Yesterday, I met two friends at 8 AM for a long ride, and the temperature was already in the low 70's, very much an anomaly for the Bay Area. I was wearing an all black kit, and though I heard reports that it would reach the low 90's, I failed to heed the warning.
At some point in the ride, we caught up to a group of 50+ riders, and amidst that group were a lot of long time friends, and it was nice to spend time catching up. But as with many group rides, the pace quickened, people got dropped, and soon it was a hammerfest with lots of hard efforts, hard efforts that I really should not have participated. I was lolly gagging at the half way point and pit stop, and came out of the store to realize the group had left without me. Group rides don't wait for people.
And this was when things turned ugly, really ugly. The temperature was soaring and those earlier hard efforts began to take toll. Though the temperature was soaring, I did not alter the route and take the easier and flatter route home. Instead, I chose to do the hillier ride home. I ran out of fluids during the hardest climb, and the next water stop was and hour plus away. I was feeling the onset of heat exhaustion, nausea and cramping, and I immediately went into ironman crisis management mode. I took deep breaths to try and oxygenate my fluid deprived muscles to keep them from cramping. During an uphill section, both quads seized up, and somehow I willed enough of a pedal stroke to keep from falling, and made it to the shoulder and unclipped. This was my low point. The climb was totally exposed to the sun, I was so freaking hot, both legs seized up, and so nauseous I felt like I was either going to vomit or pass out. And for the first time in my WHOLE entire life during a ride (that didn't involved a crash), I contemplated dialing 911. This was no longer fun, I mean not even type III fun, and instead, I was genuinely scared. I thought to myself, "I'm not even doing a freaking ironman this year and how the hell am I in this predicament of digging so deep in the well?"
Well, I hadn't passed out yet, and I hadn't vomited, thus that meant I could at least continue to ride because stopping wasn't going to get me closer to water. I somehow made it to the parking lot before the descent down to water, and stopped to asked people for water. Not a single person gave me water, everybody was coveting their water. In-freaking-credible! Both of my legs seized up while standing there and after loosening them up, I gingerly pedaled the descent down to water. Once I got to the water station, to add insult to injury, there was a looooong ass line to fill up bottles. I just wanted water soooooo badly! I could go on with details but let's just say it took me a loooong time to get home, and at least three times, I thought of calling for a ride. Well, I didn't die but the truth is, I really put myself in a precarious situation yesterday. People do die from heat exhaustion. People's minds do outlast their bodies, recall the story about Fran Crippen who basically swam himself to death in very hot water. I stopped at a gas station to fuel up, and was told it hit 101 degrees. I'm lucky nothing worst happened, and I can safely look back at this as a good story to tell. But let me be the voice of reason folks, and say, please know your limits, and be safe out there. It's just ONE training session or one race, LIVE to fight another day. And if you live, you get to enjoy things like paleo pumpkin blueberry chocolate chip "bread", and cafes with bright colors and Eames chairs.
I'm basically interested in all things funny, health and triathlon related, and sustainable living. This blog used to accompany a website I built to raise awareness about cancer as well as raise money for different causes.