Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Century Ride

Sunday morning arrived with the usual sun and humidity one would expect in mid-July.  On Saturday, we did receive some light rain, but all it seemed to do is tease the crops and provide even more humidity for us on Sunday morning. Because I'm still dealing with these chronic hives, I decided to wear my neon yellow bike shirt by Pearl Izumi as well as my DeSoto Cool Wings and beanie.

All ready to ride.
Awesome Cheryl & I decided to leave from my house and follow the hilly route which another T3 member recently shared with me. Riding from my house through Washington and Germantown Hills to Metamora should be approximately 52 miles. We were then going to hammer it back to my house and do some extra miles if we need to hit 112. With highs about 94, we wanted to get started early.

Jeff decided to join us on the first 10 miles of our ride before looping back home because he's training for another sprint triathlon in August. After Jeff turned back to ride home, we had a long stretch on Dee-Mack road which leads to Washington where we had our first pit stop. We stopped at the Casey's to refresh our drinks and use the facilities.

Our next segments meant it was time to hit the hills and HIT them we did. I tried to view this ride as a training ride. I left my bike in the big gear to try and push my legs to get stronger, more prepared for Ironman Louisville. The hills on this route are tough, but on the downhills an odd combination of scary & fun as long as you find the right piece of road. On a couple of the major hills, I had to come out of aero position. I was way too nervous flying down these bumpy hills at 34+ mph.

We made another pit stop in Metamora where I decided to stay with water. I bought a Gatorade at the last stop and it just tasted way too sweet and the flavor too strong. My nutrition plan for the day was to use Perpeteum in my aero bottle. If we were in between stops, I would refill with water from my down tube bottle so we could keep going. I had another water bottle with Hammer Heed as well as Stinger Waffles and Gu Gels in my snack sack. During the time where I didn't have Perpeteum in my aero bottle, I used the Stinger Waffles and Gu Gels to make sure I kept my nutrition up to about 250 calories per hour.

I don't really mind the Perpeteum. A lot people talk about how thick it is. Yes, it is thick, but most of the time it hasn't been a problem. I like using Perpeteum because it's readily accessible at our local biking stores.

On the return home, we stopped at in Washington again to re-freshen our drinks. We were 70 miles in and I thought I was feeling pretty good. We hit mile 80 and I felt the wall start to come crumbling down. Right before hitting Washington I started to notice a pain behind my left knee. I was concerned about whether it was an issue of pushing hard on the hills or possibly a bike fit issue. I struggled through the next few miles trying not to push with my left leg which meant my speed was greatly reduced. Cheryl & I thought we were going to try and get 120 miles in, but she was running out of fluids and I was concerned about pushing through more hills with my knee. So we decided we would have to be happy with 100 miles and headed home.

As soon as we got home, I could have laid down for a nice nap. It's amazing to me how my body automatically turns to recovery mode. However, a nap was not meant to be. I needed to go take an oatmeal bath to ward off the hives as much as possible.

Later that evening Cheryl & I went to the T3 open water swim. My legs were tired, but I simply wanted to be in the water. I was hoping the water would refresh my body, maybe even wash away the hives. Maybe?

Note the red, swollen eyelids. Not good. 

On Monday, I didn't have a lot of energy in my legs. With the launch of Body Flow 57 that evening, I decided to take it easy and make sure I had my choreography down. Monday night I taught ZUMBA,  launched Body Flow 57 and then taught Body Pump. By Tuesday morning, my eyes were red and swollen which only had the affect of making me want to cry. I thought I could handle this. It's only 40 more days. 40 days of itching my arms and legs I could handle, but the redness and swelling around my eyes is not only very uncomfortable it's very worrisome.

I've been trying to ice my eyes as much as possible, but it doesn't seem to do much except freeze my nose and sinuses. I put a call into the Good Doc today. I'm not sure what he can do for me at this point, but I need to try. Cheryl & I are debating another long ride this weekend which just means the situation is only going to get worse not better.

I'm sure the antihistamines are doing their best. It's just not clearing it up. It's like they just can't get ahead of my body. I've always said I'm a one Ironman girl. I guess my body is definitely trying to send me a message saying, "Yes, become an Ironman on August 26th because after that you need to rest....and not try to do this again."

So, if I'm not an Ironman by midnight on August 26th......I doubt I ever will be.

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