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Is it better to try and fail, taking the sag wagon home... or to not try at all?

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Is it better to try and fail, taking the sag wagon home... or to not try at all?

Old 04-13-16, 07:10 AM
  #51  
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50K out + 50K back = 100K How much time is allowed for the ride? Are you prepared to spend that much time on the saddle?

DLF > DNF >> DNS

Dead Last Finish > Did Not Finish >> Did Not Start


Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
.............I follow a 10 week published training schedule for a Century, even if Ive been riding my bike a lot to commute..................
Knowing one's fitness level when considering a ride that is other than the norm and becoming prepared for that ride is the prudent thing to do.
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Old 04-13-16, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Its one thing to push yourself but another to jump in over your head knowing you will likely get injury. Injuring yourself does no one any good and if the less hilly metric beat you up badly then you might want to reconsider.

The older I get the less pride I have. When it comes down to it I'd rather ride in the SAG wagon then be miserable and in pain or off the bike for weeks with some kind of injury.
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Old 04-13-16, 01:16 PM
  #53  
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'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
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Old 04-13-16, 01:38 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I am in a similar situation (though not so fit as you.)

There is no question but that you could make it ... the only question would be, could you keep ahead of the Sag Wagon? If you slowed down enough to keep your HR in a safe range, you might get so far behind that the support truck would have to pass you .. and then you would have no choice but to grind it out in ultra-slow motion all the way to the end (don't ask how I know.)

The next question would be, if you finished an hour after everyone else, would yo then be stranded with no way home except to ride back---which would probably be way too much?

I'd say, if you think ti is too much for your current condition, either go for it planning to stop when you couldn't keep up with the group, or try it on your own and just go partway and ride back, and keep going until you felt you had increased your fitness level to the point where you could hang with the group.

Either option offers benefits. The group ride can be a great motivator, so long as you know when to quit (if you need to.) The solo ride allows you to tailor your pace to your fitness level on that specific day, so that you can actually make better training gains than going hard, burning out, and riding the bus might offer.

No matter what, riding the bus back is in now way a shameful option. If you are riding for yourself to begin with, then when you no longer feel like riding ... why keep riding? You have nothing to prove to others, except maybe that you are smart enough not to hurt yourself trying to prove things to others.

Personally, I would ride the route solo, in sections, and see if I could work up to the whole distance over time ... but maybe that is not the right approach for anyone else.

(By the way, for those discussing "injury": When I push my heart too hard for too long, I feel pretty sick inside, sometimes for several hours afterwards. I have read people postulating that in that case, what I have done is done minor damage to my heart, actually caused muscle tearing and scarring on a very small level, and each time I do that, I lower my overall heart functionality.

I am not sure, but that is a really serious thing to gamble with. I try to back off before I do potential harm. I still push---at my last spin class, according to my HRM, i spent about 20 minutes over 200 bpm (this was an exception--I had an extra cup of coffee which really hurts me if I work out after)---but I am not at all sure that if I push that much, that I might not be hurting myself, so I try to back off and let my HR drop to a reasonable level.

Normally (when I don't OD on caffeine) I keep my HR just below the point where I know i will feel bad afterwards---and if that means parking the bike halfway up a hill or whatever, to me that makes a Lot more sense than trying to macho my way through it.

Anyone who has had that most joyous experience of feeling his heart stop beating---and start again---will certainly never want to go there twice. A torn ligament can be repaired. An entire knee can be replaced---I ride with several people (in the old folks' club) with replacement knees who can outride me with ease. I don't know anyone who can still ride after a major heart attack and after a pacemaker implant.

Yoda is a fictional character, by the way.
Um, about that second part... you should see a cardiologist before you do any more workouts. There are no nerves in the heart (not like in your other muscles or skin), so there's nothing to "feel bad" like you say. If you feel bad it's because of something more serious. That, combined with a HR over 200, leads me to guess you may be inducing some fibrillation (electrical abnormalities) in the heart, leading to what you feel. When's the last time you got this stuff checked out (echo, stress test, etc)?
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Old 04-13-16, 03:37 PM
  #55  
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Rather than ask a bunch of dorks on the internet, I'd recommend asking someone who know the course and how you ride.

It's not distance or even percentage of climbing that's relevant so much as the course, the weather, and how you're feeling. In general, my attitude is to always go for it. Worst case scenario is you wind up napping at the side of the road. Even if you can't get on the SAG wagon, somebody will give you a lift so unless you push yourself over a cliff, I think you'll be fine.

