Saturday, September 10, 2005

Ride Report: Tour de Paws

I did a 40 mile ride last weekend, the first ride over 30 miles I've done since mid-June. So signing up to do a rolling 61 mile ride today was pushing myself, and I had no goal to go fast. My riding partner and I decided to get an early start while it was still cool and we got off about 8:15. The peloton didn't pass us until after the first rest stop. The ride was extremely well organized--mostly lightly traveled roads and good rest stops and sag. We started and ended at a church that was open with bathrooms, etc.

The first 20 miles seemed easy, the second section was harder (and with one particularly steep hill). My riding partner started to have bad cramps in his legs and turned back after leaving the second rest stop. But after riding the sag wagon to the third rest stop he got back on his bike. I rode on when he stopped because of cramps again, but after pushing his bike up that hill he was able to ride the last 10 miles. He was having cramps in several different places in his legs so it may have been an electrolyte issue--I gave him a couple of succeed capsules, which I take when I ride long in hot weather. I started after reading the stories of the marathoners who were dangerously low on electrolytes--the newspaper coverage tended to say they drank too much water but the other side of that is not taking in enough sodium. It is hard to drink too much water--someone in a running group did a weight test recently and found he was losing a pound of water for every 20 minutes he ran.

The last 10 miles there were a couple of sections where I was hot and my back was sore and I wasn't enjoying myself. But then I would cheer up again when there was something interesting to see. I passed a big plant compressing natural gas and an apple orchard with branches so loaded with apples they were bent to the ground and I was passed twice by a tractor with a disk plow (uphill--I was as fast as he was downhill). After the ride I ate hot dogs without buns and tiny amounts of baked beans and chips and my blood glucose still went a little high--I don't have that post-exercise carb uptake that other people write about. Still, I did a couple of errands on the way home and got home feeling charged up, though my legs feel virtuously sore.

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