If your friend offers to go out on a bike ride with you on a hot 110* day, do me a favor and just ‘say no!’
Of course with JT out of town (doing something silly, Like ROCKING his first Ironman!), I was left to myself to figure out how I could torture myself.
My first thought was to ride the Pumpkinman course. But that didn’t seem evil enough, so I had to add something more, how about riding the long way it, that would give me close to 50 miles for the day.
Good start! But still not EVIL enough.
How about doing the whole ride with a bare minimum of nutrition?
BINGO! We have a winner. If you’re going to suffer, might as well s.u.f.f.e.r., right??!
Admittedly, I have a problem with time. For some reason, I can never remember to add ‘travel’ time onto anything! I cannot WAIT until teleportation is here.
So, when I decided to leave the house at 6:00 and the mini-tri starts at 7:00 and it takes me 1:30 to get to there, I should have realized that I have a problem.
The first 22 went without a problem; I flew down the trail until it merged with Lake Mead, and got to the site just as the racers were coming out of the swim and onto the bike. I stuck around and cheered everyone on and after about an hour of standing around and cheering everyone on, I realized that ‘huh, it’s getting hot! I should really finish this ride).
Now it’s a beautiful 8:30 and the mercury is climbing, I’m climbing, and my internal temperature gauge is climbing, the only the going down is my energy level.
I had forgotten how much I luv the hills at Pumpkinman. When my HR was pegged at 180 and my speed was pegged at 5.0 mph, I knew that I arrived!
Still some of the hardest hills ever, but damn! That’s good training.
Everything was going great until mile ~35 and my right adductor seized up!
OUCH! That crap hurts! Nothing I did made it go away, I straightened it, I shook it, I punched it, I did everything short of get off the bike ( I know that I ‘should have done that’ but I was afraid that if I did that would be IT). Finally, in the end I just decided to power through it.
And you know what? It worked, every down stroke tightened it up but it got better and better until it went away!
I quickly smashed some shot blocks into me in vain hopes that it would keep the cramps away. And it seemed to have been the answer
Until the left adductor hit! UGH! Same pain, so appeasement and finally the same solution.
Finally at 40 miles, my right leg seized again. I'm DONE!
Problem: I still had to get home.
Here I was about 1.5 miles from home and I didn’t know if I could make it. I didn’t want to get off and walk the bike home and it seemed STUPID to call the Mrs. to get me.
In the end I negotiated.
“OK, leg, that’s it. You win. We’ll go home. But I have to pedal to get there. I promise no tricks; no extra distances; just straight home. “
“In a minute, I’m going to put my foot on the pedal, and I’m going to pedal home.”
“Does that sound ok to you? I need you to cooperate with me. We HAVE to pedal to get home”.
Here, I am negotiating with my leg in the middle of the street.
Great! I’m the crazy guy who talks to himself
But you know what? It worked. I lived up to my promise and rode straight home.
After a nap, some food and lots of salt, I finally went out again later that evening to finish the 50.
Lesson learned: bring Salt and Gatorade when it’s 100+. Water and gels are not enough!
On a side note:
BIG CONGRATS to all the CDA finishers. Especially:
JT who finished his first Ironman, looking strong and smiling at the end.
Dave Carlson, who finished his 2nd Ironman in damn good time (not bad for an ‘old man’)
Baboo who smoked the course and finished with a 2 hr PR!