Today was a big day: the training plan called for a 4-hour ride, followed by a 30-minute transition run. In triathlon training, being able to run on tired legs is crucial, so my plan has me running after riding twice a week. This was going to be tough today, as I’ve never had to run after riding over 60 miles!
Yes, I was a little scared…
I usually do my long rides with my friend Nate, but he’s out of town for the weekend, so it was just me.
This was going to be a long afternoon…
I’d mapped out the ride on Friday night; I parked on a local trail that we run on every weekend. It’s paved and really great…for running. For any kind of speedy biking, it’s just too crowded and has too many road intersections, but it would be great to do my post-bike run, afterwards.
I meant to start out early, but as I was leaving the house, I noticed that my neighbors were planting trees in a common area…between me and the way out of my development. I couldn’t just drive past…
I just couldn’t drive by…
So, to start out my epically long workout…I was digging holes, and, yes, my lower back was hurting before my day had even started.
Digging my own grave
I finally got done and started my ride at around 11. I felt good; my legs weren’t too tired from yesterday’s run. Then I took a drink of water from my, as it turns out, half-full water bottle. I swear I’d filled it up, but alas, I sure hadn’t. I’d only brought one half-full water bottle for a 4-hour ride.
Yep, I sure am.
This oversight would come into play later.
I could have/should have just turned around and gotten more water. It was going to get into the mid-80s by the time I was done, but I was too stubborn and stupid to do that. So, I just decided to drink what I had and refill when I got the chance.
Around 45 minutes into the ride, I saw a dog get hit by a car; it was a little chihuahua mutt. I saw the dog in the road, rode past and stopped at a nearby stop sign to check my cue sheet on my phone. I heard some brakes, and then there was a young girl in a car next me kind of freaking out. I looked back and saw the dog in the road; I told her she couldn’t really do anything, so she left and I went back to see what I could do. The poor guy was just lying in the road, but was still alive. I checked that he wasn’t aggressive, picked him up and carried him to a nearby house. An old man said he had told his grandson that the dog couldn’t go in the road…which I guess absolved him of all blame. *$^##(%& People, take care of your animals. I don’t have a GIF for this; it was pretty upsetting for me. I laid the poor little guy down next to the door and rode off, figuring there wasn’t much else I could do. I can’t stand seeing animals hurt.
I rode on for awhile longer, and I liked the route I had chosen. Around here, you can’t really ride anywhere flat for long. Sure enough, most of the route was just rolling hills, with some steep stuff. Unfortunately, my water ran out about 2 hours in, which meant that I had another two hours to go without any water at all, unless I found somewhere to fill up. I figured if I had to then I could stop somewhere and fill up.
I did have some food with me, a Bonk Breaker bar, which was a little dry, but not bad. It was so good, in fact, that I ate half and then proceeded to drop the rest. Somewhere out there, a bird or scavenger of some kind is full of Blueberrys and Oats right now.
Proof that you really can find just about anything on the Internet
I did take a PowerGel about half an hour later, but without water. Things turned around a bit about three hours in when I got back to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which is the trail I parked at to start. I wasn’t back at the beginning, but I knew where I was. More importantly, I knew there was a restaurant on the trail that lets you use the bathroom and fill water bottles. So, I went to the bathroom and got some water, and got to fill up my bottle!
Pee is supposed to be solid yellow, right?
I got back to the ride, and the rest of the ride was pretty nice. I rode the trail a little, and then got off so that I could add some time/distance. Of course, I also added altitude; I chose a road I knew had a steep uphill…for some unknown reason.
It felt a lot like this…
I did finally get back to my car, changed my shoes and headed out for my run. I only had to do 30 minutes, which was nothing compared to my bike ride, right?
Well, I wasn’t feeling great, but I can run 30 minutes in my sleep…right? Well, the first mile was a little bit of a struggle, but I hung in there. Miles 1-2 were actually pretty good; I tried to keep my form: shoulders back, chest forward, eyes up…I was actually feeling all right, and I was almost done.
My second Glee GIF…deal with it.
However, I was stopped at a road crossing…and during that stop the wheels came off.
Not quite there yet…
I was dizzy, nauseous, and tired.
Yep, it was a lot like that.
However, there was no way I was going to run for 25 minutes; I just had to hang on a little longer.
I pushed on and was just trying to get to the 30-minute mark. Then, the last two minutes were just painful.
I developed a cramp right under my right rib, which started out as annoying…and by the end was like a knife in my stomach. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, even though it hurt to breathe…a lot. I just kept going and checking my time.
Then, I was done. A part of me felt like this:
But 99.9% of me felt like this:
I rinsed off, got in the car, and drove to get some food. Now, I’m sitting at home, I’ve had some food, drank a lot and I can’t bring myself to even think about the 90 minute run I have to do tomorrow.
Oh yeah, in case you were curious: 61 miles on the bike and 3.25 on the run.
So, what have I learned? I can’t just walk out the door and go train anymore. When it’s going to take 4 1/2 hours, and involve 3,500 feet on ascent then I’ve got to have a nutritional plan.