looked like it would do just that. After some instruction on eating technique (basically, don’t eat the sharp stinger at the end of the tail), I dug in. Surprisingly, they actually tasted pretty good. I would describe the taste as overcooked bacon, and the texture almost like a crispy pretzel. I must have eaten around 7 of them before deciding that it was enough. One of the factory employees explained that scorpions are thought to be a form of Chinese medicine and that they promote health and strength. Maybe this was just what I would need to crack 9 hours in Roth!
The rest of the day was pretty standard. The evening however was not. Once we arrived back at our hotel I began to feel hot and achy. The kind of precursor you have just before coming down with the flu. I went to the bar and had a beer hoping that it would take the edge off. It didn’t. I went back to my room to sleep it off. 30 minutes after hitting the pillow I was shaking violently, sweating, and hallucinating. Every medicine has its side effects. I wished scorpions came with a warning label!