Mmm, I love baked goods. Nothing quite like a squishy gooey cinnamon bun or a rice tart from my fave Belgian bakery. But sadly, I’m not talking about such soothing baked goods. Nope rather baked goods refers to how I felt out on my ride today. My plan was to “beat the heat”… Ya right!
Lets just say the “heat beat me”… I had an innocent 75 minutes on the plan today some endurance to warm-up the legs and then tempo intervals to shake things up and get the blood flowing. No problem. I had two full water bottles with a bit of apple juice in them and I was ready to go. Hit the road just after 9:30. Perfect – still not too hot and a slight breeze to keep me cool.
Ha! Well, the first hour or so was spot on. Great ride. Legs were ticking over smoothly and I liked the numbers I was seeing. And then the it happened. Almost as soon as I finished my last interval – the goosebumps came on. The hair on my arms was standing straight up, my legs were covered in goosebumps and I felt cold. Uh oh.
Not sure if it was a bonk or heatstroke or a combination of the both. Whatever it was, it resulted in a death ride home. What normally takes me 30 minutes or so took close to an hour. It was all I could do to turn the pedals over. I stopped worrying about power, cadence and speed. My focus was getting home. I had about 3/4 of a bottle left at this point. I stopped at a couple of businesses in hopes of filling up my bottles but strangely there was no one around.
So mind over matter and just focus on getting home. My mind was beginning to wander from listening to my podcasts to food. A sure sign that things have gone badly. Funny how appetizing a recovery drink seems when you’re out baking on a hot road far from home! Luckily as I rolled into town, I came across a couple just getting out of their car – they kindly filled my bottles with ice cold water (thank-you). I rolled home very happy to be returning to air conditioning. And no, I haven’t been outside since!
I’m sure this bonk/heatstroke incident was induced by my dietary changes over the past few days. As you know I’m following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and in the first week of the diet, carbohydrates are strictly limited. Today I was able to add bananas to my diet – but there aren’t a lot of carbohydrates in bananas. Still the dietary changes are making a big difference in my ulcerative colitis symptoms and I’m feeling much better than I have in a long time. It will take a bit of time and research to tweak the diet to make it work for cyclo-cross training and racing, but I know it can be done. I’m currently reading The Paleo Diet For Athletes – very interesting read and follows many of the same principles as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
All this to say – it is hot out there! Make sure you take more liquid than you think you need on your ride (normally I wouldn’t need two bottles for 75 minutes…) and bring some food in case the dreaded bonk/heatstroke sets in. This heat is nice but really, I’d take some rain right about now! Tomorrow is a recovery day for me so I’m off to play in the woods on my cyclo-cross bike and then to the park for some skills and drills. Good sensations all around.