Building Blood Plasma?

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That is the only thing good that might have come from riding nearly 4 hours yesterday on my MTB bike to Lawrence and back at over 100 degrees. And I don’t even know how that works, but I’m going with it. The Garmin guys sit in the sauna to do it, I might as well do it while riding my bike.

Yesterday I was good for the first 3+ hours. Then the last hour is when it started falling apart. When my Garmin was continually reading about 108, I knew it was bad. It is usually about 5 degrees high, so I figured it was around 103, which is exactly what the high, record temperature was.

Keith and Catherine started with us at 10, but they turned around at a sensible time and got in around 50 miles. Bill and I kept going and met up with our ex team-mate, Ben Stover, who was out messing around on his new cross bike on gravel. Ben rode us back to Lawrence. It wasn’t until heading back to Topeka that things started going downhill for me. It seemed like after every climb, I just stayed hot. Bill started predicted when the next ugly section would be. The sections totally exposed to direct sunlight plus headwind. The headwind seemed to help some initially, but after a while it seemed to have no cooling effect. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe when the temperature is hotter than the 98.6 degree body temperature, the wind actually adds heat more than cools? I don’t know, but it was bad.

Eventually both Bill and I were just steady state, creeping back. There is a water fountain at the end of the bike path right when you get back to town. Bill said he was stopping to get some water. It never crossed my mind to do anything other than stop. But upon stopping, it seemed like it was twice as hot as before, so I guess the wind was doing something. I was so hot I could hardly stand it.

I think the reason is because I have really not been in the heat for the whole year. A couple days here or there, but the last three weeks, riding in Colorado and Utah, a hot day was the upper 70’s. I warm arm warmers a few times and my wind jacket a ton. After standing out in the sun for 8 hours on Saturday at 100 degrees and then riding 4 more hours the next day, my body said uncle.

So, we limped home and then I started cramping. Not horrible cramping, but enough to wake me up. One interesting cramp was up high on my left leg. I cramp riding sometimes in the satorius muscle. This one was nearly the satorius, but deeper. It cramped so long I started wondering if it was ever going to release. I briefly though I was going to have to try to get to a phone and call 911, it seemed to go on that long. I hate surprises, especially new muscles cramping. It was painful, but a little interesting at the same time.

After than, just the normal foot, hand, leg cramps that seem to happen once one muscle cramps. I don’t know why people cramp. I don’t think it is really understood by the medical profession. For me it seems to have something to do with heat usually. It is not drinking or electrolytes or anything like that. I’ve tried all the common ways to stop it and nothing seems to help. But, hopefully all the hot weather is just about over. Here in Kansas it is supposed to be in the mid 90’s a couple more days and then get more normal. Up in Cable it is going to be in the lower 70’s, then 60’s on the weekend for Chequamegon. Friday night the low is approaching the 30’s up there, so it is going to be a cold start for the race.

Anyway, Stacie’s husband, Karl drove through Topeka last night on his way out to Colorado. He has a KTM motorcycle in the back of his truck and is going out there to play some. He is heading off to stay with Vincent tonight. Our destroyed little group of bike riders came over for some homemade pizza. Keith and Catherine kind of fell apart on their shortened ride, but nothing like me. Anyway, since it was a “school night”, those guys took off around 10, so it was pretty tame. It was nice having everyone over. I hadn’t really talked to them, other than riding, for a while.

I woke up this morning, planning to make Karl some breakfast. The extra pizza dough I make into bread, which makes awesome french toast. But Karl was on East coast time, kid time too I suppose, so he was long gone at 7:45. Today I’m going to take it easy I guess. My legs are still mad at me. Tomorrow I’m heading up to Cable to hang. Bromont is ready to get out of the heat so I can’t argue with him much. It’s his favorite place on the planet Earth. I like it pretty much too.

Karl's KTM in the driveway.

Karl’s KTM in the driveway.

Foot completely cramped.  It's a pretty ugly thing when you look at it closely.

Foot completely cramped. It’s a pretty ugly thing when you look at it closely.

My Garmin was sitting at 107 + the last hour or so.

My Garmin was sitting at 107 + the last hour or so.





Breakfast bread.

Breakfast bread.

8 thoughts on “Building Blood Plasma?

  1. Jeff

    You were probably dehydrated before you even started your ride from your activities the day before. How much did you drink while you were standing around at the clinic? Later that night? How much did you drink on the ride itself? In this heat you were probably several liters (4-5) behind and you fell off the cliff from a performance standpoint. Your body can only compensate so much before performance suffers. Studies have shown that cyclists and endurance athletes in general, grossly underestimate how much we need to drink as well as actually drink when we exercise. So drink up!

  2. Skippy

    Thought i had sent in a recommendation that you take a blood check for P.E.

    Meanwhile i hope a few aspirins , thinning the blood , will act as preventative medicine


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