So this happened over the weekend…
45 miles, a new distance PR for me.
I set out on Saturday with every intention of putting in 42 miles, as well as experimenting with a new in-ride fuel source, the PBJ, recommended and used so effectively by my friend Paula in her domination of all things running. I’ve been getting by on Zone bars just fine so far, but wanted to get away from the “energy bar” and try to stick with actual food from this point forward. Basically if I’ve got an option that doesn’t come wrapped in plastic and then stuffed in a box, I’m going to go with that, so what better and tastier source of carbs and protein can you find than the PBJ?
My plan was to eat my usual breakfast, half cup of Grape Nuts mixed with a cup of greek yogurt, and then pop one half of a sandwich every 20 miles or so. Needless to say I’m very happy with the results and will continue to use the PBJ as my fuel of choice going forward (especially since bikes and bike jerseys come with convenient bags and pockets for carry small items like half sandwiches wrapped in plastic, allowing me to eschew the drug mule-esque tactics that some of my distance running friends resort to during their jaunts. Oh, the places they will carry their food.)
I felt so good on this ride, in fact, that I made a spur of the moment decision to add a couple of extra miles to the planned distance and round it off to a tidy 45 miles. The only problem was, that I apparently forgot to tell my legs of this plan until very late in the game. When I got to mile 40, my legs had this exchange with my brain:
Legs: “Um, hello, brain? I thought we were stopping at 42 miles today.”
Brain: “Well yeah, that was the plan, but we were feeling so good after noshing on those PBJs that we thought we’d go a few extra miles. Didn’t you get the message?”
Legs: “No, nobody told me. I think I’m going to shut down now, about halfway up this incline that you are on. Good luck with that.”
Brain: “What? Hello, legs? You there?”
I forgot to mention that this exchange took place on my last trip over the Semoran Blvd. overpass on the Cady Way Trail. Two seconds later my left leg apparently exploded into fire. Pain, my friends. Pain. At that point you have two choices, stop on the incline and look like a complete tool pushing your bike up the hill along with the 85 year old guy riding the over-sized tricycle or push through, enjoy the descent down the other side of the hill, coast as long as possible and sob quietly on the inside. I’m all about not looking like a tool, or at least as little as possible while wearing the inherently tool-ish clothing they call biking gear, so I pushed on, my left leg, especially my knee, burning like mad the entire time. Eventually made it to the summit, though it was a near run thing there for a minute. I’ve never enjoyed coasting so much in my life after that, and milked it for about a quarter of a mile while my assessing whether my knee was actually hurt or if I was just starting to feel like a 42 year old for the first time. Luckily it was the latter, and I plowed ahead to the finish, though I did drop my pace considerably just to make sure all was ok.
The knee took a little ice and copious amounts of Icy Hot when I got home, but all was fine on Sunday and I put in an easy 18 mile recovery ride to make sure all the joints were still functioning.
So that’s it: 45 miles is now in the books and I’ve got a half century in my sites in a couple of weeks from now. Now’s a good time to remind you that you can donate to the National MS Society and help me reach my fundrasising goal for the MS 150 in April by clicking the Donate link on the top right-hand side of this page. Thanks for your support and encouragement last year and as we get closer to the ride in 2012. I appreciate greatly all of your messages, e-mails, comments, and texts of support very much indeed.