Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ridin' the Night Train

Two weeks ago I retired from racing until I could figure out what my nutrition problem is. One week ago I had a successful road ride, feeling great at the end. I had decided to try to sell my spot at the Fool's Gold races in GA for next weekend. Inside I was hoping that it would not sell and I would get to go.
Last week the promoter from Night Train 12 hr race e-mailed me to let me know that he was holding a spot for me if I wanted to race.
Thursday, Rhonda and Jubal went to Roanoke to visit Rhonda's parents and some hometown friends.
I had planned to ride the ORAMM route solo, to prove to myself that I can do it. But, with the invitation to participate in an event with other people around to help out, I went with it.
I left Friday night, headed to Fontana Village in the Nantahala National Forest. I got there around 10:30 pm and was greeted by some happy people. The lights were out, but some people don't equate a good night's sleep with a good performance. The loud drunken talk finally finished around 2 am. I slept until 7, got up and headed to the restaurant for breakfast. I was determined that I was not going to race. This was a practice ride, the intention to focus on nutrition. And that is exactly what I did.
When I got hungry, I stopped and ate. When I was tired I rested. When I felt like I could keep going at the end of the day, but knew that it could push me over the edge, I finished, jumped in the swimming pool and hung out with friends the rest of the evening.
The day went well. The course is 9 miles with 2400+ ft of climbing per lap. I rode the entire thing 6 times. Lap one felt good, lap two I picked up the pace a little bit because the trail was so fun. I didn't go real fast but apparently did something wrong because sometime during lap 3 I stopped sweating. I had stopped to relieve myself just after starting the lap and the color was clear, indicating that my fluid intake was good.
But, here is the catch, the above statement is not always true. I read an article that stated that if your bodies electrolytes are low, the body will flush out excess fluid to balance the electrolytes/fluid in the body.
My theory, I can't rely on my urine color to confirm electrolyte balance. Also, I'm inclined to think that I did not have enough electrolytes in my system and by body was flushing extra fluids. Unfortunately, I was not rested and thinking things through so I kept going. I finished lap 3, sat in the pits to re-hydrate. I was not moving until I started sweating again. Laps 4-6 were a fine balance between feeling good and feeling not so fresh. Hence the decision to stop. I was not feeling constant, not improving, and likely, I was getting slowly worse.
I don't know how I placed and don't know that I care ( OK I care, and wish I had checked to see where I had placed). I do plan on doubling up on my electrolyte intake to see what happens. I have heard that one cannot take too many electrolytes, but will have to research that.
Below you will see pictures of SAM. He is one of the many animals that lives with us, and I chose him to be my traveling partner for the weekend!!!

For some reason, I decided to wait until the awards ceremony at 11:15 pm, instead of driving home to my own bed. At 12am, I tried to sleep in the back of my truck but sleep didn't come. At 2 am they finally turned the ball field lights off. I took my sleeping bag, laid it on the field crawled inside and was asleep in minutes!!!! 6:30 am my ballfield neighbors were up and packing quietly. I woke up, roll up my stuff, threw it in the truck and headed home.
The morning was spent legally working on my deck roof, then watching the Olympics while waiting for the family to return.
Next up? Fool's Gold 50!!!!
Have a great day!!
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