Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First 100-mile 'Week'

For the first time this year, I've managed to put in 100 miles in 7 days. The perpetual rain finally stopped last Tuesday, so I joined a club ride on their Beal's Pt Sprint ride, from the Fish Hatchery up to Beal's Pt. This was pretty much my bread and butter Beal's ride - except for the pace - since I rode to the start.

When I got there a few of the riders I knew were riding slow laps of the parking lot to warm up, which I didn't need to do, but it was nice to catch up with them. As the minutes ticked by we picked up riders, some who just happened by, and some, like me, were there on purpose. Few of the HWs rides have been well-attended this year, so everyone was pleasantly surprised that we headed out with ~ 14 riders.

Once we crossed under Hazel Ave on the newly reopened underpass loop, we headed up over the bridge and then down the 'chute' for the dam. On the ride briefing, Jeff had recommended we wait till around the dam before putting the hammer down, so when nobody seemed to want the lead I thought it might be a slow sprint ride.

NOT! We got 500 yards past the dam and the group started to get organized. I started passing riders as we had a pretty good tail-wind, and 23 mph just wasn't that hard. I ended up near the front of the 'fast' group of 5, and checking the Garmin trace when home, we averaged 22.7 on the 3.5 mile false-flat from there to the Negro Bar.

We did the flat stretch along Lake Natoma between 30 & 31mph, and I averaged 155bpm on that leg. The approach climb up onto the plateau of Negro Bar pushed me right to red-line for the first time, as the kites blew past me. I grabbed my waterbottle and tried to get some hydration, wind, and ride fuel in me for the main Beal's climb, now 1 mile ahead.

I regained contact with the kites, much to my surprise, but they dropped me a 1,000 yards into the climb where the 5-7% grade starts. Since I usually rest and hydrate at Negro bar when riding solo, I knew my HR was going to soar on the climb. I averaged 96% of max HR for the 14:22 it took to get to the top, and finished the last 100 yards at 102% of max.

Jeff, the owner of HWs had been laying back, saving himself for the climb, and though I held him off on the bottom part, just before we went under the bridge he and Julie went by me. Blowing hard I dropped into the aerobars and put down a few meager watts on the shallow downgrade heading under the Johnny Cash Bridge, and caught their wheel.

I stayed right on their wheel until the 9-10% kicker on the last 400 yards. Jeff was climbing out of the saddle, and started to drop Julie and I. 200 yards from the top I dropped Julie and hammered for all I was worth. I got within about 10 yards of Jeff, but couldn't catch him. I rolled past him, and as I looked back he was ballistically puking his lunch all over the road. I rolled into the concessions area gassed, but smiling, and saw the kites were dismounted and sucking hard on waterbottles.

After a break we headed across the parking lot, and back down the hill. I moved to the front, as I go downhill like a rocket, and didn't want to be riding my brakes the whole way. I picked up another rider going back under the bridge, and made a very fast technical descent, dropping him on the Oak Hill exit straight before the steepest, most technical (really broken up surface due to tree roots) stretch.

I dropped into the aerobars and tried to catch my breath as I rounded the last bend and headed down the straight stretch for Folsom. I stomped the hill leading out of the bottom between the bridges, and felt OK, but my legs didn't have their usual snap, so I eased off a bit, and tried to get my HR back into zone 4.

I stayed in front of the entire group for 5.5 miles, but the peleton caught me on the one good hill coming back. We were only 2.5 miles from the dam, but heading into the wind, I didn't want to have to ride solo. I was lucky in that there were a few weak climbers at the back, and I had saved just enough to catch their wheel.

The peleton was pretty ratty by this time, and not calling traffic, so as my wind came back I stared barking out 'bike ups' and the group seemed to collectively understand we were once again a cohesive unit. With rotations at the front, and some strong pulls by a few of the riders we managed 21 mph back to the dam. I was surprised to look back when climbing up onto the bridge to see our 14 man group had swollen to about 25. With a headwind, nobody wanted to ride alone!

I ended up on Jeff's wheel, and with faster traffic behind, and a nice gap ahead of me heading under the Hazel Ave Bridge, I decided to pass him. Yes, it was a bit of guilty pleasure, but I gave him plenty of time to step up the pace, so a righteous move. A split second later a squirrel darted across the trail, right between my wheels, and I actually felt my back wheel break loose for an instant as I ran over his tail. Jeff caught up to me and said "man, you're the luckiest guy alive!". I was leaning into the turn pretty good when it happened, so he was right!

When I got home and uploaded the Garmin I knew I was going to be tired the next day. A full 30 minutes in Zone 5, and HR averaging 87% of max, with the 102% kicker. I also averaged 263 watts, just 3 short of my PB when hopped up on Claritin, and that in spite of lolling around the parking lot doing circles in Zone 2. If I could figure out how to remove that segment, I'm sure this would be a new PB wattage.

My BP after a cool shower was in the 100/55 range, and HR around 95, so I should have taken a salt tablet, but have been wanting to ditch my BP meds, so I decided with (finally) sunny weather in the forecast I would just use that as a running start towards kicking the habit.

Long story short, I was horribly fatigued the next 2 days, sleeping most of the day. With low sodium comes low blood volume, and that creates a lot of extra work for a tired heart trying to maintain adequate blood pressure and flow. The next day it all went awry, and I ended up at a clinic with BP of 180/118. By the time the doc came in and took my BP, it was down to 160/105, but he still wanted to send me to the ER. I talked him out of it, but my headache and light headedness told me the same thing - even if I hadn't had a cuff at home.

24 hrs later I went for a flat ride down to Sac State (CSUS), up to Hazel, and then back home. I would sprint and then fade, not being able to settle on a pace. When I got home I realized I was over-medicated and lacking sodium. This is a very good simulation of high heat. I took a ThermoTab (time-released salt), waited for my BP to get back into the 130/75 range, and went to sleep. I took more med in the morning, and things started to settle down nicely.

Yesterday I did the identical route, this time without accidentally turning off the Garmin in the middle of the ride, and things went a lot better, even though the heat was a factor early in the ride. I took a ThermoTab again after my shower, and then a med before bed, and was in great shape this morning.

I think going that hard is not good training for me. It creates lingering fatigue, but I'd have to ride in the morning, away from the heat of the day to make a good call on that. I followed a big brick from CSUS back to WBP last night, and averaged 22.0 on the blocks the whole time. I'm riding in peletons a lot more these days, and am working on more speed up on the blocks. I thanked my locomotive as I peeled off.

Just as I pulled over at the drinking fountain at WBP, a group of 4 riders pulled up on 80's vintage steel bikes. One of those bikes was a Gitane! My first 10 speed bike was a Gitane, so I was thrilled to see one again in real life. We talked a lot about restoring old bikes, and local bike clubs they might be interested in. I met them 45 minutes later coming back towards them from Hazel. They were all smiles as I waved and gave them a shout. Hope I see them out there again soon!


1 comment:

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

LOVE that you hit 100 miles for the week. GREAT JOB ROY!!!

If crushing the bike bleeds into the next day than it is not worth it (unless you are racing).

You are smart to know this and I know you already figured that out.

Funny - my post today was just about the same thing. Great minds think alike. :)