Monday, July 25, 2011

It won't always be rainbows and unicorns

I muttered under my breath so many times, "I shouldn't have ridden so hard yesterday, I shouldn't have ridden so hard yesterday..."

The race on Sunday was, in one word, AWFUL.

Here, I'll give you a play by play beginning Saturday:

I miss my bike and I haven't been giving it nearly as much attention as I'd like.  This summer is all about running as I'm training for a marathon so sadly bike comes in second place.  I usually do my long runs on Saturdays and then toodle around on the bike on Sundays.  It's a good order to do things in.  This weekend I had a 20km race on Sunday so I jumped at the idea of heading out on the bike on Saturday.  See where I'm going with this?  I did it in the opposite way I would normally do it in.

Saturday morning was still super fucking hot and humid here.  I left the house at about 8:00am and it was still semi decent out.  I rode with no real direction except that I wanted to hit the escarpment road and continue until I deemed it a good idea to turn around.  I rode 30km with an average speed of 26.8 km/h.  I was just having such a fantastic time.  I learned that I don't really know how to "pace" myself on a bike.  It's balls to the wall or nothing.  I kept telling myself to slow down and take it easy.  The heat and humidity were increasing at insane speeds and I had a race the next morning!  I am a stubborn ass.  I just did NOT want to go at a "decent" speed.  I tried, I kept trying!  but when I looked down and saw my average speed steadily increasing, I got cocky.  That's really all there is.  I rode 60km.  The first 30 my avg speed was 26.8km/h as I already said.  By the time I pulled into my driveway the average speed was down to 24.1.  That's a pretty big difference.  You know why the huge difference?  BECAUSE I WAS FUCKING WIPED the second half.  What an idiot I am.  I was SOOO hot and my water was SOOO warm and gross.  I went balls out the first half and barely had the energy to get back.

I knew as soon as I got home that I sort of fucked myself for the race on Sunday.  Little did I know that I didn't just screw myself in one way.

Fast forward to Sunday morning.
Sun rising over Toronto. Shitty phone camera.
My alarm goes of at 5am.  I wake up, what the hell is wrong with me?! 5am on a Sunday morning.  GAWD!  get shit together and drink a big ass mug of coffee.  This is new treat to me, the coffee before a race!  As  I recently learned that coffee or no coffee I'm still dealing with bum issues, I figured there's no sense in missing out.  I eat my oatmeal in the car on my way to Toronto.  Over an hours drive away.  Nothing new with the pre-race ritual.  Slather sunscreen and body glide in all the special places.  Pin on bib, wander around, do a 1km pre-run warm up.  All the while my nerves and anxiety were wrecking havoc in my guts.  I was afraid.  I was afraid of having to "go" during the race when I found out there would be no port-a-potties at the water stations.  I freaked out.

I watched my CGM closely as it kept going down.  Fucking stress.  RIGHT before they blew the air horn at the start line I took back half a gel.

This was a very informal race.  No chip timing, nothing official at all.  It was more of a fun run.  I learned I don't really like informal events.  There really weren't a lot of 20k entrants (there was a 5 and 10k also).  Maybe only a couple hundred.  Hmmm...  don't like that either.  It felt like I was running on my own except in a really shitty place because nobody was around hardly at all the whole race.  20k is a long way to get spread out.  My guts held out till 5k.  I paid no attention to stressing about it because the first 6 km of the trail was along the waterfront and therefore there were sky high bushes on either side.  I didn't even have to walk off very far.  I was VERY VERY content about this.  :)  I was having trouble with my leg muscles.  They were tired from the start because of that ridiculous ride the day before.  They started off tired and ended up in aches and pains.  Ugh.  So my guts acted up, I was met with a bush and my legs were in pain.  Then the trail turns into roads.  Great.  Because it was a small event, they weren't really stopping traffic for us which got really annoying.  I think we ran past what seemed like two fucking landfills.  The sour stench filled my nostrils and I thought if I had to keep breathing heavy I might puke.  I breathed through my nose.  It was really disgusting.

