Sunday, July 13, 2008

Humbled by The Doggett

I woke up at 5 am to get my system going. Some coffee, a lot of water, some peanut butter toast. I can't eat much because I feel nauseas. I can't eat at 5am on a normal day. My body simply does not function at that time of day. Once, I worked at Starbucks. It was a great job with great people. My manager decided that I was doing such a good job, she would schedule me for the morning shift. The morning shift starts at 5:30 am, to prep everything to open at 6 am. Even back then, without knowing much about nutrition, I knew that I would be non-functional at that time of day. I recommended that she not schedule me for that time. I told her I was not being lazy, just that I would not be functional. She smiled and put me on the schedule anyway. The day of my first morning shift rolled around. I showed up on time and proceeded to attempt to function. I did not do so well, and she never scheduled me for that shift again.

So, we loaded up and headed to Mars Hill. Check-in , registraton, rider's meeting, start. Off the line the pace was hot. I was 45 riders from the front. At the first turn, I saw Andy and Cara Applegate, 2008 Tandem RR National Champions leading, I hung with that group for 30 minutes. My idea was to push a little harder, get some fast pulls and get a jump start on the day. First mistake. I should not have gone out that fast. ( I have trouble learning that lesson). I didn't realize that until later.

I felt fine, for the first 50 miles. I felt good going up the 6 miles of Doggett Mtn, a really cool winding road that I want to ride again. 1 hour into the ride and the temp was already hot. I was dripping sweat which is good. One of my new strategies is to drink everytime I think about drinking. Even if I glance down at the water bottle, I drink. I'm trying to make this more of a habit. I'm also trying to empty my two 20oz bottles between rest stops. I came close to this in the first 50 miles.

I rolled into Hot Springs, which is the half way point. Rhonda and Jubal were there waiting and we talked about how hot is was getting. There is a 2 mile climb out of Hot Springs where I started to falter. I had drunk an energy shake at Hot Springs and by the 2 mile climb was over, I was already hungry, I should have eaten a PB & J. I continued on. On the next climb I cramped. It was my left inner thigh. I stopped, streched, rode, drank. I remembered the first 30 minutes, and realized I should have gone out slower. I really need to ride my own ride/ race my own race.

On the climb to the final rest stop, I bonked. I made the mistake of trying to make it to the next rest stop before eating. I need to add, " eat now" to my " drink now" strategy. I guess it has finally dawned on me that with my faster speeds, I am putting in more effort, which in turn means that what has worked in the past, will not work now. " Eat now, Drink now".

I got to the last rest stop at Sam's Gap. The sun was blazing, but the air was cooler, and I was still sweating. 15 miles to go. 2 miles downhill at 40 mph.

Up until this point I had been drinking NUUN and water. No Gu2O. I figured I would switch it up and have GU2O for the remainder of the ride instead of NUUN. I thought the extra carbs and calories in the sports drink would be helpful. After getting halfway up the next hill with 10 miles to go, I took a couple of swigs of GU2O. 30 seconds later, WHAM, a wave of nausea. I had not felt nauseas up to this point. I had felt hungry, tired, cramped, but not nauseas. So, it must be the GU2O that is part of the problem. Now I have a useless bottle of sports drink that I don't dare use.

I get off my bike in some shade, stand there for a few minutes, get on , ride uphill some more. Stop again. I take a swig of the water bottle that has plain water, and it tastes really funny, not pleasant at all, and it is difficult to drink. By this time I am not sweating, and I should be dripping. I decide to call it a day and start looking for a SAG vehicle. Grant Grosch comes around the corner, but his car is already full. People are dropping like flies. Grant tells me he'll be back in 15 minutes. I say cool and sip that funny tasting water. I get on and ride a little more, and then I start sweating!!! Then I sip a little more and keep riding. 5 miles to go, Grant comes back, but I refuse to stop at this point. I keep going, and manage to make it across the line in 6:52.

I didn't get either of my goals but I definitely learned a little bit more about my body and what I need:

-I'm through with GU2O for longer rides. I'll drink it on a 30 miler but that's it. I'm not sure if it the sugar of what, but I'm going to cut out all sports drinks.( for now anyway)

-NUUN rocks. It always tasted fresh, and never really got old. I should not have switched it out at the last rest stop. I'll keep using it.

-" Eat Now, Drink Now". That's my new mantra.

The Off-Road Assault on Mt Mitchell is in 2 weeks. I'm looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to trying my new mantra and racing my own race.

Fool's Gold 100 is in 4 weeks. I'm considering only doing the 50 mile option. But, I know I can do 50. I want to do 100 miles, and do it well. The 100 miler is the 50 mile loop 2 times, so it will be logistically easy to bail after 1 lap if temps go crazy hot, or any other reason.

I now have 2-3 days off the bike to recover. What am I gonna do with all that extra time?

Have a great day.

4 comments: said...

Ugh, I don't do morning either... Glad you made it through the race ok, though! How ya doing, by the way? :)

Brian said...

Enjoyed the post! You know, you could take all that extra time and do some cross-training. A slow, easy trail run is a nice "active recovery" option...


Chris said...

Hey, at least you broke 7 hours even though you had troubles! I drink and eat every 20 minutes on road rides: when my watch says 10, 30, and 50. Also, it makes the long road rides go by faster!

Don't eat too much, you'll make yourself sick -- the equivalent to a full Clif Bar (~280 calories or so) every hour is all your body can handle. And aim for at least full bottle of drink every hour, more if it's hot out.

Hart said...

gu2o has loads of man made sugar. not something that should be in your daily diet, and certainly not something that works for most people while training. sorry you had to figure that one out the hard way.