Wanted to get some thoughts from the long distance experts... here's my ride summary, would you weigh in with why you think I cramped, and what I might do about it in future?
Did the cat 4 100 mi RR.
The course is soooo flat, and this year the temps were mild and there was barely any wind at all.
So... a 30+mph start (did not feel good on my not-warmed-up legs)...
A steady stream of surges and attacks and the accordion effect of an 80 rider pack with one lane (centerline rule)...
Attacks at every rest stop (where well-meaning volunteers were handing up cups of water... right)
Attacks at each of the 2 sanctioned feed zones (thanks to whichever studly dude made me chase while shoving water bottles down the front of my jersey.
Attacks on every patch of road that was not level (not many)
Despite all that, we rolled back into Wichita Falls with at least 50 guys together.
So a 100 mile rr turned into a bell-lap crit at the end. Which ordinarily I would dig, except I was full-leg cramping from about mile 85 everytime they surged. I discovered I could stand and sprint and not cramp, so that's how I did the final 3 miles.
I had no team support, so I wore a hydration pack w/ 4 servings of Hammer Perpetuem, plus a bit of coffee for flavor. 2 large (plain water) bottles on the bike, a gel flask and banana for backup. No breakfast other than a big glass of water, 4 sportlegs pills, and a cuppa coffee.
There were 2 feed zones that promised "neutral water" handups and luckily enough they both had plenty of volunteers with pre-opened bottled water. So I grabbed 2 bottles at each one.
I only finished a bit more than half the hydration pack, about half the gel flask and a couple bites of banana, so I probably should have eaten more. Might have prevented the cramping, ya think?
I used up _all_ the water, but timed it well so that I was taking my last swigs as we rolled into town.
If it had been much hotter, the water would have been an issue since I like to pour a lot on me.
So here are the thoughts I've collected re: the cramping:
- first twinges started in my inside thigh, the Sartorius
- I suspect that the shape of my Brooks B-17 has something to do with that, it rubs a bit while pedaling. But could it be position-related?
- by mile 90 or so, it was full-leg cramping, which to me indicates some combination of exhaustion / lack of nutrition/hydration.
- the odd thing is, my legs "felt ok" as in I didn't have the dead, nearly-bonked feeling I'd expect. I still had the gumption to jump out of the saddle, but the muscles werent' supporting me while seated.
Thanks for any input!