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Old 07-22-10, 07:02 PM   #1
The Weak Link
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Melted. I melted.

Due to an untimely perturbation (I enjoy that word) of my schedule I was able to go on the Old Goat 50 miler today. Nice flat ride and with my Garmin set on stun, I figured I would smoke along, shattering all personal records, crushing souls, fingerbanging into the parking lot, and in general having a good time.

It didn't get off to a good start when I got to the parking lot just as the other riders were pushing off. Cranking up enough wattage to power a small city, I was able to catch up with everyone about five or six miles out. I was pretty tired, but I was careful not to get over-reved.

The heat index was over 100, the media warning people to stay indoors if they had an ounce of sense in them.

These warnings don't extend to cyclists, of course.

I felt just fine for the first 25 miles. At that point we stopped at a 5 Star for about a ten minute rest. I did not buy a Coke. I think that was a mistake.

At mile 32 or so, things went to pot in a big hurry. Even though I'd had over 50 ounces of electrolyte-enriched fluid plus two Nutrigrain bars, I just abruptly lost all will to live, became nauseated and a bit light-headed. Fortunately, I was sweating and had enough water, but I told my fellow riders that I was cooked, to go ahead and that I would be fine.

They believed me so I was able to finish the ride in peace.

I debated making the call of Shame, but I didn't want my wife to lecture me all the way back. She would also come up with some sort of rule about only being able to ride an hour at a time if it got over 80. No way.

The next ten miles were through a section of town where drug and gang killings are not unusual. Craving a Coke, I pulled into Eddie's Liquor store. They sold me a Coke and were kind, seeming to understand my in extremis condition.

I plodded on to the downtown Starbucks for a massive caffeine infusion, which really didn't help much.

I finally dragged into the parking lot, amazingly just behind a group of riders that had been even further back for awhile and must have passed me while I was hanging around Eddies.

As I sit in my den, I'm shivering a bit so I think I came way too close to a heat injury. Eating a quart of Boassen-Hagen-Daz ice cream probably didn't help the homeothermia, either.

If any of you hammerheads have read all this distance and can advise how to overcome this kind of thing, you'll have my attention. More time in saddle? LSD? Propofol? Intervals at 6 in the morning?

Addendum: my bike is worried to death that I'm on Craigslist right now, but I'll feel better about the whole thing in the morning, if I can sleep through the leg cramps.

I guess that's it.
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Old 07-22-10, 07:40 PM   #2
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You forgot your own rule--Doping! Seriously, sometimes, no matter how well we hydrate and get proper nutrition, our body just says "NO" when we ask it to do more than it wants to. More saddle time, proper nutrition, hydration all help, but we just have to accept that we are only human, not super-human.
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Old 07-22-10, 07:46 PM   #3
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I guess one might consider this an "in situ" stress test. You passed, as you are still able to type.

I still prefer my early morning 20 mile Colorado rides starting at about 58F, getting up to about 75F by the time I am finished!!!

And is it a "weird" or an "untimely" (or both) perturbation??
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Old 07-22-10, 07:54 PM   #4
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I wonder if 5-6 miles of catch-up at the start doomed you to an uncomfortable finish.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:18 PM   #5
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I'm smart enough now not to ride in those conditions. I took my bike with me to my daughter's gymnastics practice this afternoon but didn't feel bad about not going for a ride. It was an ugly 90, just too hot to ride. I'll wait until I can get up in elevation and ride in the 60s tomorrow.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:22 PM   #6
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Having ridden only about 4 thousand miles in my erstwhile career, I think I don't have the experince to realize I'm going to blow until I actually do, which is why it tends to seem so abrupt. One mile before I tanked I felt pretty good.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:43 PM   #7
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I rode a solo 80-miler involving my favorite mountain a while back, and it was a bit toasty. At about 25 miles from the truck on the way back in, I was feeling poorly and still had 3 miles of climbing left to get over the mountain. I stopped and got a Coke and cooled off for a few minutes. Even though I had been drinking Gatorade and swallowing electrolytes, I think the Coke and the brief cool down gave me the edge I needed to get back in reasonable shape. Normally, I drink only Gatorade and a smattering of water during a ride, but the Coke just seemed to be the right thing to do at the time. It worked.
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Old 07-22-10, 08:49 PM   #8
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You are in good company TWL.

