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  1. #1
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    Losing the biking feeling

    Hello,

    This probably sounds like a really strange question, but if anyone had some insight, I thought you folks might

    Yesterday I started off on century -- it's been my goal to complete my first ever this fall -- and I began early, got plenty to eat and drink, was feeling somewhat saddle-sore, and a little tired from having some shifting problems on a hilly ride, but otherwise ok ... when the heat began to pick up and I found myself not _wanting_ to ride anymore. I started to feel very teary, sad, sleepy and just wanted to go home and go to bed ... I drank about 1.75 liters of water, and temps ranged from 70-100 (it was 70 at the beginning of the ride and 100 for the last hour or so -- this is in breezy Santa Cruz, California, USA). I felt like I was doing ok, physically, but mentally I suddenly became a basket case. I went from feeling really enthused to quitting by mile 50.

    Anyway, at the risk of sounding like a total dork, I was wondering if anyone's ever had such an experience?

    Another note about me -- I seem to be fairly glucose intolerant -- if I eat much sugar or carbs and I become really sleepy/moody, so I'm usually monitoring what I eat fairly carefully, and trying to include proteins with whatever carbs I have.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or ideas...

  2. #2
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    1.75 liters of water doesn't sound like enough for 50 miles. And especially since the temp rose to 100.

    I am guessing you were not riding at 25 miles an hour, so I am guessing to ride those 50 miles it took you 2-1/2 to 3 hours? or at least over 2 hours?

    I just looked at a used water bottle I have here and it says that 1/2 liter is 9 ounces, or one ounce over one CUP of water. That means you only drank JUST under 4 cups of water--not even a full quart of water. That's not enough.

    I think you became dehydrated. The minimum I've read in these forums to drink is a bottle an hour, and you would need more in hot/arid conditions.

    Also, did you tend to drink steadily through your ride or did you drink all your water in just a few sessions. I have found it beneficial to drink every 10-15 minutes (ideally!) and more water when hot is better! Plus, perhaps if you were drinking plain water in this risin heat, you got an electrolyte imbalance due to increased sweating. That'll make you wacky, fer sure.

  3. #3
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    ooh, oopsie. I drank almost 4 liters.

    almost 2 camelbaks, in other words. I was out there for 4 hours.

  4. #4
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    Also, I had some diluted (~50%) pine-orange-banana juice ... about 16 oz...

  5. #5
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    What was your longest training ride beforehand? Did you taper for at least several days ahead of time?

    Hey, 50 miles ain't shabby. You had a bad day or maybe your training was insufficient. A century is a serious endeavor, after all.

    Shake it off and do the real thing when you're 100% -- not saddle sore or tired at the start.

  6. #6
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    Weelll, I'd done 163 miles the previous weekend, and the last long ride around 3 weeks before that was 85 miles with a lot of climbing (the Holstein Hundred). I did a lot of 10-20 mile rides in between, about 3x a week ...

    So maybe it's just a good old fashioned case of feeling a little burned out . This is my third century attempt -- I keep getting thwarted because of mechanical problems and getting late starts.
    I've been riding an older tandem and sometimes it decides gravity is a dear old friend and snappy shifting is overrated

  7. #7
    OTB is imminent travis200's Avatar
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    I was there it was the Surf City Century. I was a scorcher I agree. I hooked up with a recumbent after we both went 12 miles out of our way. Followed the metric century instead of the 100 miler. The route was not marked well. Had to depend too much on the map. Kind of took the fun away from riding wondering if you were going the right way all the time. At least thats how I felt. I got lost 3 times total. Being lost in an area you have no idea where you are is no fun. There were alot of people being sagged after the metric lunch stop. That ride is all work cause all the work is the last half. The winds before Salinas were a unwelcome part. Did you make it too the stop in Salinas. The watermelon was great. The watered down gatorade left something to be desired. At least you attempted the ride. It takes will power to finish. Just think of this as experience for the next one.
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  8. #8
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    It really does sound like a little more heat than you were accustomed to, leading to a little dehydration. Remember you can't hydrate on the bike. You can only slow down the rate at which you dehydrate.

