My Progress

Sunday, February 26, 2012

02.25.12 A return to the longer rides.

I know, it's been awhile since I updated this.  It's been a less than fun February and I'm glad to see the majority of it in my rear view mirror.  It's been tendonitis, bronchitis, a sore quadriceps muscle.  It's been friends in intensive care and a funeral for one of them.  Like I said, I'm glad to see February gone.

I'd planned yesterday's route out as an experiment to see if the tendonitis was healed and if my body was back up to riding a reasonable distance.  I wanted familiar terrain so I could judge my effort off past rides.  I also figured that my McKinney, Weston, Gunter & Celina loop would give me a decent 62 miles for my experiment.  Since I've ridden this loop quite a bit, I'm more than familiar with it.

The ride was also a trial run for some new bits of stuff that I've added and or changed on my bike.  I redid all of my cable runs to get rid of the excess cable that was cluttering up my bars, I lowered my bars down by about an inch or so, added some new KoolStop Salmon brake pads for better stopping power when inattentive drivers pull out in front of me.  And I also changed out my shifter system from Grip Shift twisters to SRAM X-7 triggers, (I did that mainly cause I caught a pair of them on E-bay for stupid cheap).  Fortunately all the new bits of stuff I added played well with the bike and everything ran like it was supposed to.

This ride was also going to be another experiment in nutrition and hydration.  Nutrition wise the Clif Shot Roks had been working well for me.  The NUNN electrolyte tablets have been working well also.  The combination of the two together however was causing a gastric reaction such that you could have hung a basket off me and used me for a hot air balloon!  I decided to leave out the NUNN tablets to see if that made a difference.  It did, in both good ways and bad ways.

Breakfast was a banana, two slices of toast with peanut butter, and an IHOP stuffed pastry, (I know, tasty but not nutritious). 

Saturday morning saw Vicky and the kids off to the local trout derby early.  When they left it was pretty chilly out so I hung around the house waiting for it to warm up a bit.  Finally I was motivated to get dressed to ride and as it was chilly earlier, I started breaking out arm warmers, leg warmers, wool socks, an insulated vest, and a jacket.  I'm really glad I stepped outside before grabbing the bike because the weather had warmed up.  I ditched the jacket and headed out the door.  Hindsight being 20-20 I should have ditched the leg warmers and the vest also as I was a little warm.

I did run across something interesting during the ride, I'd just cleared a series of hills I've nicknamed the triple bypass when I spotted something moving out in a scrub covered pasture.  Seems breakfast on the cloven hoof was out wandering around with seven little piglets in tow.  I was almost wishing I'd brought the 30'06 along.  Would have been kind of hard though getting them dressed out with nothing but the little knife in my tool kit, not to mention hauling them home.

McKinney to Weston and up FM3356 was helped by a light tailwind out of the SW at about 7-10.  The tailwind became a quartering headwind into Gunter which slowed me down somewhat.  I was in the process of crawling up a long hill into the headwind when I saw one of Gunter's police officers out watching for speeders.  I figured if he wanted to talk to me it was sure wasn't going to be about going too fast!  Pulling into Gunter it was time to run south on Preston.  Running south on Preston wasn't as bad as I had worried about, the headwind was pretty light and I managed to still make some ok time.   Celina came and went and it was onto CR88 through a gap in Preston road traffic.  I got back into McKinney and was still a little shy of my goal of 62 miles.  A quick trip out on the local MUP fixed that though. 
What worked and what didn't work.  All the new parts I added worked great.  The Clif Shot Roks worked great to replace the calories I burned.  Plain water worked well to keep me hydrated during the ride.  What didn't work was my clothing choices, I was a little too warm.  Also, without the NUNN tablets in my water I had nothing to replace the electrolytes my body was consuming during my ride.  My big point of failure was after my ride, I failed to push the water and the electrolytes and consequently ended up extremely dehydrated in the middle of my son's Cub Scout Blue & Gold banquet, think several hundred screaming children and a dehydration headache, it was "fun".

Lessons learned.  Drink more water, make sure to replace the electrolytes, & plan the clothing choices better.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

02.04.2012 Lessons Learned

It seems that sometimes I have to re-learn lessons that I already know or should have known.  This week was a case in point that looking back in hindsight, all the clues were in plain sight and had I put them together might have made things a little different yesterday and saved me a whole lot of pain.

First off the clues from early in the week.
  • Tuesday's run, about half way into an 8 mile run, my right hip "pinged" hard causing radiating pain from the hip to the ankle.  While it hurt like anything, it went away within 10 to 15 seconds and I continued my run.
  • Wednesday's bike crash, while it was a minor slow speed fall and skid, something just didn't feel "right" after that.
  • Thursday my back, (which is well screwed up from an auto accident years ago) decided to go south on me.  I put this down to the previous nights "gravity lesson".
  • And the marker I really should have been listening to all week was my morning fasting glucose reading were above normal.  This marker will always tell me something is going south in my body and I KNOW to listen to it.  This week I didn't bother.
For yesterday's ride I had the intention of returning to the bigs, for pulling off my first triple digit ride in over 20 years.  My hope was to end up with at least 100 miles on the clock by the time I got home.  My body however had other plans.

I had been planning on riding THIS LOOP, I figured that given 89 miles, I could find a few bonus miles out there to round it up to an even 100.  What I got instead was THIS.

The wind was out of the NW yesterday and was a steady 12-15 mph and did not stop.  I'd figured that I would be ok going into the wind till Collinsville, then I'd have the tailwind to push me home.

I was maybe 10 miles into the ride and still had not settled into a comfortable pace.  My right calf felt like it was on the edge of cramping with every pedal revolution, at least I kept telling myself it was a cramp.  After all, if you repeat the lie often enough it becomes the truth right?  Nope, not in my case.  By the time I was crawling into Pilot Point at about mile 36 the cold hard truth was sinking in, that my right calf wasn't cramping, it was developing a raging case of tendonitis.  I hit a Quicky Mart for a bathroom break and took the opportunity to relax a little and stretch the calf in the hopes it would go away, no such luck.  Another five miles up the road and I shot a quick text message to my wife that I was having trouble just to alert her I would need a pickup.  At that point, I was still thinking I could cut west at Tioga, ride the tailwind to Gunter and head south on Preston with the wind and still manage a decently long ride.  The ride to Gunter, even with the tailwind was sheer hell.  More than a few times I ended up kicking out of my right pedal and letting my right leg hang and just pedaling with my left.  At that point, I knew my ride was done and I was stopping in Gunter and waiting for my wife.

And now my whole game plan for February has been changed.  I'd been eyeballing a 200 kilometer ride with the Lone Star Randonneurs later this month, I don't think that's going to be happening.  At best, I think mid to late March may be reasonable now for my first brevet.

My new plan now is to take at least a week off from the bike and running, (how I'm going to stay sane is another issue).  Lots of RICE, (Rest, Ice, Compression, and elevation) combined with anti inflammatory medications.  If I'm lucky I might be able to get back on the bike for some easy rides in two weeks.  If I don't let this heal and try and push it, things will go south quickly.  I'd rather take two weeks off now, than several months later.