I spent last week in Barbados in the heat and humidity and had my Tricross with me. I did 3 rides totalling 320 km and was pretty dehydrated after the 3rd day.

We flew home Friday night, arriving at about 1 am. I had a 160 km organized ride Saturday morning and was up and driving to the start at 5 am. Of course I managed to grab a coffee before I left but no food as they were serving breakfast at the event.

I arrived as the bulk of riders were headed out so I skipped the food and scrambled to catch up knowing my pockets were full of gels, bars etc.

After about 80 k my riding buddy looked over and said " It looks like you haven't even touched your water". In fact, I hadn't but in the rush to catch up and work our way to the front I just plain forgot.

at 115 k, we approached the lunch stop where I managed to eat a little food and had water and E-load. I wasn't hungry at all and according to my friends, I was looking pretty bad and was slurring the few words I squeezed out.

We topped up the water bottles and headed back out to the heat. After about 30 minutes, the leg cramps started, I had numb lips and mouth, started getting a headache, my lungs were burning and I had sharp pains in the back and nothing left in the legs.

I soft pedaled for 15 minutes, had a couple of gels and more water. My friend was feeling the heat and didn't want to continue but my stubborn side said push on. We did, and rode the last 30 k into a 30 mph headwind which was a grind.

I drove the hour or so home and just felt so horrible I decided to go to the hospital to be checked. I got to spend two days there enjoying direct feed of their finest saline.

In 25 years of cycling, I had never experienced heat stroke. I now have and don't care for a repeat. I have always planned things better and have always trained and nourished properly but dropped the ball this time.

I have since had all the tests including renal and pulmonary function and all seems good. In retrospect, no sleep, no food and dehydrated to start is a bad combination. I was lucky.
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Old 07-22-10, 11:22 PM   #9
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Epo
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Old 07-23-10, 12:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
....
I still prefer my early morning 20 mile Colorado rides starting at about 58F, getting up to about 75F by the time I am finished!!!

...
Now that is just rude. I sentence you to a mid-day ride in Georgia!
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Old 07-23-10, 04:48 AM   #11
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Epo
A condition I can't change without synthetic replacement.
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Old 07-23-10, 05:44 AM   #12
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Now that is just rude. I sentence you to a mid-day ride in Georgia!
Yeah, I know. Just getting ready for a 6:30 am 30 miler, but the temp is up a bit. It is 62.1F according to weather underground. Don't know if I can stand the heat. But, the humidity is 75% - but that will drop rapidly as the temp rises a bit.
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Old 07-23-10, 06:04 AM   #13
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My answer in this heat is A/C and beer. I went to a spinning class on Wednesday - ugh.
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Old 07-23-10, 06:39 AM   #14
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At mile 25, have a coke and a smile.
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Old 07-23-10, 07:26 AM   #15
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A decrease in "thermal management efficiency" seems to accompany the aging process and we don't get much smarter as we get older. My wife and I have both taken to wearing Camelbak's on the tandem and we find we're drinking much more, but once it get's above 90 degrees and you're climbing at 4-5 mph there isn't much we can do to cool of; can't imagine what it would be like in the high humidity that some of you folks put up with.

The last climb we did my HR would hit 150+ (not max, but not sustainable) on the steeper, 10-12%, sections, but wouldn't drop down even when the grade decreased: simply my bodies way of informing me that I was cooking.
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Old 07-23-10, 07:29 AM   #16
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Epo
I appreciate the wit and I admit I have no personal experience with PEDs other than caffeine and bug spray, but it seems to me that EPO could have made the situation worse by increasing the viscosity of the blood. I wonder if that might have some explanation for the wildly erratic performances of dopers gone by, tanking one day and the very next day turning in jaw-dropping performances.

