Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Deathmarch

Yesterday was fundamentally strange more than anything else. I "pottered and faffed" in the morning, only to be run out of the house by the wife. I jumped on Seafoam and undertook a 50-miler in known regions, but included the nasty little Pendleton climb just for fun.  I felt pretty good for the first 15 or so, up through Iroquois and onto Penile.

By the time I reached the left-hand turn onto Bearcamp I had that "not quite today" feeling. I stopped at the little parking lot in JMF for a brief break and grinded up the Bearcamp acclivity before feeling a little better along the rolling Bearcamp run.



I turned left onto Pendleton and briefly stopped to adjust hat, helmet and glasses for the next half-mile of serious climbing. The gps read sections of 10-19%; I don't think Pendleton is that steep, but sources put its average gradient at 9.9%, so maybe so. I still felt alright coming through there into my stop at the gas station for some sustenance. Mind you, if the wife rolled up here at 30 miles and offered a ride home, I would have taken it. I didn't feel fresh and I'm pretty sure I had just done 30 miles into a slight headwind, maybe even spent a little too much energy, burning too many early matches in the name of "tempo". I ate some crap and drank not enough water and headed out for the return, hopefully with some tailwind to work with.


Shortly, along my early Blevins Gap run, I knew I was in trouble. You know the feeling, the lack of ability to turn the gear., the discomfort in the saddle, hand positions, sore back. "That" kind of day. I stopped at a spot I won't discuss, but one that is calling me for a stealth S24O. The first climb up Blevins went slowly, much more than usual. The second Blevins climb after the turn necessitated a quick stop to stretch the back. That Brook saddle on Seafoam is giving me all sorts of problems. Somewhere in there I walked a couple times, to stretch out and to just walk instead of riding.


By the time I hit the Lamborne bike trail I was officially cooked and uncomfortable. By the time I hit the short climb on Manslick I was searching for gimmicky short cuts through the neighborhood, where I found a nice tree at Kenwood Elementary under which I rested and maybe maybe napped for some minutes. This was 40 miles in, not 80 mind you.

I picked myself up and plodded through Iroquois and Southern Parkway, finally stopping at Dairy Kastle for a swirl cone pick-me-up in lieu of a coffee. I decided to suffer the shorter Audobon cut-through with the walk-able Illinois hill. I walked up Valley Vista a bit too. Cooked.  In a way, my ride continued. Once home I didn't really answer the wife's questions and instead sat on the patio in a kind of haze, probably napping outside in the chair a bit. After showering I think I napped upstairs on the couch as well, all for a straightforward 50-miler. Heat? Humidity? Fitness? Bike choice?

I did it though, and later had a nice meal with the family. The day ended up fun, cotton ball clouds lit by the fading sun.



2 comments:

Pondero said...

I won't pretend to diagnose your situation, but I've started to correlate a few things with my summer success...start well hydrated, focus on fluid intake, and keep the easy digestible calories coming. My Saturday morning rides start with lots of water on Friday.

Adam said...

I had similar problems on my last ride in the heat. I may try some kind of sports drink next time.

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