This is the second part of a new series I am starting called “Training Tales”. What I would like to do with this is provide a look into the weekly long training session, whatever that may have been as far as discipline. Let me know if this is something you find enjoyable to read. They will all be listed under the same category HERE so that they can be gone through at one time if preferred.
The weekend started with a trip over to Orlando to see if I could slip in a bike fitting before attempting another long ride in the hills. After the issues I had last week, and more importantly the after effects I felt all week-long, I did not want to attempt another 60 miles in the hills only to end up on the side of the road unable to keep going. I tried to find a place locally but with a major race on the weekend all of the shops were booked, so I thought getting over to Central Florida would be far enough away that there might be an opportunity.
I was wrong.
We ended up at Orange Cycle (great shop and worth the visit) but they did not do fittings on Saturdays (or they only do one and that was taken). They had plenty of openings during the week but I am in Tampa so that could not work. I explained the issues I was having and the bike mechanic took some time to flip my headset to see if the slight increase might help. I did not leave with high hopes to be honest.
Sunday I drove back over to meet the team at Killarney Station for the planned ride (60 miles). The night before I discussed with Jennifer meeting up with the team but riding on our own. This is what we ended up doing. I feel like I let Jennifer down a bit because I was concerned about hitting the hills again and I know that she wanted to, but hopefully she understood my hesitation. I think it was the right call as it turned out.
So we picked up one rider from Team in Training that preferred to ride with us, and two more of Jennifer’s friends that tagged along, and we decided to ride the Apopka route up the West Orange Trail. A couple of short leg burners but nothing too difficult just to see how the body responded.
I felt great for a long time. I took the lead for most of the first section, handing off at times to Jennifer, and we headed up the trail. My intention was to be proactive with the back and shoulders issue so I planned on stopping at each ten-mile point, but kept going until mile 14 since there as a good stopping point. The trail ends at mile 22 or so, so we took that opportunity to get refills on the bottles and I laid down on the pavement to stretch the back out and try to stretch the shoulders and neck, which were just starting to show signs of the weariness that creeps in.
As we left the turnaround to head back I was still feeling OK. The back was tight but not too bad, and the neck was starting to stiffen but I was still able to work through it. Until mile 30. The the weakness hit.
It was more in my shoulders and neck this time. Yes, the back was tight, but not as bad as it had been before, but I started getting spasms and shooting pain in my left neck every time I stayed on the hoods too long. With about 12 miles left I told them to not wait for me, since it was on a trail, that I may need to stop a lot to stretch out for the remaining ride. I could last about two miles or so before needing to stop, but at least I didn’t feel like I was holding people back. Jennifer and Sarah ended up doubling back for me right outside Winter Garden even though I told them not to, but I was kind of glad they did (but that is our secret). Cindy and her brother kept going because he was driving back to North Carolina, but the company for that last 5 miles was appreciated. I did feel bad because I was slowing them down, though.
I finished the 43.5 miles and was better than last week, but there is no way I can get through 100 like this as it is. I will be calling shops again this week to see if I can get in anywhere. It is definitely the bike fit that is causing this and not an engine problem. At least I know that for sure.
It’s a step.