Sunday started well enough. It was the first truly hot day of the summer and I was looking forward to a nice long ride in Amish country. I've done the ride before and it was fantastic. 40 miles of rolling hills with a nice gas station at mile 20 to buy gatorade or water and rest the legs. We weren't scheduled to push off from Middlefield until 1 so I did a few errands. I wanted to replace my tires so I ran around town looking for a cycle shop open on Sundays. The only one that I found opened at 12. It would be tight, but possible. Matt and I were meeting Janet and our friend Adam at Gurney School at 12:45 so we got to the cycle shop when it opened and bought the tires. Matt put them on in the car on the way down and we made it on time. I also felt much better having the old tires off the bike because they had cuts all around them.
We all loaded up our water bottles and I tried my first Hammer gel and off we went. I have to admit I was a little fatigued from the Mentor training day. I definitely wasn't prepared for Matt to push off at 22 mph for the first 8 miles. By the time we got to the first turn I was a good 1/4 mile behind the group. I was already a little worried about maintaining that pace for 40 miles without keeling over. On top of that, the Hammer gel sat like a rock in my stomach. I don't think that I took it with enough water (and I was really grossed out by the consistency).
We slowed down a bit at that point and it was really enjoyable. I rode with Janet and we chatted a little bit. She's a really fun and nice person and I hope that we can train together again in the future. Before I knew it we were at the gas station. Thank goodness! I was already running dangerously low on water.
Gas station was closed. This was not a good thing. I finished off my water, but didn't have anything to eat. The gel had me a little sick to my stomach and I didn't want to push my luck. I did have some Hammer drink left in one water bottle, but it was kind of gross. An acquired taste for sure.
We pushed off from there pretty quick for the longest 20 miles of my life. Around mile 25 I tried to shift my front derailer and I couldn't get it to shift. After playing with it for awhile I realized it wasn't the derailer, it was my hand. It was totally numb and I didn't have any strength in it. Okay, no problem. I can use my right hand to shift. I am fortunate that I didn't wreck at any point doing that because it totally throws off your balance.
At mile 30 I was really hurting. I was totally dehydrated and had hit the wall hard with my nutrition. I have very low blood pressure so when I get dehydrated I get very dizzy. When we got to a turn I got off my bike and put my head between my legs for awhile. My biggest fear is that I'll pass out on my bike someday. Adam stayed back with me (thank you!) and got me back on my bike. I don't even hold it against him that he lied to me (he told me it was all downhill from there, Ha!).
The next 10 miles were an exercise in mental strength, and my granny gears. But I finally made it. I got to the gas station (an open one at the beginning and end of our ride) about 5 minutes after the rest of the group. Which was nice because Matt already had a liter of water for me. I've never been happier to drink water!
The water actually really picked me up. I felt like a new woman! Just good enough to get in the car, drive to Max & Erma's, and eat a 10 ounce burger, fries, and a hot fudge Sunday. Sometimes it just feels so good to be bad!
So that night I just sat comatose on the couch until 8:30 when I moved to my bed. I was planning on going to the CSU Master's swim in the morning, but when I tossed and turned until 1am I decided a 4:45am wake up would be a bad choice.
The story of Monday later!