    Shoot, it happened to Lance during the Tour. You are in good company.

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    Yes, I was at the Surf City Century, too. Unfortunately not the best organized ride, I agree, and quite unseasonably warm! (But better weather than the Faces of America 2003 New York to DC ride I was on the weekend before). I'm pretty familiar with all the roads we took, but I still had to stop once to recheck the map. I did get to the Salinas stop. This was the AIDS foundation's 3rd year organizing the ride -- I would have hoped they would have ironed out the kinks more by now. They ran out of fruit fairly early at the first rest stop. You were certainly not the only one who got lost.

  10. #10
    Syracuse Orangeman 4 Life killerasp's Avatar
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    i thikn i know how you feel. sometimes i get that feeling when i go out biking. after a while, i just feel like going back home. i get those days once in a while. but what i think would help is if you find a biking partner to go biking with you. its gets rather boring if you go alone, but the more people you bike with, the more fun it can be.

  11. #11
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    Too true, too true. I probably would have sucked it up and continued if my pride were involved ;-). My husband rides on the tandem with me, but heck, he's used to my whining .

  12. #12
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    Same thing happened to me yesterday. I went out for a mountain bike ride and after the first 10 minutes, I felt like going home. I was trying to find any execuse not to ride (...the best one I came up with was that my rear tire was almost flat and being a Clydesdale, that was not good for the rim). I got over it by telling myself to just ride 10 more minutes and when those 10 minutes passed, I said "okay, do another 10 minutes". The next thing I knew, I had ridden for an hour and it just flew by. Maybe that would work for you...

  13. #13
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    Thanks so much for all of your replies! They are all very helpful. I don't feel so weird about last weekend now . And that's news to me, the fact that you can't hydrate on the bike. That you really have to keep drinking when you're stopped.

    Someone was just reminding also that it's better to focus on getting to the next rest stop than getting to the finish -- I'll have to try that more.

  14. #14
    Breaker of Spokes P. B. Walker's Avatar
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    I have gotten this time of feeling before at least 3 times that I can remember. All on long rides (80+ miles). The first time was on a 83 mile ride. I was feeling great at 65-70 miles, and then around 75 miles I just felt horrible. I think physically I was ok, but mentally I was out of it. I made it home and just crashed for the rest of the day. I'm not sure what it was because I drank alot of water during the ride, plus had plenty of carbs in the form of power bars, GU Gels, and Accelerade.

    The next two times where on 100+ mile rides and they happened around 80-85 miles into the rides. On the Seagull Century last year, I just hit a wall right before the last rest stop at 83 miles. It had been raining all day and was very windy the entire ride. I basically just sat on a bench at the rest stop for about 20 to 25 mins, then started off again and the feeling went away eventually.

    The other time was on a 105 mile ride on the C&O Canal Towpath. This time it was earlier in the ride, around 65 or 70 miles. Mostly did the same thing (took a break) and pounded a bunch of water and carbs and started off again, and the feeling past.

    I used to think it was just common to hit that "wall" at some point in a long ride and that you just had to work thru it and be mentally tough.

    But this year I haven't had that feeling and I've done many more long rides that I've ever tried in previous years. I rode a charity ride for Alzheimers at the beginning of this month. It was 84 miles on Saturday and 100 on Sunday. Both days, I could kinda tell that feeling was coming and I just drank extra water/Accelerate and ate a bit more and took a break early and the feeling past. I never really hit the "wall" but I could tell I was approaching it, so I cut it off at the pass so to say.

    I have a feeling that this "feeling" is mostly a way for your body to say "Hey, I'm getting tired". So I think increasing your intake of water/carbs (even if you feel fine) and taking a little break is the key to keep this from happen (or fixing it if it does happen). I've found that I MUST have carbs on any ride that goes longer than 2 hours. And sometimes even on rides shorter. I've come close to bonking too many times to even mess around with that anymore. I probably over carb at this point, but I figure it's much better than bonking or even getting close to bonking, and I haven't had that bad "feeling" that you talk about all year.

    Just my experiences.

    Good luck and keep riding.

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