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What happened to me and how to I prevent it from happening again?

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What happened to me and how to I prevent it from happening again?

Old 10-21-12, 05:55 PM
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Carbon Unit
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What happened to me and how to I prevent it from happening again?

I did a fast paced 30 mile ride today with a friend in heavy winds. For the first 45 minutes of the ride I was hanging with him but around 12-13 miles into the ride, I seemed to hit the wall and my pace drops from 18-20 mph to 14-16 mph. I catch up with my riding partner at the coffee stop drink a hot tea and headed back the same way we came.

I needed to climb a short really steep hill which kicked my butt. I was breathing really hard but started to recover on the decline. Then, I started slowing down and was getting cramps in my legs, knots in my traps, pecks and heck and what felt like gas pains in my stomach and chest. Then, I started getting slightly dizzy. My speed is now about 12 mph. I stop several times to because I getting dizzier. I am wearing a wind breaker which I take off and it is soaked which makes me think that I may be dehydrated.

As I turn the corner on my friend’s street I am now doing about 7 or 8 mph. I get to his house, park the bike and lay flat on my back on this lawn and he brings me a Gatorade. Even though he is six years older than me is now calling me grandpa and recommends I see a doctor. I want to do the same ride next week and see if it happens again.

It has been about 3 hours since I finished the ride and I still have cramps in my legs. Did I just bonk or does it sound different like maybe dehydration or something else?
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Old 10-21-12, 05:59 PM
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Sounds like classic dehydration. Drink consistantly throughout the ride, don't ride for 20 minutes before your first drink or wait until you're thristy.
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Old 10-21-12, 06:11 PM
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Did you do anything yesterday?

What did you eat before the ride?

And yes, I agree with the other poster...how much were you drinking before this happened?
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Old 10-21-12, 06:13 PM
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Forgetting for a minute what happened to you.

Are you telling me you did a ride with a friend and he rode out ahead ? and didn't stay with you the entire time ?.

I'm having some problems with that, but perhaps you're not totally clear in your post as to the circumstances. The guys I ride with will all stick together even when somebodies having a bad day, mechanical, etc... What's the point of riding with someone if you find yourself riding alone ?. Had you been having a heart attack or stroke, a lot of good it does you having a "friend" along for the ride when he's a mle or more up the road. Apologies if I'm reading this wrong.

As to your physical problems, overheating and dehydration seemingly.
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Old 10-21-12, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
Did you do anything yesterday?

What did you eat before the ride?

And yes, I agree with the other poster...how much were you drinking before this happened?
Yes, I did a 20 mile ride yesterday in the rain. I drank a coffee before the ride and ate scrambled eggs.

I only took one bottle with me but I sweating a lot because of the jacket I was wearing.
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Old 10-21-12, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lightingguy View Post
Forgetting for a minute what happened to you.

Are you telling me you did a ride with a friend and he rode out ahead ? and didn't stay with you the entire time ?.

I'm having some problems with that, but perhaps you're not totally clear in your post as to the circumstances. The guys I ride with will all stick together even when somebodies having a bad day, mechanical, etc... What's the point of riding with someone if you find yourself riding alone ?. Had you been having a heart attack or stroke, a lot of good it does you having a "friend" along for the ride when he's a mle or more up the road. Apologies if I'm reading this wrong.

As to your physical problems, overheating and dehydration seemingly.
You are correct. He seems to like to drop me if he gets the chance and then he calls me old man or grandpa when he does it. I don't like it but I do ride harder and faster when I ride with him so I sort overlook the jokes about being slow. I reminded him that I had two surgeries that affect my cardiovascular system one last October then he backs off.

