I have not been talking about a lot of the issues I have been having recently on the blog, mostly because when I write I tend to become more … jaded … than when I am speaking so I decided to just keep it to the podcasts instead. Yesterday, however, was the final training ride for the Tahoe Century in 13 days, so it was time I wrote down the issues I have been having, how I tried to correct some of them, and what the final ride felt like (70 miles) after all was said and done.
To go back a few weeks, on the first two 60 mile rides we had planned, I developed a pain in my right foot that I could not get to go away. It got so bad that by the rest stop at mile 40 I didn’t feel like I could keep going and caught a ride back to the car both weeks. The pain was so bad that I really thought I had broken something, and I had trouble walking for a few days afterwards. I went to the Walk-In clinic just to have them put eyeballs on it and was told it was probably a stress issues, possibly a bone bruise. So I stayed off of it and went to a local bike shop to get it checked out. The bike fitter was not there but someone took a look at the issues and immediately noticed my seat was too high. By almost 3 inches. This would, of course, cause me to shift to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke, so that was lowers. He also adjusted some of the bar settings, but preferred to have the fitter look at me before adding extensions to the pedals, which he thought I needed. I also opted for a new shoe (Scott) and moved from Speedplay’s to Shimano to give me a wider base on my feet.
Initial testing felt good and the plan was to not ride with the team that weekend since I had a planned 50 mile event. That event went well. Still some foot pain but much better, so I hot a local hilly course on Sunday to see if it was OK there. Better, not perfect, but better. I went in to get my normal fitting on Friday and he actually did fit me with extensions because my knees were WAY outside of my feet (partially due to the belly). My left foot had a 13 degree outward angle, and my right a 21 degree outward angle so shims were added to help with the outside foot issue. It felt much better on the trainer, so I went into yesterday’s ride with high hopes.
It started out great. The fitter said I might feel soreness or aches in spots I wasn’t use too since I was sitting very different on the bike, and he was right. The foot pain was there but instead of being localized to the outside of the foot it was spread across the whole foot. In a weird was this was better since I didn’t feel like it was debilitating. The ride was very hot, and I was drinking constantly from my Camelbak. I had never drained my pack, but that ride I had emptied it by mile 35 and had to refill from a local gas station. Turns out I drank too much.
The group pretty much left me by mile 50 after I told them it was OK to do so. I was running low on gas and having back spasms, so I was needing to stop every 5 miles or so to stretch out and didn’t want to hold everyone up. Turns out I wasn’t as far behind as I thought I was, maybe 5 miles or so, but I was struggling for sure. At mile 65 the over drinking got me and fertilized the side of the trail, but felt better afterwards.
I completed the 70 miles, which I was good with since I had not completed a team ride in 4 weeks. I was not in good shape, mind you, and I am all kinds of sore today (and still having back spasms), but I bounced back mentally pretty quick. The team worked together and boxed up our bikes for the UPS ride to Tahoe (on the Mountain Bike for the time being now). Luckily our coach is a UPS driver and is taking them all with him to work today. One less thing to worry about.
So, no idea how Tahoe is going to go. I check weather this morning and it was 25 degrees there, so heat isn’t going to be an issue (though cold is a whole other thing). I think of it this was way … I’ll do what I can. If I have to stop I’ll stop, and take it one 10 mile chuck at a time until the damn thing is over. Over 4000 feet of climbing, and a thin atmosphere. Should be interesting.