Three more weeks of training to go and I’ll be heading to Tucson to participate in the EL Tour De Tucson Century Ride. I’m not going to call it a race, because I’m not racing anybody. Maybe the clock. My goal is to finish in the time allotted or a little before. Training so far has been going well. I am hitting all the milestones I’ve set for myself without too much trouble each week. So far no mechanical mishaps and for that I am VERY grateful. My body felt better during last weeks long ride then this week. This weeks long ride was ok but became a real grind towards the end. I felt good for the first 40 miles, then I started to feel fatigued. Not bad but I seemed to be sweating more and a little tired.
My physical body felt fine, I was experiencing a drained type feeling. I also had a hard time clipping out of my new pedals. It caused some stress and angst every time I needed to stop. I’m not 100% used to these new pedals and not quite sure why I’m experiencing this problem. Now that I’m into the 50+ rides I need to focus more on what I’m doing inside and out. Eating, drinking and resting. It’s not at all like training for the marathon. There is a different type of intensity. I will admit I was thinking about everything under the sun. My mind was just wandering this time around. As I get closer to 50 miles that’s when I start to notice my mental fatigue. I’m more reckless meaning not really paying attention like I did at the beginning of the ride for cars or people etc. Like I’m just going or an out of body feeling sometimes. I started to think about the movie Castaway on this ride. Your mind starts playing tricks when you’re really tired. Wilson! Try to keep up Wilson! Wilson can you pass that sports gel friend? That’s exactly what I felt like.
Or having the urge to laugh uncontrollably! Oh that was funny Wilson, I’m so enjoying our time together!
On part of my route I go through a more, shall we say affluent neighborhood. We shall call it the good hood. A lovely non-gated community nestled at the base of South Mountain with very nice homes. There is a cul de sac that I have a timed stop. Usually for a gel, water or maybe a bite of an energy bar. Last week I stopped and I tried to take my gum out and dispose of it in paper. I opened my mouth too wide and it fell on the ground. No….I didn’t pick it up. I didn’t have the proper packaging because I messed it up with the gel pack and I…well damn I just didn’t want to get my hands sticky. I’m sorry people of the good hood. This week I dropped a plastic bag, while riding, in the same location. I carry a bag for garbage (see I’m responsible!) but no I didn’t stop to pick it up. I did pick it up the next time around. Oh and yes, I took some selfies. I can only imagine what the neighbors are saying as they look out the window drinking their morning coffee, “George, there’s that woman again! And…and she’s dropping her gum, now a selfie! I knew we should have voted yes at the home association meeting for the community gate!”
Once I hit mile 58 things began to go downhill. My goal for this week was 65 miles and I fell just shy of that with 61.72. I was making my final round when I stopped to cross a street. Once I unclipped and put my right leg down I had the worst cramp in my right quad. I have Never had a cramp in my quad and nothing that bad. When I looked at my leg there was a huge mass right above the knee. At first I thought I had done something much worse but it wasn’t the pain of a pulled muscle. But the pain overtook my whole body. I literally had to lay the bike down. After a few minutes I was able to cross the street and again just stood there until the pain passed. Per the Mayo Clinic online: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/muscle-cramp/symptoms-causes/dxc-20186052
Symptoms and causes of muscle cramps
Most muscle cramps develop in the leg muscles, particularly in the calf. Besides the sudden, sharp pain, you might also feel or see a hard lump of muscle tissue beneath your skin.
Overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain or simply holding a position for a prolonged period can cause a muscle cramp. In many cases, however, the cause isn’t known.
Although most muscle cramps are harmless, some may be related to an underlying medical condition, such as:
- Inadequate blood supply. Narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to your legs (arteriosclerosis of the extremities) can produce cramp-like pain in your legs and feet while you’re exercising. These cramps usually go away soon after you stop exercising.
- Nerve compression. Compression of nerves in your spine (lumbar stenosis) also can produce cramp-like pain in your legs. The pain usually worsens the longer you walk. Walking in a slightly flexed position — such as you would use when pushing a shopping cart ahead of you — may improve or delay the onset of your symptoms.
- Mineral depletion. Too little potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet can contribute to leg cramps. Diuretics — medications often prescribed for high blood pressure — also can deplete these minerals.
Factors that might increase your risk of muscle cramps include:
- Age. Older people lose muscle mass, so the remaining muscle can get overstressed more easily.
- Dehydration. Athletes who become fatigued and dehydrated while participating in warm-weather sports frequently develop muscle cramps.
- Pregnancy. Muscle cramps also are common during pregnancy.
- Medical conditions. You might be at higher risk of muscle cramps if you have diabetes, or nerve, liver or thyroid disorders.
Damn…age..no they didn’t!
Anyway, it passed quickly and I felt fine after five minutes. Didn’t even need a nap that day. I completed 80.99 miles this week!
Bam! I finished October with 310.44 miles for the month. 7385.24 miles remaining! Blessed and grateful. Happy Miles to You!