I ride with my wife a lot who is slower than me but I never drop her.
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Old 10-21-12, 06:39 PM
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With your history, it seems foolhardy to do anything other than visit your cardiologist.
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Old 10-21-12, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
I reminded him that I had two surgeries that affect my cardiovascular system one last October then he backs off.
Ummm, see a doctor?
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Old 10-21-12, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
Did I just bonk or does it sound different like maybe dehydration or something else?
I would call it a bonk due to dehydration. I had a very similar occurrence on Memorial Day of this year. I pulled over to the side of the road on a long hill at 36 miles into our ride to sit in the shade because my energy level was significantly down. After resting a few minutes, I told my cycling buddy that I would try to ride again. About 15 yards later, I realized that wasn't working. Then I told him I would try walking the bike, but that didn't work either. He got worried and called 911. After my first-ever ride in an ambulance (expensive and not recommended), a bag of saline, and a couple of cans of Gatorade in the ER, I was back amongst the living. I learned a lesson.
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Old 10-21-12, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
Yes, I did a 20 mile ride yesterday in the rain. I drank a coffee before the ride and ate scrambled eggs.

I only took one bottle with me but I sweating a lot because of the jacket I was wearing.
not a great breakfast when you know you going to push yourself...no carbs at all. Little carbs in reserve first thing in the morning.

Not much liquids.

You were doomed. See a doctor and plan your eating a little better.

good luck
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Old 10-21-12, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
With your history, it seems foolhardy to do anything other than visit your cardiologist.
My cardiologist said everything is good. My problem was a tear in my diaphragm that caused my stomach and intestines to move through the hole and collapase my left lung. I am fixed now but it could take a long time for lung to recover.
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Old 10-21-12, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by buckwheat987 View Post
Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
Yes, I did a 20 mile ride yesterday in the rain. I drank a coffee before the ride and ate scrambled eggs.

I only took one bottle with me but I sweating a lot because of the jacket I was wearing.
not a great breakfast when you know you going to push yourself...no carbs at all. Little carbs in reserve first thing in the morning.

Not much liquids.

You were doomed. See a doctor and plan your eating a little better.

good luck
Yes you are right. Good point. When I do this again, I will eat more carbs and drink more.
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Old 10-21-12, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
Did I just bonk or does it sound different like maybe dehydration or something else?
I would call it a bonk due to dehydration. I had a very similar occurrence on Memorial Day of this year. I pulled over to the side of the road on a long hill at 36 miles into our ride to sit in the shade because my energy level was significantly down. After resting a few minutes, I told my cycling buddy that I would try to ride again. About 15 yards later, I realized that wasn't working. Then I told him I would try walking the bike, but that didn't work either. He got worried and called 911. After my first-ever ride in an ambulance (expensive and not recommended), a bag of saline, and a couple of cans of Gatorade in the ER, I was back amongst the living. I learned a lesson.
Wow, sorry it happended but thanks for sharing this. I think I need to take Gatorade on rides now.
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Old 10-21-12, 07:16 PM
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Looks like bonking. Perhaps a Coke would've helped you out.
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Old 10-21-12, 07:51 PM
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CU, can we go back to the day before? What was your rehydration like then? I find that when riding in the rain, I don't drink as much as I should. Coffee for breakfast probably didn't do you much good if you already were in a negative state of hydration.

I have found on some rides that if I don't drink enough the day before, I will pay for it the next day. I remember a 24H race where I was toast about two hours in, and didn't recover until the 12H mark. The same has happened on several randonnees and centuries.

But another key point you made was how your lung will take some time to recover. It sounds like you are working way too hard right now (and sweating a lot as a consequence). Maybe dial it back a bit, and stop trying to be where you were before the surgeries.

Oh and find a new ride partner.
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Old 10-21-12, 07:53 PM
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The cramping makes me think you may have had an electrolyte imbalance, especially sodium. Pretty common in distance running. More so if someone follows a "healthy" low sodium diet. Too low blood sodium is much more dangerous than simple dehydration.
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Old 10-21-12, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by buckwheat987 View Post
not a great breakfast when you know you going to push yourself...no carbs at all. Little carbs in reserve first thing in the morning.

Not much liquids.

You were doomed. See a doctor and plan your eating a little better.

good luck
Buckwheat's advice deserves another look, if you just glanced past it.
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Old 10-21-12, 08:12 PM
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Hyponatremia (low sodium) is much harder for an otherwise healthy person to reach than the anecdotal evidence on running and cycling sites and forums would lead you to believe. The vast majority of heat exhaustion and heat cramp episodes are simple dehydration and overheating. Cramps can be caused by dehydration, overheating or overexertion a well as electrolyte imbalances. The phosphoric acid in colas (sometimes listed as phosphates) screws with calcium levels which can cause cramping just as readily as low sodium. That's why colas are not good sources of rehydration during strenuous activity.

