On Sunday morning, my buddy Crazy Jim and I competed in the Tour of the Tucson Mountains in the "27-Mile" event, (which really clocked in at 28 miles for me). Our total time was around 2 hrs, 10 mins which averages 13 mph. This has been my average speed for pretty much all distances. As you may have noticed, I have not been in training at all for this, but knew that I had the strength and stamina to get it done. Crazy Jim had never ridden more than about 12 miles in a ride, so he was a bit anxious about it, but he did great. We are pretty even in ability it seems, so we had a lot of fun together.
I will say that I "bonked" at about the 21 mile mark, because I hadn't eaten enough calories before the race or in the earlier part of the race. A cycling coach told me later that he often tells cyclists to "eat early and eat often" during a ride. I didn't eat much before the ride. I had a banana and a heavy-protein bar (with 30 grams of protein) that has so much protein that it almost sacks the absorption rate of the protein. Maybe that's good as a meal replacement, but not as a pre-race food, according to that coach.
So, at the 21 mile mark, I just got TIRED...legs wouldn't pedal fast at all. I rallied during the last mile, but that was likely just some adrenalin that was going for a strong finish. Crazy Jim came in 3 minutes before me, so he did awesome!
When we finished the race and I got off my bike, I instantly felt dizzy. Then, my vision started going dark...like I might pass out. We slowly wandered around and got some water and a cookie, but I knew that the cookie wouldn't really do much for me, so I only had one. More dizziness and feelings of passing out. 30 minutes after the race, we headed to Subway and I chomped on a foot long with tons of veggies and began to feel normal again.
It was a good race, in that one year ago, I couldn't ride more than about 3 miles without having to stop to rest. Yes, I was heavier, but VERY out of shape. So, despite my less than stellar performance yesterday due to not eating enough, I still rode 28 miles in an athletic event! And my efforts at cycling inspired Crazy Jim to buy a bike in January and he is now embarking on a healthier lifestyle as well. Much to be thankful for.
Next race: Bike the Bluff in Show Low, AZ in June.
(Yes, it's me...Big Clyde, happy before the race)
(Crazy Jim, a bit nervous before his first race)
(the bling...still means a lot to this non-athlete!)