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86.3 Miles of a Century Today: Early Heat Exhaustion

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

86.3 Miles of a Century Today: Early Heat Exhaustion

Old 09-17-16, 09:53 PM
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Bassmanbob
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86.3 Miles of a Century Today: Early Heat Exhaustion

So today, I was going to complete my second century ride, but it was way too hot. I also didn't train for this one the way I did for my first, successful, century in April. By the 70 mile SAG, I entered early heat exhaustion with a couple of minor cramps. I went indoors for the air conditioning, cooled off, drank plenty of cool fluids, salt tablets, and was offered two Ziploc bags with ice: one for my back jersey pocket and one to stuff down the front of my jersey. I felt great again and left. Two miles prior to the 86 mile SAG stop, the ice had melted. I began to feel weak and over heated again. They had no ice left and the stop was outside. After resting 5 minutes, I knew it was wise to stop. It was only another 13.7 miles, but I was done-- and I knew it.

While this was a bit disappointing, I'm glad I knew my limits and took action. Overall it was a positive day. There will be other centuries to conquer.

Analysis:
1. I didn't train for this one as much as I trained for the first century. Life obligations got in the way this summer.
2. It was in the low 90's in NE Florida with high humidity and no clouds; the sun was crazy strong today. I thought it wouldn't be so bad when registering two months ago, but it was still hot.
3. I cycled miles 22- 86.3 with no assistance. There were no slower riders like me today, and I was dropped by mile 22.
4. I may have ridden a bit too fast during those first 22 miles. I felt good, but it was faster than I normally ride by myself. I was able to draft, but my effort was greater during those first 22 miles than I've been putting out the last few months.
5. I've been successfully loosing weight the last month. While this will help me in the future, I wonder about the calorie deficit days prior to a century ride.

My good deed today: I caught up to a guy struggling with his first century ride by mile 30 and pulled him for 40 miles. He was relatively inexperienced in cycling etiquette and didn't offer to pull me.

Lastly, my thighs have been cramping on me today and tonight. I'm up now at midnight because I woke with thigh cramps. Other than that, I feel pretty good. The rest of my legs feel fine, and there are no aches or pains anywhere else.
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Old 09-17-16, 10:03 PM
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Congratulations on learning an important lesson that many don't.

You didn't let an artificial goal (completing the ride) override your common sense. You listened to your body when it said it was time to call it.

Don't over analyze what went wrong because that's the kind of goal oriented thinking that gets you in trouble. Instead focus on ways to better manage heat and estimating your limits in the light of conditions.

86 miles aren't any kind of benchmark, but all things considered a good 86 mile ride trumps a lousy century.
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Old 09-18-16, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
4. I may have ridden a bit too fast during those first 22 miles. I felt good, but it was faster than I normally ride by myself. I was able to draft, but my effort was greater during those first 22 miles than I've been putting out the last few months.

I'd bet money that this is the issue. Going out too hard early is a classic mistake.

Sometimes you have to let people go at the beginning. You will likely pass them later on near the end.

Every running race where I have done well was started by running painfully slow at the beginning. I have the same experience riding though I don't race. Slow at the beginning equals a fast overall time.



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Old 09-18-16, 02:16 PM
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If the rest stops have enough ice I like the panty hose trick. That around the neck feels so good when it's hot.
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Old 09-18-16, 03:37 PM
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No mater what the cause of the symptoms, you smart to know your limit and not over do it.
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