Finally figured out why I feel so rough today. Plain and simple – I was dumb. I went out for my three hour ride with little to no carbohydrates in my system and only water in my bottles. To top it off, it was cold and raining. At about two hours into my ride, my power was jumping all over the place, my cadence was erratic and my stomach was grumbling. But like an idiot, I ignored the body signals.

“I only have an hour left, I don’t need to eat. I’ll just drink some water.” Well, when it came to the for the 30 minute tempo block, I was useless. I couldn’t keep the power numbers where I wanted, I was grinding away at 83 rpm. I was a slug on the bike. Of course by now, the hunger sensations were gone – guess my body was focusing on just getting me home.

Now, I had food. My jersey was loaded with Clif Shot Bloks and Clif Shot Gel. But I didn’t eat them. Nope. Just slugged back more water and berated myself for riding so poorly. I was convinced there was a problem with my power meter or maybe with the cadence magnet. That 175 watts felt like 400 watts and I just couldn’t understand why. I rested on Thursday. I concluded that I was just having a bad day on the bike.

I should have clued in when I got home and couldn’t decide on my lunch. Normally during my rides I’m planning my next meal. Assembling super salads, power smoothies, and crazy yogurt/fruit/nut bowls. Not this time. Food didn’t really enter my head. So I went for something simple: 6 stalks of celery with almond butter spread on them and then a bowl of All Bran with raspberries and chocolate protein powder. Yep, pretty darn dumb. After eating I really started to feel worse. Wicked headache. Wobbly legs. My eyesight was kind of funny. Just a general malaise. I slugged back more water (note by this time it was 1:00 and I hadn’t gone to the bathroom since 9:00…).

I guess I was in bonk city. I chatted with Marc and he informed me that celery and All Bran were not adequate carbohydrate sources after a three hour ride. Suppose he had a point… A two hour nap ensued and I just devoured two Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick bars. I’m slowly feeling better.

I learned a hard lesson today. Eat when you feel hungry. Actually, eat before you feel hungry. Listen to your body. Don’t be a dummy about food. Sometimes I get caught in that “weight loss” syndrome of so many endurance athletes – trying to closely control my intake and cutting it very close with the carbohydrate intake. I suppose in a week where every ride (with the exception of Thursday’s recovery ride) was a minimum of three hours, I should have loosened my “rules” a bit.

Not the best day on the bike. But a valuable one.

Big Week

I’m in the middle of a big week of riding. Actually this is my second week in a row of some pretty high volume and extra intensity. Initially when I looked at my plan, I was disappointed to see a short 90 minute ride on the schedule for today. I wanted to do a double-day – maybe 90 minutes in the morning and then a mountain bike ride in the afternoon. But I stuck to the plan. There is after all, a reason for the plan.

Well, lets just say, my coach is one smart dude. Somehow he knew I’d be feeling a bit wiped out today. 90 minutes was just what I needed. I even did it at the recovery pace. I just pedaled, listened to my iPod and took in the scenery. Very relaxing ride. Suffice it to say, after today’s ride and a 30 minute walk to the local plaza, I’m tired.

Best get to bed soon because there is no rest for the weary on Friday. Nope – three hours with a 30 minute tempo block at the end. Should be a good one. I’m counting on the rain having stopped and the roads being nice and dry… Looking forward to the ride. This week I’ve been heading out towards Richmond and beyond. Think a Malakoff Road ride is in order tomorrow.

Weekend is shaping up nicely with a mountain bike ride and then a long four hours on Sunday. The plan for Sunday is to ride out to the Calabogie race track to watch Marc’s race. Only bummer is that Marc’s race starts at 11:30… So I’ll be leaving kind of early – but at least this way, I’ll get to watch Marc race.

Really, not much else happening. Just enjoying the training and remembering to be patient. I’ve got to say that I’m getting addicted to long rides. There is something to be said for solo four hour rides. Though by the end, I do find that I talk to myself. So long as I don’t answer back, I guess I’m okay…