Sunday, May 20, 2012

Phondo Phail

On Sunday, May 20, I was scheduled to ride the Gran Fondo NY. I did the Medio Fondo last year and was going to do a ride time decision to do the 110 mile Gran Fondo or the 60 mile Medio Fondo.

But life had some different plans. My daughter Amanda had a 9AM (or so) audition the day before at the Manhattan School of Music. This was going to be followed up with a rehearsal at 2PM at Carnegie Hall for a concert that she was playing in that was scheduled to start at 8pm. I realized that it could be a late night so I got a hotel room in the city to try to get a little sleep before the ride.

Early in the morning, I put all my stuff for the ride in my car. While she was at rehearsal, I checked into the hotel. The hotel had a parking lot but unfortunately had no attendant until 7am to fetch cars. The ride was scheduled to start at 7 so I needed my car about 6:15. After driving around the upper west side I found a 24 hour lot that would be ok. The downside, of course, was $37 for parking. Ouch.

The concert was great but ran late. We got out at 11:20 and I got to the hotel at 11:45. I called for a 5:45am wake up call and tried to sleep but could not. I was able to get a few hours of sleep but woke up coughing feeling like I was going to puke. I thought about just going back to sleep and bailing but took a shower figuring either I would feel better with some breakfast or I would just cut the ride short if I still felt that bad.

I then realized I only had one water bottle. A quick stop at the store got me a Evian with a flip top and parked the car a few minute ride from the starting line on the NY side of the river. The race was scheduled to start on the lower level of the George Washington Bridge at 7am. I stayed in my car since I was still feeling like crap and got on my bike to head over. I found the Evian didn't fit in my bottle cage but just put it in a jersey pocket. The cops wouldn't let me get to the starting line, though, as they said the road was closed at 6:30. They said I could go around the other side. Me and about 20 riders rode the hills of northern Manhattan only to find the other side was closed too. A volunteer told us to take the bike path across the bridge and meet up on the other side. The ride still hadn't started.

I consider myself a fairly level headed person but the bike path across the GWB freaks me out. It is narrow where many points can't have two bikes side by side. On one side cars are whizzing by. The bridge is shaking. On the other side there is a low fence and then.....nothing. I kept thinking that if I slip, over the side I go. Yes, probably irrational, but since I wasn't feeling good, it was all I could think of. Meanwhile I heard the announcers on the lower level. The race still hadn't begun. I finally got to the other side of the bridge.

The Fondo is a hilly ride and I haven't done a lot of hills. It parallels the future IMNYNJ bike course and covers most of the run course. I joined in the ride and tried to keep the pace mellow but the ups and downs made it hard. I stopped a few times to try to make myself puke hoping that it would make me feel better. I couldn't. I couldn't drink as water tasted like sand.

The ride was crowded. I kept feeling worse and coughing more than anything. I got to the first rest stop and made myself drink. I decided to keep going and at about 20 miles in turned back figuring 40 miles feeling like I was was good enough. I limped it back. River Road was in crappy state but there was a sign that said they were going to pave it soon. That will make it better for the Ironman. Near the end I decided not to go 3 miles (or so) to pick up my medal but rode over the bridge again. I freaked out again.

All in I did about 45 miles. I got into the car and headed home. When I got home I went under the covers and shivered for about 2 hours. I still wasn't thirsty nor hungry but started feeling better after spending a lot of time cleaning out my intestines filling up to toilet bowl a few times. Same effect as puking but I was able to start feeling better. After a second nap I was almost alive. Hopefully this was a 24 hour type of deal or something that I ate. We'll see tomorrow.

When I looked at the data after the ride I rode harder than I expected to. This probably didn't help. I failed at nutrition. I failed at hydration. I failed at sleep beforehand. I failed at most things related to this ride but got in a decent work out. Given my physical state, it was all ok.

I don't need to do this ride again but I do need to ride the hills of 9W more. Next time, though, I'll drive over the bridge in a car rather than ride over the bridge on my bike.


Unknown said...

Considering how you felt I think that 45 miles is pretty darn good!

TriMOEngr said...

Agreed - solid training ride when you are feeling that bad. Not a win, but not a fail for sure.


Kind of like the run on IMFL 70.3 course yesterday. I felt like packing it in everytime I walked by the finish (2 x) but figured I needed a character builder. Whenever you can force yourself to do something when you really don't want to file it in the character builder category. It will pay dividends later

So I have to run across a bridge at IMNY that is "ify?", or is the bike path different then the walk path?

Teamarcia said...

OMG what a nightmare, both logistically and health-wise. Amazing you did what you did feeling like total crap. Hope you're feeling better!