Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 Fat Tire Festival Test Run #2

This morning I worked with a fine group of trail workers to help prepare Dryer Road Park for the Fat Tire Festival race coming up on July 21st.  From 9:00 to about 11:30 we worked to improve a few of the trouble spots on Elevator and Chutes and Ladders.  Mostly we widened, resurfaced, de-bermed, and made channels for water flow.  The majority of this work was on significant hills which are prone to erosion from water and tire force.  Hopefully the fixes will last.

After the trail work I cleaned up, had a bit of food, and prepared for another Fat Tire Festival test run like I did about a month ago.  Again my goal was to ride 3 laps, since I've registered for the Sport class.  For this ride I put Hammer Endurolytes powder in my Camelbak water in an attempt to fix the cramping problems I recently had.

My first lap was tough mentally.  Physically I climbed well, but after each big climb I found myself fighting to catch my breath and lower my heart rate.  I felt dizzy more than usual and was somewhat concerned.  I guess my stomach was working on the food I ate after the trail work.  My goal to do two more laps was not seeming realistic.  Despite the struggle, I made it up Elevator.  Actually, my hand that holds my seat handle cramped up on this climb.  I've never had that before.  I guess I was really squeezing tight.  For a few minutes it was like my hand could either snap open or snap shut, painfully.  Thankfully it didn't last.

On the start of my second lap I had a devil and angel on my shoulders:"screw it, who cares, just call it a day", "keep pushing, you can stop when you absolutely have to, you can do it!"   It's hard to say who was the angel and who was the devil, but in any case I pushed on.  My climbing was good and I felt like my breathing and heart rate improved and I wasn't feeling as dizzy.  But I was getting tired and  my lower back and shoulders were starting to yell at me.  I started to feel the onset of some cramping in my quads and calves but it didn't become a real problem.

While I was feeling fairly spent, heading into my third lap wasn't much of a question.  With two laps behind me I just ignored the option to quit and kept pushing.  My fatigue caused me a few extra UPDs and leg cramps were feeling imminent, but I finished my ride without incident.

I confirmed doing 3 laps is in me, but it's a struggle.  It got to about 80°F.   Race day could be significantly hotter.

According to my cycle computer I rode 11.4 miles.  My GPS says 10 miles... the usual loss of twists and turns.  It took me 2 hours 15 minutes, 5 minutes more than my previous test run.  I guess I may have stopped to lean on a tree a few extra times.

Despite drinking over 2 liters of water/Gatorade during my pre-ride, ride, and post-ride, I didn't have to pee for about 6 hours.  Crazy.

Once I got home and showered I started to get a killer headache which is still lingering despite taking Excedrin migraine.  It feels like I got hit on both sides of my head with a hammer.   Maybe I didn't eat right?  Maybe I didn't drink enough?  Between joint pain, lower back pain, cramps, and headaches, this sport just doesn't stop kicking my butt.  I hope for a day when all I had to deal with is running out of energy.

UPDATE:  My migraine did not go away like it usually does with Excedrin.  After googling a bit, I found many suggestions that migraines after exercise can be caused by a lack of electrolytes.  Well what the heck, maybe I didn't add enough to my water?  Hyponatremia?  I also read some people believed a lack of protein caused their migraine.  So I ate a bunch of peanuts and drank another Gatorade spiked with electrolyte powder.  Within about 30 minutes my headache faded by about 70%.  Now I also noticed I have hives on my chest.  Somebody shoot me now!  Who knows.

Muni at Dryer Road Park - 2012-06-24

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