Monday, June 11, 2012

Flying Wheels 2012

Before the start.
Flying Wheels Summer Century was yesterday! Fun! Fun! Fun!

I had been warned that this was a hilly century, and it was. I believe there was 3800-3900 feet of elevation gain to be had. I would tell you exactly, but my dumb self forget to turn my Garmin 310 back on at one of my stops and didn't record "The Big Hill." Whoops.

Off we go!
This was a hard century for me, actually. I had some issues along the way that were not enjoyable. First of all, I had muscle cramps in my legs like nobody's business! My calves were in agony, and my quads and hammies were seizing within the first 30 miles of hills. Not good. I didn't keep as quick a pace as I usually do on century events, but I must have been doing decently, because I spent most of my ride either alone, or towing a drafter or twenty. I always find it eerie when you think you are all alone, and then you happen to glance over your shoulder, and you have a guy drafting off close you could make out... Um, how about a courtesy "Hello, I'm here!"

I was SO happy when I saw this place!
At first I thought that I might be dehydrated, and that was causing the cramping. I really focused on drinking like mad, and rewarded myself with a full bladder...that needed emptying...frequently. Hmmm... (Sorry if this is TMI for some of you, but apparently I don't care, because I'm typing it anyway,) my pee was water-clear, so I wasn't dehydrated. I had drank electrolyte-replentishing fluids, so that wasn't the problem either.

Since I had no other ideas, and I was low on options, I simply accepted that my legs were going to cramp and hurt, and that they may do so until the finish line and/or beyond. Period. It's kind of nice when you can just see a situation clearly and for what it is, and then just accept it. I am always able to do this during a race, or when I'm on a long ride or run. My mind gets more clear; almost like I'm meditating... I want to be able to do this better off the bike...

50 miles in. So hungry I don't even realize I'm voluntarily eating a hotdog.
So despite leg pains, and an unfortunate little spill I took (I dropped my chain on a hill and slipped on the wet pavement when I unclipped. D'oh!) I really enjoyed it out there! The ride was peaceful and the scenery gorgeous! I talked to some really nice people, as I always do at Cascade events.

A day well spent!


  1. Mmmmm wonder why your legs were cramping so early on? 4000ft of climbing in a 100miles That's not very hilly, is that right?

    1. I should look at the elevation profile, but it seemed that the hills were bunched together in the first 1/3 of the race, then just rollers and flat in the valley, and one very long one at the end. But no, that is totally doable for me usually.

    2. Oh....forgot to say......'well done'! :D

  2. Ok I feel I have to step in and tell you why you have muscle cramps, its up to you weather you take my advice or not!

    Muscle cramps are caused more often than not by not eating enough or just not eating the right things. With you I would put a lot of money on the 1st one "you don't eat enough" it seems pretty obvious to me that you have almost no fat on you in the photos!

    No fat means your body cannot function and repair to the necessary levels needed to enable you to continue training! You need to put on at least 4-5kg in the next 3 weeks in order to continue training at a decent level and to benefit from the training you do! < This is where we find out how dedicated to getting faster you are or not... i.e (will you choose to be skinny and slow or healthy and fast)?

    There should be 4 meals in a day!

    1. Breakfast (2-3 hrs before a ride) (big meal) Carbs and protein
    2. After ride meal probably lunch, mix of protein vits and carbs
    3. Between lunch and dinner to keep energy up (carbs and small protein)
    4. Dinner big plate of mixed veg, (keep carbs and protein medium)

    Don't eat 3-4 hrs before bed unless your stomach growls and you feel hungry in which case just have a small sandwich or something.

    Always try to cram a lot of food 2-3 hrs before a ride as this energy will be used on the ride along with some energy consumed from the day before. after ride meals are important for repair so get them right.

    Remember it takes 2-3 weeks before a diet has chance to take effect properly so give it a chance :D

    Any questions I will answer happily :D

    Well done on the century sounds like an awesome event :D

    1. Thanks for all of the meal advice. As I mentioned below, I'm a pretty good eater. I make sure to eat enough, otherwise I can drop weight, and fast. I am very diligent about eating on the ride because you are right, I don't exactly have any reserves. Vitamin and mineral deficiency due to poor diet could certainly cause cramps, but I doubt this is my issue. Low blood sugar is another possibility, but again, I am very good at fueling...believe me, if I'm not, I tank hard!

    2. Can't find anything on food being related to cramps?!?! Although exact reasons are still not known but interestingly there is now doubt on it being electrolyte imbalances.

      I'm curious about the not eating 3-4 hours before sleep. That's advice you'd give to someone trying to LOOSE weight?!

  3. Think you might want to read her earlier posts on eating!! Besides that's the first time I've heard food being the issue with cramping. It's commonly down to low electrolyte levels or fatigue and unrested muscles.

    1. I have to tend to agree. I'm an eating machine, and my diet is pretty heathy. It wasn't electrolytes though. I never just drink plain water. I need constant fuel. I always mix my water with Hammer Heed or an equivalent. I eat while I ride too... Protein bars, energy chews, nuts, you name it.

      I'm thinking overused and under rested muscles. Maybe throw in that I'm over 30??... Lol

    2. Hey don't use the other 30s excuses! Lol. You damn us both! Cramp is nasty whatever. I remember during a criterium race getting cramp so bad I could pedal....more to the point I couldn't unclip either so had to just fall very ungratefully on my side on the grass. It was fatigue that did it then. Left a nasty tear in my calve muscle!

  4. Lol I forgot that we are the same age!

  5. Come back I'm missing your blogs!!