Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday morning Bonk

How many times do I have to go though this until I learn? I mean, really – I read all the articles and I know better. Most humans, me included, obviously, have about a 2 hour reserve of carb-like-substances stored for an endurance event, right? At least that’s the general consensus. So, if you don’t add any calories or carbs to the body, you run out, your legs get noodle-like and weird things start to happen to you. Cramps. Stuff like that.

And then there’s the heart rate guideline; “X” percentage of LT heart rate will buy you some more time before you run out of your stores. Of course, there’s the old hydration thing as well – as you dehydrate, your performance suffers. So how many mistakes in training did I make today? Had to have been all of them. Every mistake you could make, I made today.

First, this morning, I left the house without my Garmin. Of course, that’s my only cyclecomputer and it’s my HR monitor. Got out to the place where I ride (a 20 minute drive) and couldn’t do a 50-mile ride and get to work on time if I went all the way back home. I also forgot to grab my tub of Assos cream – now, I can get through 50 miles without some lube, but it’s certainly not as much fun.

Already mad, I start setting my bike up and realized I forgot to bring any tape. I run tape across the top of my Profile Design aero bottle – that sponge-like item being ejected long ago – so now I have NO lid for my primary hydration unit. Nice. I’m forced to fill it about half to ¾ full, which comes back to haunt me, sort of, later. I put my cell phone in a plastic baggie and since I know the mileage by heart, I can use the clock on it as a timer.

My plan was a nice, base-type 50, since I had done a 21m “time trial” on Friday (a good one for me, finishing up with an average of 21.8 without aero wheels), and I decent 6-mile run on Saturday evening. For me, a nice pace was going to be in the 19.5 to 20.5 range. I get out there about 6 mile in, probably already going along too quickly, and my boss comes riding towards me about 1 mile from the turnaround. I figure he’s got 2 miles on me, and my adrenalin picks up a bit.

Still feeling good, at the 12.5 mile end of the loop, these two posers hop on my wheel – of course I’ve got to try and impress them (read: drop them) so I pick up the pace to about 22mph or so, totally bringing my HR into LT. They fall off on another path after 4 or 5 miles, but the damage is done. At 19 miles, I pass by my boss again and see I’ve picked up almost ¾ miles on him – so I’m psyched again. At the 25m turn, I know I have him; he’s right up there about a quarter mile away. He’s in my sights now. He, I find out later, has other plans than to let me catch him.

I pick up the pace to get up there and ride with him – my intention is to finally back it down to a reasonable pace once I reel him in. 2 miles later, it’s time to refill the aero bottle, so I reach back behind my seat for the bottle of Gatorade and get crushed with a cramp that seems to be deep in my core. Holy crap this thing hurts; not your average, everyday side stitch by any means! I slowly fill the bottle and spin to recover, watching my boss pull away. Who comes up behind me? The two wheel grabbing posers again, and while I’m limping, they zoom by me. My recovery was quick after that, and at mile 30 or so, I push it hard and catch my boss and them (they were on his wheel) before the magical turn at mile 31.5. I’m still feeling pretty good – probably from catching the head honcho, and keep the pace, whatever that is. I did the first 25 in 1:13, so I was averaging 20.5 – which was about a half mile per hour faster than I would have liked. Doesn’t seem like much when you say it fast….

I get back to the beginning of the final loop, at mile 37.5, and it all starts crashing down. My boss has since dropped back, but now I’m waiting for him to pass me as I’m no longer riding aero, I’m down a gear and spinning noticeable slower. Where is everyone?!?! I could have used a bit of motivation at that point, but realistically, I doubt I could have answered any challenges. I see a friend in the parking lot turn at mile 43.5, and he rides fresh with me back to my truck at the other end of the loop. I come in, according to my cell phone clock, right at 2:30 – which at 20mph is a pretty good time for me, considering that last 12.5mile lap was done at least as slowly as 18 mph average.

So, from now on, I don’t forget my equipment, I drink more (I only drank the aero bottle down the first time filled with water, and then the one time filled with Gatorade – about half as much as I usually drink), I practice eating – bring a gel or two and start at 25 miles, then again at 37. Oh yea, on long, slow days, ignore everyone else and ride my own ride! If that would have happened on my up-coming ½, I’d be in serious trouble for 13 miles of running – my weakness.


Joy | Love | Chaos said...

Too funny! Ah, it happens to the best of us! I try not to let others set my training goals for a session...but sometimes it's hard...I mean we have reps to protect, ya know!

Anway, all good things to learn about your limits. You won't make those mistakes again! :)


"Smash" said...

Exactly how I feel. That is why I mostly train by myself on long days. It helps me to keep focused. Sucks but it seems to work.

Right back at you Clydesdale...

Tri-Dummy said...

Hey Marc,
Reading this post and thought I'd throw you an idea for your Profile Aero bottle. I hate the yellow "thingy" at the top, too...after picking it up 20+ times, I finally tossed it. I ended up cutting a sponge to fit...just a regular anti-bacterial fat kitchen sponge. IT WORKS GREAT! I'll post a pick on my blog one of these days, but in the meantime...its a sponge cut to fit and I cut a hole in the middle for the straw. Really simple and I keep extras to hand off to people when I see the dreaded yellow "thingy" causing them problems.
Good luck...Jay