I am blogging from my bed where my body is recovering from riding my bike 134 miles over the course of two days this weekend.
The route was actually 160 miles but I had some major issues on Saturday - one of them being my bad attitude.
I was dreading this ride. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was the medical issues I've been dealing with lately. I've not been myself. I've not been strong. My training has been here and there with little consistency.
I'd done a 40 mile hill training ride last weekend that left me exhausted. I was disappointed in myself because I can usually do 40 miles easy. What I realized this week though, is that my core strength isn't as strong as it was pre- surgery - and you need that core to get up those hills! My legs are overcompensating. I have to get my abs strong again.
To do something like this or triathlons, much of it is physical training. A good portion of it, honestly, is mental attitude. I handled it differently the last time I did this ride , two years ago. I had no idea what I could do. This time? I just didn't want to be there on Saturday. Didn't.want.to.do.it.at.all.
Do you realize that when you're cycling, you burn calories like nobody's business? Seriously! Check out this 'calories burned' calculator to determine how many calories you burn during athletic activities.
According to that calculator (and unfortunately my fitness watch doesn't give me this info), I may very well have burned close to 8000 calories on my ride this weekend. That's insane, ya'll. I doubt I eat that much food over the course of 5 or 6 days!
Because I was nervous about not getting enough nutrition in my body, I ate a ton of food on Friday, did my carbo loading, and continued to eat during the ride on Saturday. I also, and this is part of good training, didn't really think about the protein-to-carbohydrates balance I should have during this ride. During most of the pit stops, they're handing out cookies, energy gels, electrolyte drinks, fruit, and protein bars. I think I actually ingested way too much sugar over the course of the day. I was downright sick by mile 48.
Also, at the first pit stop, I'd asked a guy from a local bike shop to add some grease to my bike chain. When he did, he also adjusted my derailleur (used to move the chain when shifting gears). However, he made too much of an adjustment... which caused my chain to drop off several times during the ride. Once, as I was shifting to take on a very steep hill, the chain fell off and I couldn't recover. I also couldn't clip out of my pedals fast enough which caused me to fall, and caused the cog that holds the chain to bite me in the leg. Ouch!
With blood and grease on my now open wound and my body exhausted and sick, I sat on the cement, crying, cursing and frustratingly defeated at mile 50. A support van picked me up and carted me to the next pit stop where I was treated by medics. I'd given up.
Then as I waited for another support van to take me to the finish line, I decided to give it another go. After another 10 miles down the road and another dropped chain, I finally hopped off the bike and began walking. My mom (YAY MOM!) was driving a support van for the ride and passed right at that moment. She picked me up and got me the rest of the way for the end of Day 1.
I enjoyed hanging out with wonderful friends that night. My energy level was quite strong though I'd only cycled 26 miles less than everyone else. We loaded up on more carbs and protein that night for dinner, did some yoga and got a great night's sleep.