If you want to hedge your bet, sip on sports drinks diluted 50/50 with water. There is also water with added electrolytes on the market such as Smart Water. You don't need to load up on sodium with salt tablets or highly salted foods.
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Old 10-21-12, 08:26 PM
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It happens to the best of us. I didn't read through many of the reply's above so I'm sure this has all been covered. This happens to me when my dietary intake is poor 24 hours before riding and not drinking enough water during that 24 hour period as well as during the ride. Its basically a lack of energy. Best way to describe it is, your body needs the proper energy to perform to is best potential. Its like a car, you cant put in a cup of gasoline into an empty tank and expect it to get very far (Not talking about electric/hyrbids here).
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Old 10-21-12, 08:28 PM
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Sounds like dehydration to me.You can go years and have no problem,then wham!it gets you.It made a believer out of me.Had a friend that does a lot of triathlons,never had a problem,then one day they only had 4 bottles on a 5 hour ride.Next thing they remembered was waking up in the hospital.The pro's describe stories like yours also.Remember,it can take days or even weeks to recover from dehydration,depending on how dehydrated you were
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Old 10-21-12, 08:33 PM
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colas are not good sources of rehydration during strenuous activity
I don't want to get too far off topic, but I've often seen tour pros drinking Coke during the TDF and also in training footage. I'm not disputing your claim, but surely the pros are drinking the stuff for a reason. I've always wondered why they drink Coke.. wondering if it's for the caffeine, the taste, sponsorship, or something else? Does anyone have insight on this?
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Old 10-21-12, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Parson View Post
I don't want to get too far off topic, but I've often seen tour pros drinking Coke during the TDF and also in training footage. I'm not disputing your claim, but surely the pros are drinking the stuff for a reason. I've always wondered why they drink Coke.. wondering if it's for the caffeine, the taste, sponsorship, or something else? Does anyone have insight on this?
Coca-Cola is one of those mystical things that says "do not drink me because I have everything that is unhealthy".

But it's incredible how it can be a significant pick-me-up. I've used it often on randonnees and centuries, and it simply works for me, while Pepsi and the other generic colas don't.

Maybe it's the caffeine. Maybe it the sugar. Maybe it one of the secret flavouring ingredients. Who knows?

But as you say, the Tour riders seem to get into as much as we do (unless they're using theirs as a masking agent for EPO or some other doping regimen ).
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Old 10-21-12, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
CU, can we go back to the day before? What was your rehydration like then? I find that when riding in the rain, I don't drink as much as I should. Coffee for breakfast probably didn't do you much good if you already were in a negative state of hydration.

I have found on some rides that if I don't drink enough the day before, I will pay for it the next day. I remember a 24H race where I was toast about two hours in, and didn't recover until the 12H mark. The same has happened on several randonnees and centuries.

But another key point you made was how your lung will take some time to recover. It sounds like you are working way too hard right now (and sweating a lot as a consequence). Maybe dial it back a bit, and stop trying to be where you were before the surgeries.

Oh and find a new ride partner.
I hadn't thought about the day before. I don't think I drank much because it was cold and rainy. I am not sure if I was sweaty because I was soaking wet from the rain.

I agree with you on both counts, I am probably over training and I do need a new training partner.
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Old 10-21-12, 10:24 PM
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Old 10-21-12, 10:58 PM
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Sounds like you need to skip the coffee and eat more carbs before riding.

I rode 84 miles today. Woke up and started drinking tons of water right away. Ate a PB&J sandwich. Rode with 2 guys, and we were all together most of the time. Yea, we did split up a bit, but we have rallying points.

I started w/2 bottles of water mixed with Gatorade. Stopped at a gas station, topped off both bottles w/ice and got a bottle of water. Drank half of it, and used the other to fill my bottles.
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