Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Creampuff? Maybe not so much

Whatever crap I was smoking last week when I suddenly wanted to do a long distance mtb race has passed. Realty came back home. Better now than mid race at the Creampuff.

This weekend the family and I went to Black Butte Ranch. Bridget's family has a home there and it makes for a nice get-away. My thought was to go on my first 100 mile ride and see how it went. If it went well, I would go for an admittedly much more difficult endeavor--the Cascade Creampuff 100.

Well, my planned day to go was Monday. With thunderstorms all day I didn't get to go. I was bummed. Today, the weather was pretty good in the morning so I went out. I knew I would not have time to ride 100 miles, but I thought I might be able to sneak in 70 miles if I rode hard. I also wanted to ride the Mckenzie Hwy, which was recommended by Mr. Spears.

Here is the elevation profile of the ride I actually did, it was about 69 miles total:

And here is the route. It consisted of several out and backs.

I averaged 18.6 miles per hours. Considering that I haven't gone on a ride longer than 20 miles at any given time since the Vikingman HalfIronman the beginning of June (my rides are normally around 13 miles each going back and forth to work) going even 70 miles is quite long. And given the climbing that I did going up the Mckenzie highway (I topped out at around 5000 feet) and that this was still going to be the longest ride I have ever attempted I still had my work cut out for me. And I was going solo. No one to draft, no one to keep me sane during that time in the saddle. I did have my Ipod, which was nice.

As an aside, I have to thank Brian for recommending the McKenzie Hwy add-on. Sure it was a bit of a climb, but there was a lot less traffic there and the view at Windy Point was spectacular. I went a bit farther past that lookout, but soon decided to turn around since it was really windy and I was not particular dressed for the temperature drop up there near the top of the pass. The ride back down was fast and fun. My speed going back down was in the upper 30's, so it wasn't too scary.

Oh, this reminds me. I added something new to my drop bar set up--a Syntace SLS aerobar.

I bolted it right on to my Ritchey WCS aluminum drop bar. I changed nothing about the position of the drop bar before I put the Syntace on. Oddly enough, it felt better than the bar I ran for the Vikingman. That was a full TT set up with a base bar, aerobars with the bar end shifters etc. With the set up I ran today it was a bit of a pain in the butt to reach out to shift, but it wasn't too big of a deal. But the bars were very comfy. I strongly recommend them. I will be selling my old set up.

I also left on my Selle San Marco Aspide saddle on the bike instead of the much bigger/thicker TT saddle I was running before. It was a little less comfy, but by the 40 mile mark I was feeling fine and it never was an issue.

But I did start to have issues. Comfort was fine (well except for my back which suddenly felt like it was on fire--I guess I was pushing too big a gear), I just started to bonk. Around mile 55 I started to feel a bit nauseated. I stopped and downed a gel and some Gatorade, but I started feeling worse and worse. Bridget called me and asked if I could get on back to Black Butte Ranch and I tried to hurry there--but I was having problems. My heart rate started rocketing. I didn't have my HR monitor on, but if I had it would have been near my max I am sure. I had to back way off and just try to get back without it getting any worse. Oh, and my back was killing me. Bad. As in I wished I was doing anything else other than riding at that point.

Once in BBR I met up with the wife and kids and we rode together back to the house. I felt like I was going to throw up or faint or both. It was bad. I knew then that I wanted no part of any Creampuff 100 attempt. This was just a 69 mile ride with one decent road climb. The Creampuff would be much much worse. I bonked because I didn't eat well at all. I didn't have breakfast and I only ate a few gels or gel-like things during the course of the 3 hour 43 minute ride. I figure I consumed not more than 500 to 550 calories during the morning. Not nearly enough. But the reason I have done a mental 180 regarding the Creampuff is becuase of my back. I often have lower back pain. Doing the Creampuff would require a lot of strengthening and a lot of training. I don't want to go through all of that. Training for a half ironman tri is bad enough. This would be much worse. Plus the idea of spending 12 to 13 hours in the saddle holds no allure after today.

Bottom line, I will pass on the Cascade Creampuff 100. It is not that I can't do it. It is that I don't want to do it. At all. Pass. Maybe my man-card won't have quite the cred with having done it, but I don't want to allocate that much time to training for that event. I was made aware today just what it would take be able to finish it and I want no part of that. At least not now.

To me the funniest part of all of this is the two conversations I had with DTP about doing the Creampuff. On Friday I told him I was thinking about doing it next year. He jumped all over it. I couldn't believe it. Here is a guy that backed out of at least 2 triathlons this year and now he wanted to do something much worse? All that time on the couch has made him delusional. He was adamant that he wanted to do it. I told him he was nuts. But, he insisted that an event like this has always interested him. I wanted to call BS, but he said that while the thought of a triathlon didn't really make him want to get off of the couch and ride, the thought of an event like this really sort of excited him. I told him some of the facts regarding the race (length, total elevation climbed, time limit, etc.) and yet he still wasn't scared off. Later I related this to Fish who just laughed. Fish has never had any intention of doing this event or Leadville. He is the sane one here obviously. Then DTP called me today and during the conversation I told him that I was out. He then revealed that after doing some research about the course he was a little scared to do it, but he was still committed to do it if I was. BS, but whatever. That is easy to say from the couch. I believe he was secretly glad when I said I had come to my senses.

One last thing. I mentioned that I was feeling totally ill and nauseated when I returned from the ride today. That feeling only lasted about 20 to 30 minutes and then other than feeling tired I was normal. I did a combination of things that really worked well. I downed a packet of Hammer Nutrition Recoverite, four SportLegs tablets, and three Ibuprofen (for my back). And a small glass of Sunny D. Felt like I could have gone out for another 20 or 30 miles after that. Not that I would have, but it was nice not to feel like roadkill anymore. I will be buying more the Hammer Recoverite soon. I think it had a lot to do with my quick recovery.

UPDATE: I feel great the day after this ride. Legs feel good, and I felt good the whole rest of the day. I have learned a good lesson about nutrition. I am sure that is why I bonked at the end. Not enough fuel. As soon as I got some stuff in me I felt great. Swimming this morning went fine as well. But despite my quick rebound I still have no desire to do the Creampuff.

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