I still feel like crap, to be honest. I have a ride with some hammerheads (I'm the token Fred/poseur) at 8AM tomorrow. I'll see how I feel this evening. I've been drinking everything I can get ahold of, and my weight is still down about 3 pounds from where it should be.
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Old 07-23-10, 07:44 AM   #17
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I think there is no substitution for acclimation to heat. If you work and live in air conditioning and then try to ride in high heat it's going to be rough. I work outside and when it gets over 100 it sometimes kicks my ass so I'm dehydrated and tired before the ride, so it's a double edged sword.
If you get behind on your hydration during a ride it's very difficult to catch up.
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Old 07-23-10, 08:03 AM   #18
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Pro women's race Stage 2 of the Cascade Classic is a 16 mile TT - gradual uphill all the way out and fast downhill on the way back. From the team car...we were following in the car and saw her hitting about 48 mph and spinning her 55x11 gear! She won the stage and moved into 3rd overall, 46 sec. behind Cath *Cheatley and 1:59 behind Mara Abbott.

Notwithstanding my love of our Pro women's team, she had a bag of ice on her back. Many use the ice technique for cooling on hot days during TTs. For road races, they stuff panty hose with ice and put it down their back. I know I know, you would not want to ruin a perfectly good pair of panty hose but it may work.

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Old 07-23-10, 09:10 AM   #19
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"Melted. I melted."

Easy fix-stay away from Dorothy.
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Old 07-23-10, 09:17 AM   #20
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"Melted. I melted."

Easy fix-stay away from Dorothy.


I did not know that the CRH's name was Dorothy.

Last edited by Hermes; 07-23-10 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 07-23-10, 09:52 AM   #21
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... and can advise how to overcome this kind of thing, you'll have my attention. More time in saddle? LSD? Propofol? Intervals at 6 in the morning?
...if I can sleep through the leg cramps.

I guess that's it.
LSD may cause the sensation of melting. Also lots of pretty colors and trails behind moving objects may be perceived. Don't mix with coke or feelings of paranoia may result. Transference of animation to inanimate objects (like your bike) is common.

At least that's what I've heard from people that would know.

Try tonic water for those cramps.
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Old 07-23-10, 10:19 AM   #22
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So was it hot on this ride?
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Old 07-23-10, 11:18 AM   #23
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I've given this advice on another thread, so pardon the duplication, but E-Caps (Electrolite Capsules) from Hammer Nutrition are extremely helpful in these situations.

Of course they are not substitute for fluids, but that said they do increase your body's ability to accept the fluids whilst giving you all the proper minerals that you've been sweating out. I use E-Caps on all my double centuries but am esp. grateful on super-hot doubles (Death Valley, Knoxville, Davis).

Here's the link:

http://www.hammernutrition.com/produ...aign=lgsiteads

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Old 07-23-10, 11:22 AM   #24
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At least you've not passed out from the heat and woke up with these crawling on you:



They're the big ones--carpenter ants, I believe they're called.
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Old 07-23-10, 11:24 AM   #25
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I've become Rubber Man on more than one ride this year and there does seem to be a recurring theme. I spend too much time at the front when it's my turn to pull and it seems somehow I always manage to pull up the big hills. After that I never fully recover. Also I didn't keep my core cool. Once you start to overheat it's very hard to cool back down so if you can keep your core cool from the start you will delay the heat and last much longer. Ice in you bottles and camalback so not only hydration but cool liquid are going in sooner than later. Also remember, ride within yourself, don't let those young wippersnappers and there new fangled mtv and what not egg you on into going faster than you should. Go your own pace and you will pass them again as they lie dying on the side of the road
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