Today I rode in the Solvang Century, and I bonked cramped seized everything - my worst day on a bike. I managed to finish, but just barely. And the worst of it is, I have no idea what happened. I ate well yesterday, had a good breakfast, drank a lot, but I must have done or not done something... I started with the lead group and for the first 50 miles hung with them nicely, and felt pretty strong actually. I figure I was in about 20th - out of 4,500 riders! (I hasten to point out I would not have finished 20th; there are a lot of fast riders who would have kicked past me at the end.)
This picture was taken at 55 miles in... before it all went pear-shaped...
Just after this I began getting little crampy twinges, which got progressively worse. A little later my power output began waning, and I was unceremoniously dropped by the lead pack. By 75 miles I was a mess, with just about every muscle in my body cramping. My progress slowed to a crawl as a steady progression of riders passed me. At one point I stopped entirely, disabled by cramps, and I couldn't even stretch them out because my entire leg had seized up. I seriously questioned whether I could finish; in the last 20 miles the Solvang century features a long steady climb and two sharp hills.
I went into the day thinking maybe I could break 5 hours of riding time (a 20mph average) and I was just behind that when my mega-bonk hit. I ended up at 5:46; those last 20 miles took me an hour and a half =O. I think I finished around 400th.
Well so be it; onward. I would love to figure out what happened, but I may never know...
[Update: (next day)... I slept like a stone for 10 hours last night. I think I was just exhausted. I got three hours the night before this ride, and had been stressed and not sleeping for several days beforehand. Memo to self: get enough sleep. Not exactly a breakthough observation...]