Friday, July 3, 2009

Erich's Odyssey Part 2/5

For details on who Erich is, check here.

Part 2

Day 2.
4 hour bike, 15 min run immediately after.

Days till race: 9

"In 12 days you won't be able to improve your existing fitness so no point in doing anything super hard..." -P Dub, 3 days ago

These words haunt me. I decide to reconnoitre the bike course today. From a triathletes perspective, swimming is a power based sprinting sport. My 4 minute race is considered a "distance" event in swimming. It will be 5-6 hours before I cross the finish line in this race.

30 km into my ride. I'm haulin' around corners at high speed, tucked into my aerobars. Laying the hammer down, feelin good. Although swim races are short, we train long hours (~5 hrs/day, the same time-wise as this race will take). But rarely is it in longer than 2 hour blocks and it's stop and go, sprint and rest. Not once in my tri training have I been close to V02 max, even on hill climbs. But this event uses a different energy system. So, just over 2 hours into my ride, I crash. Hit the wall. All systems down Capitaine! (Note to self: when going on a 4 hour bike ride, bring more than a water bottle and 1 granola bar). In swimming you don't really "crash". It can happen in workout, but usually it's almost done by then anyways. You can "die" due to lactate, but that's different. I text my colleagues the good news. "Get some sugar in you ASAP" says one. "Find a store and get something to eat" says the other. (Note to self: when going on a 4hr ride, bring some form of $). FML. I think I might be in over my head with this tri. Let me rephrase that: I know I'm in over my head. If 90km seemed as far on paper as it feels in RL I might've given my decisoin second thoughtsbeforehand.

I'm a long way from home. I feel like Armstrong in the 2000 Tour after Pantani broke him on the Col de Joux Plane. It's gonna be a long hour and a half getting back. I fantasize about anything edible/drinkable as I ride past the smell of backyard BBQ's. Although light for a swimmer, it's clear my upper body is too heavy/muscular for this sport, I need to shed 20 pounds to be legit. I stop for a break in the grass. My head pounds. Vision not 100%. Arms and legs tingle. Hands are cold in the afternoon heat. Guess my stingy body is saving the blood for places that need it more. Who rocks the hypoglycemia at the party? Apparently me.

I feel embarrassed, in my race gear, creeping along at a snails pace. I see a commuter up ahead. It seems like I'm barely making inroads. There is NO way I am stooping to the level of bike-commuter. Plus it's a chick, are you kidding me?! Man up. I blow past her at the bottom of 6-mile hill and don't look back till I get to the top. She isn't even in sight. At least I still have my pride.

Get home, quickly throw on shoes, grab some cash money and run down to the corner store. About the only thing keeping me going at this point is the knowledge that corner stores are full of sugary goodness. I scarf down Reeses, wagon wheels, a couple butter tarts, 5 cent candies and 1L of Gatorade faster than you can say "The ladies go crazy for my sugarlumps".

I read the label: glucose-fructose. Might as well say nectar of the gods.

1 comment:

MJ said...

Ha ha ha... this is entertaining $hit.

I like the stream of consciousness style...