Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Damn! Where'd the time go!


So much has happened since my last post..  I "fell off" my goal. I PR'd a half marathon. I was part of some amazing stuff, and have plans for my first Marathon.

I did my last full 200K in July with Bill Fischer. It was a beautiful ride - the Hornell 200K. It was a great day, nice and reasonable for temps - mid-70's. The wind wasn't horrible, and the ride was pleasant.

It was my first ride with Bill in some time, and he stated more than once how he was impressed at the improvements I had made in ability and strength riding. It was probably a lot of smoke, and he was just hoping to keep me moving, but it was nice just the same. It was definitely the first time we had ridden together since the loss of two friends we had both ridden with on part of this same route in the spring. We talked of it some and cherished the time together, and the fact that no-one is invincible, and it's important to be sure that you're putting the right things first.

The ride took us 11 hours and 3 minutes, with an hour and 20 minutes of "down time".  Though it was a great ride, about 6.5 hours into the ride (seems like it's always around there), I recognized that I needed to get something into my stomach to get things "straight". I tell Bill that when we get into Savona (around 80+/- miles), I was going to need to do something about my nutrition, and was hoping for some chicken noodle soup. Knowing how it helped near the end of my 300K.

Well, we pull into Savona, stop at a non scheduled gas station / Subway, and I look for soup.  Awesome, they have chicken noodle soup in the store. I ask about a microwave, nope, sorry. Bummer. I tell Bill, that we'll have to move on and hope for the best in Addison only 15 miles further on with a little over 1000 feet of climbing between here and there.  Oh well, pedal, pedal, pedal..

About half way to Addison I start to get to the point where I am thirst, but feeling nausea. I keep drinking and doing what I can to keep moving. We get to Addison - less than 30 miles left, and I am feeling that I have once again hit that nutrition wall. Damn.. Just can't figure it out! Ugh ! This is SO frustrating. I can seem to do anything other than get water down. Bill and I sit in the Acorn for 20 minutes, and see what a little rest will do for us. Every other stop has been quick and dirty. One thing I had learned with my rides is, the less time you spend on your butt, or screwing around off the bike, the better off you are, and the sooner you'll get done! If you think about it, 3-4 minutes is a mile, so, an extra 8-10 minutes on the bike, and not sitting around puts you 2-3 more miles down the road. Well, after about 3 minutes sitting, I get the shakes pretty bad, and mention to Bill, "this doesn't look good, lets get back on the road". So we go. It's not too bad. I get another 10 miles in, and start really feeling like crap with about 20 miles left.

The last 20 miles was pretty tough. I was thirsty, but didn't feel any better when I drank. I remember at one point mentioning to Bill "if I felt like I do right now doing anything else, I would find some place to lay down". Bill pulls off in Canisteo - with less than 10 miles left, and goes and gets me something to drink, and I keep pedaling. We get 2 miles from the finish, and I yell to Bill that I have to stop, now... We pull off the road, and I empty my stomach (sorry folks). It was all water - nothing but water. AND - it seemed like a gallon. To me, I would say it was everything I had consumed since Savona, since that point where my body told me "hey! do something smart here". Well, obviously, I didn't.

We finished the ride, and I am still on track for my R-12. My 12 months in a row of 200K's or better. One more in the books, and only 4 more to go!  I am 2/3 done. The hot months are pretty much over, and the easier months are coming. Bill and I talk a bit at the end about our thoughts on what it could be. We finish. I have part of a chocolate milk, and just get on the road. It's only a half hour drive home. YEP! A half hour and two more pit stops to be sure that my stomach is completely empty! Awesome!!!

The next few weeks I spend doing what I am good at. Analyzing, over-analyzing, reading, researching, and over-thinking anything that it could possibly be! I figure that it must have been the fact that I hadn't taken in enough sodium. IN fact, I sweat pretty heavy, and though I was replacing my fluids with water, I wasn't taking in any sodium. I read in one article that for every liter of sweat (I am about 1 liter per hour) you can lose between 250 and 3250 mg of sodium. WHAT! What did that say? Though that is a pretty broad range, it's also quite a surprise.  Lets go with 1500 mg. 10 hours, 15,000 mg. ! OK.. I need to make sure I up my sodium intake. I think what I was suffering from may have been a mild case of hyponatremia.

So - Amazon - shopping cart - buffered salt tablets - check..  Ready for my next ride!

August 4th. Willow Creek Triathlon.  This event is awesome. I was dressed up in this classy old skool getup. Knee High Socks, Old Skool Puma's, Mesh Tank Top, 1984 Fuji Del Ray, Umbro Shorts.. I decided to help some guys on the team out since it's a point to point, and I would park at the end, and ride back to the start. It's only 17 miles. Heck. I'll just take an easy ride!

I park the truck, get the Fuji out, throw on my backpack with my wetsuit in it, and head up the road to the start. I am moving right along in my first few miles, and then I realize that I am doing pretty good! Hey, wonder how long it would take if I pushed myself (this was a STUPID idea - almost as dumb as wearing a bunch of old skool clothes!). Well. I made the 17 miles in 51 minutes. That's a 20 mph average, on an older bike, wearing a backpack. I was going to CRUSH this race!  Awesome!

We get ready for the start of the race, and shoot the breeze with all the Rogues. We had more banana hammocks there that anyone wanted to see, but that's what the guys do for the "fun" factor. I figure I should try to get a few calories, since I just depleted everything. Thank god Tim Andrus had some Gatorade. I drank about half the bottle, and was ready to roll!

The race starts, my swim goes well, I jump on the bike and am in the first mile, and am gaining on a guy on a TT bike.  I pull up and ask him how he's doing, and he says that he's doing poorly, that his handlebars slipped, and he had just crashed. I said "bummer" and pedaled on. I figure if you're not smart enough to check your bike out before a race, then maybe....   OK..  The ride goes slower than I hoped. The guy on the TT bike passes me along with some others. There is a strong headwind, and I am just not feeling it. I finish the bike stage, and hop off for a super fast transition since I am wearing the same sneaks that I wore on the bike with my pedal cages. I forget something important though - the water station.

It's hotter on the course than I had expected. My swim was pretty good, my ride sucked, and now my run was also sucking. I was sweating pretty bad, and feeling crappy. People were stopping to walk, and it looked like a good idea, so I said screw it, and walked. I watched 2 people collapse in front of me on my leisurely afternoon walk. I also saw some of the folks that I should have been beating pass me, but instead of running, I cheered them on and finished 20 minutes slower than last year, but I felt good, so I didn't care.

All in all it was a great race. I had fun, and enjoyed my time with friends. Since that point, I have done much more running, and much less riding.  It's funny how this article was started in October of 2012, and I am just wrapping it up today, March 3rd, 2015! I did alot of running, worked on my pace, slimmed down some, switched to a more Paleo lifestyle, and am now just starting doing alot more trail running, and considering possibly a Full Marathon, or an Ultra Trail Run in my future.

Stay tuned!

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