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Epic Week? Day 1: 212 K

by on May 27, 2014

I’ve planned a tough week on the bike.  There are three long rides planned, along with daily rides for a possible 400 mile week.  This is the end of the Malaria Campaign and I’m needing to seriously increase my mileage in preparation for the 1,000k ride in July.

Day 1: 212 K

Clint and I haven’t ridden together on a long ride since the 200k in Key West nearly 2 months ago.  He completed the Fleche, but did not have a 200k for May yet, and chasing these R-12s means we need to get these rides in.  A Memorial Day ride seemed like just the ticket.  We planned a 6 am start and chose to ride my Eastern Shore “Tour de Del-Mar” route.

The morning couldn’t have dawned better.  It was about 60° F at the start with the promise of light winds and a beautiful sunny day.  On the way to the start, we were treated with a fingernail moon and Venus shining brightly nearby.  I know that when I ride with Clint, a 6 am start means we are watching the clock so that as it clicks over to 6 am, we are ready and we push off.  That was true this day too.  We needed no lights as we made our way through the little communities of Chester and Grasonville and soon enough we were in Queenstown.  The first real leg of the trip had us moving quickly, and gradually picking up speed.  We arrived at mile 30 in under 2 hours, and stopped to top off fluids and get a little food in our bellies.  At mile 45 we also did the same, and had a rolling average speed of 17.8 mph despite 4 miles of milled road.  I can’t count how many times I said, “What a gorgeous day!”

My plan for the day was to work my hydration and nutrition plan from the October 600 k that I did in North Carolina.  That worked for me very well then, and it was a great day for the test.  The plan was water or Rocktaine in water every 15 minutes and about 20-30 grams of carbohydrates every 30 minutes.  There were very few times I missed or skipped that schedule.  I wanted to make sure that it worked for me.

We encountered our first headwinds between Millington and Herrington as we had a southerly track.  Our average speed dropped, but by the time we arrived in Herrington for our “lunch stop” just after 11:00 am we had 82 miles in and a rolling average speed of 17.4 mph.  I stuck to my nutrition plan and ate about 80-100 grams of carbs, with a little protein and very little fat thrown in for good measure.  For me that was a turkey and cheese sandwich on a croissant, real Coke (I usually drink diet) and a chocolate chip cookie.  Clint thought a couple of pieces of fried chicken sounded good … and although it might have been tasty, it was the wrong food at the wrong time and he suffered for it the rest of the ride.

At Herrington it was also time for me to pull out my previously unused “secret weapon” and test it out as the day got warmer.  I purchased an “Arctic Cove” cooling towel that I planned to use.  I overheat quite easily and although I’ve used “ice socks” in the past, they leave me soaking wet.  The cooling towel holds water and acts like a chamois.  I wetted it down and wrung out the excess and threw it over my neck and shoulders for a test during the final 50 miles of this ride.

Pushing out of Herrington, we noted that the wind had picked up considerably and we were now heading directly into that stiff headwind.  I was feeling quite strong.  I would get in front for usually between a mile and a mile and a half, setting a good pace.  Mostly it was 17-18 mph.  Clint would take a shorter turn, and with 2 pieces of fried chicken in his belly, he was struggling to reach 16 mph.  I usually spelled him after .5 to .75 miles.  I noted that although the cooling towel didn’t feel cold, I wasn’t getting overheated.  The Garmin on the bike showed 95 degrees.  This was the best I’ve ever felt with that temperature reading on the bike.  The wind was strong enough, and humidity low enough that sweat was evaporating immediately.  I noted that especially as we pulled into Denton and stopped for ice cream.  Stepping inside, out of the wind, a sweat sheen immediately appeared.

Clint was not revived by the ice cream, as I had hoped, and the last 35 miles were a struggle for him.  He hung back on my wheel most of the time, and I had to watch my rear view mirror closely so that I didn’t gap him.  I continued to feel strong and kept my hydration and nutrition plan going.  I did have one stretch when my right foot started to cramp up bad.  I popped a whole mess of pills (motrin, e-caps, calcium, magnesium) and washed it down with a little more water than usual.  The cramping eased within a few miles.  The cooling towel was also drying out fast.  I dribbled a little of the precious water on it, and immediately felt the difference.

We stopped briefly in Ridgely to say hi to Mary Ann at Dave’s Place, but they were closed for the holiday.

The day only grew hotter and Clint was continuing to struggle.  I continued strong, albeit starting to feel a little beat up.  There, I admitted it.

We finished the route in 9:29 which is actually a pretty good time when I compare it to the other times people have completed this route.  I think it was my 3rd fastest for this route.

This ride was a real confidence booster for the upcoming 1,000k.  There isn’t a plan to ride that hard and fast early in the 1,000 k.  Getting the hydration and nutrition plan to work (which is usually my problem) was key.  I think I went through about 7 bottles of water and was not bloated at all.  Seven bottles really isn’t enough yet, but it is way more than I usually consume.  The cooling towel will be a companion on future rides in warm weather.  The real test will be to see how I do on the rides the rest of the week.

After the ride, I went home, got cleaned up, and went out to dinner with Lori for our 36th Anniversary.  I fell asleep watching television before 9 p.m.

Bible Verses of the Day:

Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even in plowing time and in harvest time you shall rest. (Exodus 34:21 NRSV)

Then the tribune came, arrested him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains; he inquired who he was and what he had done. (Acts 21:33 NRSV)

Quick Malaria Campaign Update: $7,557 raised.

 

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