My first ride of the season was last Sunday.
I was a little bit late getting out on my bike this season and that was mostly due to being out in my shoes running.
Saturday came with tons of rain and temperamental weather and I spent almost the entire day being lazy. Come Sunday morning I was on fire with excitement. It was BEAUTIFUL outside. Not a cloud in the blue sky. I don't just like riding, I love it. This felt like an especially long winter and I had many moments of deep desires to ride.
I pumped up the deflated tires, greased the chain, slathered myself in a couple layers of sunscreen, suctioned on my bike shorts and off I went barreling out of my house. I was pretty happy to be out riding. I had no intended distance or destination in mind. I was just riding away. I felt myself sighing audibly for the first 20km or so. Contented sighs of "I missed this". It was a fairly easy route that I took. No big hills for my first ride out.
Even though this was a lovely ride, I still felt it all catching up to me nearing the point where I was going to turn around.
My crotch was getting antsy. I realize how that sounds. It just gets to a tingly numb painful point where I need to constantly re-adjust and stand up for relief. No - tingly crotch is not a good thing, though that would be an entirely different adventure if it was. Every year at the beginning of each cycling season I feel like I have to acclimatize my crotch. The first couple rides of the season I can't sit down on hard surfaces for awhile. Once I'm all "good to go" then it takes many hours before my crotch gets sore and bruised.
So Sunday's ride I got pretty sore and the last portion of the ride was getting very taxing and frustrating. Everything else felt pretty good for the distance, it was mostly just my crotch.
How many times can I say "crotch" in one blog post? haha
Here's the kicker. I would normally have very tired and sore legs after a distance of 75km. Even if it was in the middle of the summer after I had already been cycling for awhile. This ride I felt almost nothing. Later that day I was at my friends place and we were playing a little bit of a silly basketball game. I didn't feel anything in my legs. No pain, no ache. I almost had to think about what I had done earlier that day just to remind myself.
This means that the winter of running and indoor spin classes kept me seriously up to par. The only time I felt anything was the following day while I was out for an easy 5k run with a friend. The first 2-3km were quite tiring. My legs felt like blocks of concrete. Then my muscles loosened up and I felt great at the end. Even my crotch recovered in record time.
Distance: 75 km
Time: 3 hours
Avg. Speed: 24.2 km/h
Avg. HR: 151 bpm
My avg speed for the first 30km was 26.4km/h (that's how excited I was). My pace slowed as the ride went on :(.
It also seems like my Cardiovascular system really likes cycling based on my average heart rate. It's quite low in comparison to runs which often run in around +180 bpm.
Blood sugar stayed relatively stable. No lows or highs during the ride, a WIN in my books. I set TBR to 25% and had an apple and a bar along the way with no insulin dose for either. I battled some post ride highs even though I set TBR at 150% near the end. I'll have to pay closer attention to it next time. Maybe give a unit or two at the end. It really does baffle me how much EXTRA insulin I need after a 75-fucking-km ride yet during the ride I need next to nothing. Same goes for long distance runs though.
Oh, I was going to mention another major lesson I learned. I wore my Garmin for comparison with my bike computer. A 'speriment if you will. I also wanted to track my heart rate since using the Garmin with cycling is a first for me. I generally hit some major walls when cycling and I could never figure out why. My rides in the summer can often average 100km. Well, it wasn't until I got home and checked my Garmin data that I was brought to reality. According to Garmin, I burned approximately 2500 calories. HOLY SHIT BALLS! I had no idea. NO wonder I hit walls. I always have plenty of water and when I run out, I stop at places and buy more. I also carry bars and gels in my saddle pouch. I would eat a bar or two on a super long ride but wouldn't eat much else until I got home. HOWEVER, a measly bar or two is clearly not enough to keep me on top of my game. I'm hoping if I eat more, I will feel better, and hit fewer walls! Such an easy concept.
This was a major eye opening lesson. I need more food to fuel that kind of exercise. Maybe next time I won't hit such major walls!