5 July, 2010

The Worst Ride

Category: Biking,Exercise — Moose @ 10:57 pm

This past Saturday I had a 100 mile bike ride that can best described with two phrases:

1. It was absolutely the most unpleasant bike ride I have ever done, bar none;
2. It was a great learning experience.

What I learned was basically that I have to get a lot better nutrition before a long ride in the heat, and I have to ensure I drink a lot more water & sports drinks. I managed to get dehydrated (though I didn’t realize it) in the first hour as I dodged runners out for their marathon training runs. I was drinking like I was out on an olympic tri, and that wasn’t good enough. I don’t think I had enough breakfast before I left the house, nor had I taken in enough water before I left home, either. All of this snowballed, and despite taking in several bottles worth of water at the turn around point, the damage had been done. The way back was full of muscle cramps, at least once I had to stop while pedaling because my right calf had completely seized up.

I also didn’t bring enough nutrition, I should’ve been eating more, and taking some more electrolytes in. Around the 5th hour in I ended up stopping off at a McDonald’s to grab some food because I knew I wasn’t going to have enough in me to make it back without food. The meal did help, though I still had some cramping in the remaining time back. Once back I sucked down water and sports drink like there was no tomorrow to rehydrate my poor, abused body. Took a good 24 hours to feel like I’d fully gotten myself back to normal, especially with the record heat we’re having here in DC this week.

This was actually a good wake up call both for Total 200 in two weeks and for IM Louisville in two months. Both are going to involve more heat, so I’m going to need to adapt, and to learn to drink more and take in more nutrition. So, I’m going to do it all again on Saturday. Same route, improved nutrition and hydration. If nothing else I need to prove I can do this without completely melting down, since I’m supposed to do twice that distance in two weeks, and I have to be able to run after doing 112, so I’ve got to find what my body needs to make it happen. And the sooner the better.

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