Scary New Pain

For the past few weeks, I've been pushing myself to become stronger and faster, but I admit that I've been neglecting my endurance. So, for today's ride, I decided to see if I could push myself to go a little farther than usual.

The Route:
Up and down Arthur Street 6 times to build a little more hill climbing endurance. On the 6th time, I rode to Diamond Avenue and followed it out to the Rails to Trails for distance endurance. I rode Rails to Trails out to Beryllium Road, turned around and headed back. I then followed the Rails to Trails all the way to Route 93 and turned around in the parking lot, heading back to Stockton Mountain Road. From there to Diamond Ave, up Arthur and back to home.

The Stats:
Total Distance: 20.8 miles
Time: 2 hrs 26 minutes -- non-stop
Average Speed: 8.5, Max Speed: 32.8
Elevation gain: 2007 ft, Max Elevation: 1860 ft

Also worth noting: I didn't go below the 3rd gear of my rear hub, even during the hill climbs. I wanted to add extra resistance and keep my speed up.

The Ride:
Uneventful. A few close calls with cars thanks to a lack of decent shoulder on some parts of the road. My hybrid bike definitely likes pavement more than the rough trail, but whatever. I still want a road bike more than a mountain bike.

I felt pretty good throughout the ride, until the turn for home, going up Arthur one last time. My legs were burning and giving me the, "Let's wrap this up, pronto," message. Despite the burn, I didn't feel fatigued or a lack of strength, but then the real fun began.

As I parked my bike in the garage and headed upstairs, the situation got scary.

In the minute it took to cook some oatmeal, I guzzled 2 glasses of water and was adding protein powder to a 3rd. I just kept shaking my legs, trying to get the ants to stop marching, but it wasn't helping. I was in a lot of pain -- more than I had encountered from any previous ride. I was worried for a moment, but I knew what I had to do.

Finally, I grabbed everything and headed over to the dining room where I kicked my legs up onto the table to keep them elevated while I ate. Oatmeal with flax seed, potatoes and tuna. More water, and some rest. In about an hour, it was like nothing was ever wrong. As I write this, I'm feeling much better.

So, what now?

There are about 6 weeks left until the event. Just 6 weeks to see if I can manage to hit 31 miles (50km) without utterly destroying myself. I figure, I'll stick to my normal training regimen of intervals and hill climbs for the next few days. Next week, though, I'll see if I can't conquer those last 11 miles.


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