The path was all fucked up in some places so we were all running along the road.  With oncoming traffic.  Ugh.  Then, the trail turns onto major busy downtown Toronto city streets and we're left dodging folks and tourists while trying not to do a face plant.  I was so distracted that I forgot I told myself to check my blood sugar at the 10k turn around.  At about 11k I was having a horribly difficult time.  I stopped to check.  2.7 mmol/l (48 mg/dl).  Fuck.  You see I was wearing my CGM but the transmitter battery died right after the start so I turned it off.  I took the other half of the gel.  Then I had another whole gel.  I had to walk.  The effects of the low were ruining me.  I couldn't see straight.  I couldn't stop breathing heavy.  My skin was tingling and the world was overwhelming.  I don't hate big cities but I thoroughly dislike them.  Sensory overload.  The traffic, the amount of buildings, the hoards of people... just too much.  I popped out my earphones because I thought I was going to curl up into a ball holding my head.  When I have bad lows I get super sensitive to light, sounds and my surroundings.  I made it through the worst of it and picked up at a slow jog while I came back to earth.  God I wanted this to be over with.  My guts attacked me again at about 16km but with nowhere to "go" I managed to walk it out and it actually passed.  I didn't put my music back on for the entire rest of the race - very VERY odd for me.  I was so "over" the race by this point.

With less than 1km to go the world around me shifted.  I HAD to stop.  Something was very very wrong.  Checked.. 2.0 mmol/l (36 mg/dl).  FUCK FUCK FUCK! I said, out loud.  I almost fell over.  My legs were weak and tears of frustration, panic and fear were forming.  I was going to loose it.  I took my LAST gel.  I had 3 on me when I normally only carry 2.  Go figure the day I need 3 I actually have 3!  I weebled and wobbled and tried to close my eyes.  I was panicking.  I knew 5km ago that this race was a dud.  But now it is hell.  Believe it or not, after I had my gel I kept on running.  It was a mind over matter.  I ran through a HORRIBLE low because I knew I would get there faster and it would be OVER.  I made a b-line straight to the Gatorade table after I crossed the finish line and swallowed 2 cups.  I felt like I was going to fall over.  I thought, "well, at least there are people around and if I DO fall over, there are people that can help."  Seriously, I was being rational, it was very serious and I was very scared.

I didn't fall over and waited my turn for the swag and bananas and promptly got the fuck out of there.

Sunday's Race:
These stats are from my Garmin since this was a non-timed event.  I stopped my GPS when I was walking and fucking around with my blood sugar and guts.  
Distance: 18.68km (I walked a whole 1.32km! irritating)
Time: 1:02:55
Avg. Pace: 6:32 min/km
Avg. HR: 168 bpm

I dislike big cities.
I dislike small casual events
I dislike my guts
Riding works better for recovery
I HATE diabetes.
I am never doing that race again.

Its kind of sad though, given my F-diabetes post about the jazz festival and my 9 year diaversary.  I tried to show it up, diabetes, but diabetes still won this time.


  1. FUCK FUCK FUCK indeed. That sounds just awful Scully. I want to congratulate you for finishing despite everything. And to tell you that diabetes has a way of fucking up one race and then behaving for the next. So I predict Niagara Falls will be great!

    Just stay away from races with jazz in the title ok??

  2. That sucks! No other way of explaining it. It seems like ol' faithful routine is the way to ensure success (use bike as recovery after major race). Even with all that crap you endured, YOU ROCK!! Take a bow because you deserve it.

  3. Wow. Sucks. Nothing else to say about that. Here's hoping that you have a dozen more great races before you have one half as bad as this one.

    Keep rocking!

  4. Aching for you! Can't believe you ran while 36, but I'm so glad you got to the end and were able to get some sugar in ya. Hope it goes better the next time around.

  5. SCULLY!! WTF?!? You are one serious bad ass, my dear! Way to stick it to the big D and run that craptastic race anyway.

  6. sdkfjaosibalksdjflkasdj pffft you were in hell and you stayed to finish the race! Amazing.

    By the way, I get sensory overload in big cities too! I guess that's why I like me some pastures with cows on them lol

    You know, what's profound here is that you completed this thing with all those obstacles! I do hope the next race is much much better.

    And if it's any consolation to your bad experience, your writing skills make it a very entertaining read.

  7. Hey! So I seriously suggest you try the Hammer Perpetuem Endurance Fuel. (Warning: I've only tried it once) I took it yesterday and I had no belly issues, none, I kept waiting for the cramping and nausea but nothing came ... mind you it was only a 13 km run, and I start getting the belly heebie jeebies around 10 km. The taste was mild, the consistency was slightly thicker than water - I liked it. A lot. So much so I actually looked forward to my next sip, which says a lot, because that NEVER happened with the gels, drinks, or chews!
    ps. I think you're a total rock star for finishing that race!

  8. Um, I think I sat on the couch that day...soooo WAY TO GO Scully! Glad you are okay, hope you are feeling better, diabetes sure knows when to throw a tantrum doesn't it??!!? Can't wait to hear about your next adventure. :)

  9. You are totally heroic for keeping going during that race, i cant even imagine what you went thru, but i, for one, think you won that round even tho it didnt feel like it at the time (and prob still doesnt)


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