Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Tale of Two Rides

I headed out the door Sunday just before noon for Bella Bru. Being the last day of February I wanted to get some more miles in for the month. I had posted the ride with short notice, so wasn't too surprised no one showed up to ride, but I met a large group of riders who turned out to be part of the Sacramento Bike Hikers. They gave me a schedule, which I somehow managed to stuff in my jersey, and pushed off.

The ride was not slow, and maybe not even sluggish, but I just couldn't seem to get out of my own way. I got passed and decided to try to pace myself off the faster rider, who promptly tried to drop me. I stayed with him for ~ 5 minutes but just didn't have the top end I usually do.

My initial destination was Beal's Pt, but I decided to stop in Folsom, eat part of a Powerbar and get some water. The Gatorade I made up was from some old powder, and it was making me nauseated. I took 15 minutes and still didn't feel any better. Worse, my calf tear was really bothering me and I can't afford another tear, so I decided against climbing Beals, and headed home. It turned out to be about the same distance because of the detour down to Bella Bru and William Pond Pk, but a lot flatter.

When I got home, disgusted, I uploaded the Garmin 305's telemetry to my computer and it pretty much said the same thing. Of particular concern is my HR only got up to 165 when I was red-lining hanging onto the rabbit. I had plenty of time, was  well recovered, and my calf was screaming. I scratched my head and stewed. WTF? Another bad ride?

On Monday, with rain forecast for the day after, I was reluctant to ride, but wanted to get March off to a good start, so found some clean riding clothes and got dressed. Steering clear of the bad Gatorade I instead mixed some PowerBar Electrolyte powder in my waterbottle and grabbed 3 Powerbars - resigned to eating solid ride fuels.

Almost as a fluke I decided to take a mega B vitamin, a multi vitamin, 500mg of C, and 1,000mg of calcium, magnesium and zink. I washed that down with a little OJ and headed out the door with just a bit of nausea.

I decided to just cruise and rest the calf while logging some miles. I started out slow, but stood and hammered a bit climbing a short hill at about the 3mi mark. I noticed my calf was behaving, and my breathing was relaxed and easy. Hummm.

I stopped to talk to a local news crew that was setting up to shoot a story for TV a couple of miles later at Sunrise, and again was surprised at how smooth and strong I was shifting through the gears. Determined to take it easy, I loafed along at 17-21 for the next 4 miles until some doofus refused to ride single-file when facing on-coming traffic.

For all of the complaints I hear about motorists being asses on the road, fellow bicyclists who won't read or follow the rules just really get my goad - especially since the #1 cause of accidents on the bike trail is head-ons caused by exactly that. Stupidly, he started talking trash and I gave him a good bracing up. Riders like that give us all a bad name, and tarnish our reputation as responsible users of this awesome resource. Having said my piece, I took off pretty agitated.

Nice thing about riding is you have a ready outlet for such angst, so I took full advantage when two riders I had passed earlier caught up and passed me - riding much faster than earlier. We played cat and mouse until the bridge at WBP where I red-lined it and passed both of them decisively.

When I got home and looked at the Garmin trace I again saw proof of my subjective impression, that I was riding much stronger. My HR had maxed out at 171, a full 6bpm faster than the day before. The whole ride had just been much easier - in spite of hammering it hard on the lap from CSUS back to WBP. Yea B vitamins!!!


Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

I love and use the Power Bar mix. Has worked really well and when I found it on sale for $9 a jug I bought 6 of them!!

I am now back to taking 2 Geritol complete every day. Long story really but I am 1 wk into it and I am hoping in another my iron will be back to a more respectable level.

Way to start of March right!!

Anonymous said...

LOL! Sometimes we want to please our numbers but our mind just won't play along. You'd think those training days are for the ass, but somehow I believe they are just as important as the good ones.

These days I also swear on vitamins. Just need to find a good iron supplement. Have a great weekend.

Grey Beard said...

Love stocking up on bargains these days. So helpful. Nutrition is such a moving target, and hard to get right with this wx getting in the way of regular rides.

RE: iron, I am using more vinegar, lime and lemon juice in cooking and salads these days. Adds taste to a low-sodium diet and Friel's book just reminded me again those acids are necessary for absorption of minerals. Vinegar really tenderizes meats too, like chicken and beef. Helps managing Big-D a lot.

I try to take vitamins with complex meals, and all of the vitamins at once as, in general, everything is absorbed better in the presence of everything else. Sometimes though, you just need to plug a hole and don't have time for a meal.

Makes me wonder how sedentary people ever find out about nutritional deficiencies - since they don't have stats to give them a heads-up. Making health your goal, rather than the prevention of disease, is one of the most important goals you can set in your life.

Habitually taking toxic meds to manage poor cardio health is a lousy substitute for a vigorous life - as an example. Also a lot of fun to share achieving these goals with people like you! :D