Critical Section

mega bonk

Saturday,  03/14/09  05:19 PM

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...

At 55 miles, still feeling good!

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...

P.S. You might be wondering how my trusty ol' Kestrel did, in the wake of its disaster recovery.  So - it was excellent.  I didn't notice any difference, in fact, I was about halfway through the ride before it even occured to me to think about it.

[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...]

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