Sunday, November 9, 2008

Triple Bypass: the road to VQ

Well, this weekend required that I stay close to home for work reasons, so in order to get some saddle time, I strung three local rides together, each one an hour+ and each one looping back through town so I could respond to any calls from the boss.

I rode the Lev. This route has climbs all over it with grades as much as 20%, averaging 12% or so. So, off I went loaded up with some left over Halloween candybars, one Gu from the Demo Days, and 70oz in the Camelbak plus one bottle of Accelerade. I must have been feeling optimistic.

Not enough food and water. Not even enough. First of all, it was quite hot. Not sure what the deal was, but it felt way warm. So, I ended up rationing water the last hour and wishing I had a bit more food with me. I did not eat much of the Pay Day bars, slammed the Gu at the 3 hour mark, and rode on.

I had a touch of an inner thigh cramp in the right leg as I went to push a big gear on the last climb in the top of the fourth hour. Huh. Same spot it always cramps first...right there. I took the last S Caps and sucked a bit more water down, feeling my pack get reeeal light. Not much splashing around in there. My low back muscles were very flared up too. This has been more and more of an issue as of late. Not sure how to deal with that. I have been stepping up the upper body and core stuff with side plank pushups, normal planks, and V sits. Maybe I can support my low back muscles better, maybe it is just my back getting less flexible and more cranky. Not sure. Getting older kinda sucks sometimes.

Back at home, I hit the shade of the front lawn and had 3 gulps left in the hydration pack. My right thigh was trying to cramp so I got up and walked into the kitchen to make up some Fluid recovery drink. Man, that tasted good. I really underestimated water needs today.

It felt like a hard day, sitting there on the lawn. Even my upper body was feeling worked. After loading the GPS into TopoFusion, I was surprised to find it to be 30 miles and 4800' of climbing over that 4 hours of riding. I figure that Vision Quest will be twice that in nearly every way: time, gain in elevation and miles. I have some work to do and I need to pay better attention to fueling the body. Leg cramps halfway through would be bad. Leg cramps have been and perhaps always will be my cross to bear. I think I am going to get onto the road bike a bit and see if I can get more miles with less brutality to the bod. Gotta try something.

Anyway, I was toast that night. I just wanted my hammock,but I had barely an hour before I was off to errands and church stuff. No rest for the weary.

The next day was chores day. Lawns, leaves, boxes, stuff, eBay ads...phew! Ya know what? I had plenty of energy all day. I still think the Fluid stuff is magic powder. I know I would normally be lagging in energy after a drag down like the previous day.

So, next week I am headed to elevation for a good singletrack ride, unless winter says otherwise. If it does get all snowy, perhaps I will spin the road bike up one canyon or another.

It all adds up to VQ. It is good to have a goal.

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