Just Like Riding a Bike. But Not.

I survived the full 50 miles of the Rodman Ride for Kids. While this wasn’t a race, allegedly a very long charity ride, for me it was an endurance event that ranks up there with some of the most miserable things I’ve done.

But, with two days behind me. You know what? It could have been worse. I had a borrowed bike, a borrowed helmet, a full RaceMenu team kit that made me look like I knew what I was doing out there, I had only one training ride on my legs – so, all things considered I think I fared pretty well.

I woke up super early on Saturday and drove down to Foxborough and fortunately wound up only a few parking spots down from one of the other members of the team. I checked in, had the bike quickly tuned up and then milled around chatting until the start at 9:00. Once we got moving, I felt pretty good, and by about mile 3 was ahead of everyone on my team. The ride was great, the volunteers were awesome cheerleaders for having been up for so long. The course was mostly flat. The first 30 miles went by quickly. But at mile 31, I fell apart. I just felt zapped of energy. I ate some of my Cliff Bar, which made me feel moderately better, but still just couldn’t get my legs to turn over. Exacerbating this condition was that the bulk of those last 20 miles were on a moderate incline. These were not hills by any stretch of the imagination, but enough of a grade that my untrained legs just couldn’t hack it. Towards the end of the ride there were 4 different signs that all said 2 Miles to Go at different points, which was very confusing (I was definitely hoping somehow the course had been measured wrong). At 48 Mile, the two 60 year old men from the office I was riding with passed me. I did my best to muster the strength to keep up with them, but I just couldn’t. I wound up crossing the finish area in 3:23:12, good enough for 82nd place overall in a field of 317 active riders.

After the ride, I crashed pretty hard. I had water and Gatorade. Had a free Sam Adams and ate some food. But, I couldn’t shake a gnarly headache, my stomach got upset with whatever was fermenting down there, and I had my post exertion desire to just take an epic nap. The man who had recruited me into this death ride was definitely on a rider’s high – already trying to get me amped for next year. I politely told him that this was not a strike while the iron is hot situation. More of a wait until the iron is cold and completely forgotten about before even bringing it up. While I won’t say I’ll never do it again, I’m certainly not rushing out to buy a bike today or have any inclination to get on one for quite a while.

Here’s short list of things I’d do differently:
Drink more water – unlike running, it was hard to tell when I needed to hydrate because I didn’t have as much sweat pouring off of me as usual.
Better fueling – maybe gels. Do cyclists suck down gels the way runners do?
Train more than one day.
Not go out as fast. My body felt good, but my mind should have known better.

I managed to rally a little bit. Katie and I had my sister and Peter over for dinner at our new apartment, but it was still an early night. The next day we stole a friends dog and had a day out with him. Despite my legs feeling like they were on fire by the end of the ride, I felt surprisingly good – -a little tight, but not particularly sore.

So – the BAA Half is next. Looking forward to running with a home field advantage.

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About Graham Runs Boston

Bostonian running around Boston. Team RaceMenu distance runner. Oyster appreciator, beer lover, outside all the time when I can, loosely pursuing a BQ
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