Having said that, you need to feel ready for this and it should sound like fun. Reading your post, it doesn't quite sound like you're to that point.
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Old 04-13-16, 04:03 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by jtaylor996 View Post
Um, about that second part... you should see a cardiologist before you do any more workouts. There are no nerves in the heart (not like in your other muscles or skin), so there's nothing to "feel bad" like you say. If you feel bad it's because of something more serious. That, combined with a HR over 200, leads me to guess you may be inducing some fibrillation (electrical abnormalities) in the heart, leading to what you feel. When's the last time you got this stuff checked out (echo, stress test, etc)?
Actually, there are nerves in the heart ... the ones that fire the heart. About half of mine are gone,--an attempt by doctors to control my ridiculously high heartbeat (resting rate 145-150 pre-surgery.)

Since then I have been able to ride and still survive ... I just need to be careful. I got a little sick in Feb and only rode twice in March (too much work) and I got a coffee mug twice as large as my last one. I think I need to cut back on the caffeine and ease back into exercise.

I am not interested in spending the rest of my life on the couch trying to prolong a miserable life. I am interested in learning how to regain lost fitness without killing myself.

My arteries aren't clogged, all my blood work came back excellent at last test ... Sometimes I get to riding and want to push a little more than I know I should, but I refuse to lay down and die ... unless lay down and die halfway up a hard hill I just refused to walk up---and I hope I never get that stupid.

Which is why I suggest that this guy not try to push too hard ... I know how it is when your HRM decides your output, when you think the rest of you could go farther. This guy really could hurt himself trying to fight his way up a hill too far.

BTW, thanks for the concern and the sensible advice. A pleasant change from the "HTFU" norm.
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Old 04-13-16, 04:11 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by spdracr39 View Post
If you predict failure you will fail. Be positive, get prepared, and finish proudly.
Maybe. I've been positive, prepared, yet failed. No shame in it. Learned plenty.
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Old 04-13-16, 04:24 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Actually, there are nerves in the heart ... the ones that fire the heart. About half of mine are gone,--an attempt by doctors to control my ridiculously high heartbeat (resting rate 145-150 pre-surgery.)

Since then I have been able to ride and still survive ... I just need to be careful. I got a little sick in Feb and only rode twice in March (too much work) and I got a coffee mug twice as large as my last one. I think I need to cut back on the caffeine and ease back into exercise.

I am not interested in spending the rest of my life on the couch trying to prolong a miserable life. I am interested in learning how to regain lost fitness without killing myself.

My arteries aren't clogged, all my blood work came back excellent at last test ... Sometimes I get to riding and want to push a little more than I know I should, but I refuse to lay down and die ... unless lay down and die halfway up a hard hill I just refused to walk up---and I hope I never get that stupid.

Which is why I suggest that this guy not try to push too hard ... I know how it is when your HRM decides your output, when you think the rest of you could go farther. This guy really could hurt himself trying to fight his way up a hill too far.

BTW, thanks for the concern and the sensible advice. A pleasant change from the "HTFU" norm.
Huh? I am "that guy" (OP).

I understand the heart is full of nerves, which is why I qualified that they are different than the "feely" nerves that you have on your skin, etc... I don't think you can directly sense any pain in your heart... just pain caused by it no longer functioning properly.

It sounds like you already have regular visits with your cardio, so for sure take his advice over mine... I just wanted to make sure weren't pushing through something undiagnosed that could kill you.

What I have is different. The risk is left ventral fibrillation for me (AKA sudden cardiac death), and the odds of that happening go up quite a bit when I get over 90% of my (perfectly normal) max HR. What you have sounds a lot like A-fib (which isn't so lethal). Mine has no symptoms that I would be able to detect at all.
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Old 04-13-16, 06:36 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by jtaylor996 View Post
It sounds like you already have regular visits with your cardio, so for sure take his advice over mine... I just wanted to make sure weren't pushing through something undiagnosed that could kill you.
Thanks ... Yeah, A-Fib. But I don't take his advice. I intend to live more while I am alive than to live less for longer. I am sure he doesn't want me trying so hard, and I don't take most of the drugs he has prescribed ... but at least I understand my risks.

Originally Posted by jtaylor996 View Post
What I have is different. The risk is left ventral fibrillation for me (AKA sudden cardiac death), and the odds of that happening go up quite a bit when I get over 90% of my (perfectly normal) max HR. Mine has no symptoms that I would be able to detect at all.
Well, that sucks. I can see why you would pay so much attention to HR.

I hope that whether you try the ride now or later or never, that you enjoy whatever you do. Be well (as well as possible, i guess.)
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Old 04-13-16, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Rather than ask a bunch of dorks on the internet, <snip>
HEY NOW! I'm not JUST one the internet....

Just brushed through but yeah - always ride the ride.
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