Monday, February 26, 2007

Still out of shape

I verified this morning that I'm still out of shape. I attempted twice to really hammer it, and I'm unable to sustain serious power output for more than maybe a minute at a time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not slow like a 5 year old that's going for a bike stroll, but I'm not fast at all. I really should break down and buy a pair of computers for my bikes.

The first time I really got on it was less than 1/4 mile into my ride. There's a pretty significant hill just south of where I live, and I always end up spinning slowly in the second or third gear of my middle chainring to get up it at a snail's pace. This time, I picked up the pace in my top gear on the downhill leading to it, kept my cadence up, dropped to the second ring (still top gear) and halfway up the hill my legs just started giving out. Down to 6th. Nope, 5th. How about 3rd? What the blazes?! Okay fine... Second gear, second ring, snail boy!

I decided to take it easy going up the 127th street viaduct. The grade isn't nearly as steep as the hill that had just schooled me in the ways of taking my time, but it definitely slows me down. As I clear the apex of the ominous structure, I see that there are already cars waiting in my left turn lane and the light is sure to change soon.

It's downhill, right? I can go really, really fast downhill. Okay, I can go faster than I can on flat land, but not really fast. I decide to hammer it again. I don't know how fast I was going but it was probably around 35 MPH which is quick for me. As the viaduct leveled out, I maintained cadence in the flats. The light turned green, cars were turning. Just as I enter the left turn lane, the light goes yellow and there's no way I'll clear the intersection, so I shut her down.

Standing there at the stop light, I was dizzy and almost confused. I took a small swig of water to see if that helped. It only made things worse. I was feeling sick to my stomach and even under my warm clothes I could feel the cold sweat coming on. This is how bonk starts.

I've explained bonk before, but it's been some months since I've experienced it. I've never had a full-on bonk (which results in passing out, vomiting or both) however this is about the closest encounter I've had in the time I've been riding. Bonk is cyclist (and runner?) slang for when your body is completely and totally exhausted to the point where it MAKES you stop.

The light turned green, I proceeded dizzily and slowly through the intersection, and down the road. Despite my slow pace, the sensation kept growing. I eventually pulled off onto the sidewalk and parked the bike for about a minute so that I could sit down and recover.

This can only mean one thing: MORE TRAINING!

If the temperature is satisfactory tonight, I plan on hitting the KC Trek Store Recovery Ride again tonight. The only thing that's going to keep this from happening again in the future is more seat time.

1 comment:

A Midnight Rider said...

Spring is comming. I don't worry about my bike fitness this time of the year. Your winter bike is for commuting.

I have no problem on the racquetball court, but bike fitness is at a much lower level now. In June, I'm sucking wind playing racquetball, and I am the wind, on my bike.

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