Friday 15th October 2011

After Mondays 8.24 mile run, and Wednesdays 9.5 mile run, the knobbly knees were aching so I thought I should rest them a little.

I’d intended to do some intervals on the indoor trainer, but the weather was nice here today so I decided to go out on a real ride. I used to plan out an 18 mile loop, fueled with a whey protein / 40g organic oats / half pint skimmed milk shake around an hour before the ride, and half a banana about 10 minutes before. I packed a small banana into my jersey pocket for some mid ride fuel.

After a little slow paced warmup I felt really good and so lifted the pace to average between 17 and 18 mph. In another navigation mishap (really want a Garmin Edge 500 for the bike), I missed a planned turning and got lost again.

Not one for ever backtracking, I just figured I’d find a new route. (A reminder – I’ve just moved to the area so have never been down these roads before, and to me, not having the appropriate Suffolk/Norfolk background, one pig farm looks (and smells) just like the next!).

To cut a long story short, the planned 18 miler was extended by 10.5 miles. Still feeling pretty good, and maintaining a good pace, I stopped briefly at around 17/18 milesin, and yammed my banana down, in an attempt to avoid bonking.

Like with my runs this week I’d been focused on maintaining a fast and steady cadence, and it seemed to be paying off.
Off I went again exploring the area. Had to stop a few times to check Google Maps on my phone and make sure I was heading in the right general direction.
Other than this, the large number of junctions I had to negotiate, and a 4 mile stretch of what can only be described as a mudtrack (my aching spine!), the roads were pretty great for riding.

Then bang. Happy ride ended. Pain began. 23 or 24 miles in (I didnt care how far I’d come at the time – just how far I had left from home).

I bonked.

My legs seemingly suddenly had nothing left. The 17-18 mph pace was all of a sudden confined to between 12 and 15. I was gutted. The banana was supposed to stop this. Damnit! The last 5 or 6 miles were hell. I was starting to cramp up (electrolyte loss?) and I knew that the goal I’d set myself at around twenty miles of a 17 mph+ run over a 25 mile+ distance was slipping away.

I knew I couldn’t push any harder without significant risk of having to stop. I did what I could. Down to the drop bars to make myself as aerodynamic as possible. Pushed my legs round as far as I could – constantly feeling on the edge of breaking down and them locking up.

I arrived home and drank and ate, and felt strength returning. Synced the Garmin and uploaded the workout to Endomdo. Average speed 16.9mph. So close! Probably if I hadn’t stopped the few times to check where I was, and there were fewer junctions on the route, and I’d avoided the mudtrack, I would have met my goal of a 17 mph average, but without a doubt my body failure was the real cause.

Off to research flapjack recipes and electrolyte tablets….

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