Well, I had an inauspicious start to the season. I went out for my first group ride today. It is described (probably accurately) as a casual, flatish route, with some hills thrown in for interest. From my wussy condition I would describe it as a rolling route with some moderate hills - just what I need to get in shape. At any rate, the ride started out fine, the first leg was about 11 miles to a brief stop to regroup. The second leg went to about mile 24 with a stop at a rec center. As I rode this leg I realized the group was probably riding at about 2 mph over my average. We looked to be averaging maybe 15 MPH. That is pretty mild by standards hereabouts, but my wife and I take our time and enjoy the scenery so I was pushing things a bit. 50+'s Grampster (tcl20010) dropped back to motivate me and his cheerful company kept me moving along. As we topped the last hill and entered the rec center I felt a bit tired but not too bad. I figured I would drop back and take the last leg a little slow.
Unfortunately, I sort of passed out at the rec center . So I sat down but the dizzyness and spots in front of my eyes remained. I was going to rest for a while and then continue on by myself following the cue sheet in a half hour or so. But after about 10 minutes with no improvement the cooler heads around me prevailed and called an ambulance. The EMTs said my BP was in the dumpster and they measured my pulse at 190 (that is higher than my max and I had been sitting for 15 minutes - I suspect their device misread, but I was way out of sinc). At the hospital they found me quite dehydrated. A bag of juice in the veins and I popped back to what feels like normal a little later.
The lesson for me is to build up slowly until I am in better shape and to watch the fluids. I will drink more, and learn about electrolytes -- even for short rides. The funny thing was one of the EMTs was back at the hospital a little later and dropped by to chat. Seeing my regular BP and remarking at the 24 miles we had ridden when he pulled me he said "you are in great shape for a 60 yo." I told him he should have checked out the bunch of folks he didn't have to pull - most of them were older than me and were barely breaking a sweat. Heck, Grampster rides out about 8 miles each way from DC just to join the group ride.
I plan to join this ride again in the future but I will do a little conditioning first. One episode like this adds a little interest to the day, a second would get old