The ride started just fine, we planned on a long flat and fast ride, although the hills are always present. We rounded the few mandatory hills in order to find ourselves on some great country roads. The weather was definitely cold, wet, and had a strong headwind for portions of the ride. I'd planned on it being cold, as we were doing a lot of work on the flats, and that usually means lots of airflow, therefore cold (of course at the speed I was going, we didn't exactly get airflow). But the wind and rain definitely kept things colder than planned.
After awhile my back started getting really tight, and I enjoyed stopping to stretch a bit. Unfortunately, as soon as we'd start, I'd start getting sore again. Also, my glutes (butt) was on fire, it seemed I was overusing the muscles, to compensate for a tired lower back from some workouts earlier in the week. This of course is tough, as your butt muscles are pretty small, and they build up lactic quite fast. I think of Rudy from Ironman: Kona who's a double above the knee amputee, and only has glutes to ride his bike over 100 miles. Yeouch!
So trying not to cry or whine like a little girl to Campy about my sore rearend, and back, and legs, and shoulders, and cold fingers, arms, and knees. I would try to space out my complaints to at least every 45 minutes at the most frequent. But I knew he could tell somethings were wrong when my speed dropped even lower than we started.
Finally, as we were headed up a hill I felt it. The moment I'd been waiting for, another LEARNING OPPORTUNITY.
Now let me define learning opportunity. It means, I just screwed something up bad enough to learn a lesson from it. If I'm not too busy crying like a baby, then there's an opportunity to learn something useful to never, NEVER do whatever it was again.
That's what happened next. I stood on the pedals to climb a hill, again with HR down in the 150s, much lower than my normal pace at 160-168max. While standing both right and left quads cramped up, more like a stabbing pain. It wasn't locked up solid, but definately like a knife cutting into the muscle tissue. Not the most pleasant feeling. So I immediately plopped back into the seat, and told Campy. The next 15 minutes I spent trying to figure out what to do next, "Protein, ok 2 gulps of Sustained Energy" "lower cadence (is it even possible?)" "gels, no" Then the glutes started to cramp, along with an increased pain in the back.
Finally after awhile, Campy recommended some Ibruprofen, and he had some suppliments from Hammer (still need to find out what those were too). Being the good student, I remember him telling me a story about how "only old guys have Ibuprofen in their saddle bag". Wanting to someday be an old guy, I did as he suggested. Aha! Ibuprofen, some unnamed suppliments, and a few swigs of Nuun later, and I was feeling GREAT! Yes, really.
Back pain was mostly gone, glutes hurt less, legs hurt less, muscle cramps were gone.... life was good once again, except for the continual rain and cold.
While we were out in the boondocks of Duvall, we encountered my first Road Rage to cyclists person. It was a GMC truck Washington plates A96186A that decided it was a brilliant idea to come within 3 inches of Campy as we rode along, for no good reason. Zero oncoming traffic, tons of room to go around, and no warning he was coming. Not being one to hide his love of those that jeopardize his life, Campy begins shaking his fists at the other driver, and apparently that was enough to cause the driver to throw his truck in reverse, and try to run us down.... seriously? So we bail off the road aiming for the drainage ditch, and forthwidth call 911 to report "Assault with a deadly weapon". I always thought that seemed somewhat excessive, until a raging idiot tried to do it to us.
Mission accomplished, cramping muscles recovered. I learned my lesson, definitely, definitely eat enough protein after working out, get good sleep, and lots of Omega 3 & 6. Also, pack along some Ibuprofen so you can get to be an old guy, as long as road raging idiots are kept far away. Thank you Lord for no injuries today!
- -Really tight back may mean upcoming cramping, or poor nutrition somehow
- -Eat right during training, loads of protein and nutrients, and lots of rest
- -Bring along extra clothing!
- -Carry the concealed weapon