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The 4.5 hour ride that wasn’t

August 21, 2011

Oh, the comedy of errors that resulted in a big fat DNF for this week’s long ride.

Last week, I visited the good old dermatologist to figure out why a multitude of skin problems had suddenly attacked my face.  This isn’t the first time – I seem to be one of the fortunate few that has worse skin in my 20’s than I did in my teens – but I seem to have reached the breaking point with what I am willing to do to have skin that looks like I’m 26, not 14.  Fortunately, this dermatologist seemed to have an arsenal of ideas for things to try, including a prescription for spironolactone, which is a medicine for hypertension that apparently comes with a side of awesome skin.  Great!  Awesome skin.  I filled the prescription that day and starting taking it 2x/day, no problem.

On the schedule for Saturday was a 4 hour ride. My friend Tara texted me earlier in the week asking what my plans were, as she had 4.5 hours on her schedule. 4 and 4.5 is close enough and she knows some great routes, so I decided to join her at 6:30 Saturday morning for 4.5.

I woke up on Saturday feeling a little thirsty and a bit dehydrated, which is strange because I hydrated like a champ on Thurs & Fri like usual.  Had coffee, ate my yogurt/oat mix, drank some OJ and hit the road to Tara’s house. 

The first few miles were uneventful.  The plan for the day was to head up towards Celina for a straight out and back.  The great thing about the Celina route is that you can make it about as long as you want it to be since the road practically goes North forever, and passing through Celina is fun because it is the quintessential small Texas town.


I don’t know why I find rusted-out, broken-down buildings to be so charming, but I do. 

The first mishap happened about 10 miles from Tara’s house.  We went over a bump and I felt/heard/saw something fly from my bike.  Usually that means it’s a water bottle, but I looked down and both of my bottles were still nestled in my seat tube and down tubes.  Then I checked for my Garmin.  Yup, still there.  And then I remembered my phone and the fact that I likely forgot to zip up my bento box. 

Turned around and half rode/half walked on the sidewalk back to the intersection in which I had sent Mr. phone flying, praying it wasn’t in 2 million pieces because I paid about 2 million dollars for it less than 6 months ago (thanks AT&T for refusing to give me an upgrade).  As I was ride-walking towards the spot I heard it drop, there was a car sitting at the stop sign and a woman in the passenger seat yelled out to me: “Did you lose your phone?”.  Then she leans out the window with it, in one piece, in her hand.  Apparently, they had seen Mr. Phone commit suicide and had stopped the car to get out to get it so it didn’t get run over.  How cool is that? 

Mishap Two happened when I leaned over to grab it from them, a little too much for my precarious grasp on Torch (bike).  My crankset sliced my ankle in 3 places, doing a far better job of “clawing” me than any of my 3 cats could.  No big deal, I hopped back on the bike and caught up to Tara.  Only after a few more miles and a good 3 liters of blood poured out of my ankle, into my shoe, and dripped onto the road did I notice that I had a slight problem and we had to detour to a gas station.  A bottle of water to rinse off and a $4.99 pack of bandaids (thanks gas station prices) and I was somewhat good to go… again.

Mishaps one and two over and done with, miles 15-40 were rather uneventful.  We had several hay bale truck drivers that were very happy to see us (read: several attempts to run us off the shoulder of the road and more than a few “friendly” honks) despite the fact that we were riding on the (generously sized, which is why this is a good route) SHOULDER of the road and not in their way.  I drank my Perpetuem, ate my salt pills and drank water.  At 35 miles, we urned around to head home and all was good.

Until it wasn’t.  Mishap Three.  All of the sudden, I was hit with extreme nausea accompanied by a puking session, dizziness and a throbbing headache.  We pulled off to a shady patch under a tree, where I was promptly bitten by some scary bug that left a huge welt, and I sat down, drank some water, and ate a Gu.  I reviewed what I’d eaten, how much I’d drank, how many salt tabs I’d taken… basically, what could be wrong.  And I couldn’t come up with anything.

So we continued on, heading back home because there was no other option.  Out in the middle of nowhere means that if you’re going to die, you better find a way to hold off till you reach civilization.  Poor Tara was nice enough to ride slower than molasses to drag my sick butt back to a gas station, where I called Matt to come rescue me.  Tara stayed with me until Matt was on his way and then she left, at my urging, to finish her ride.  I laid on the cement outside for 45 minutes, drinking Gatorade, until he picked Torch and I up, took us home, and deposited me on the couch.

128 ounces of Gatorade and a few google searches later, and I figured out what the major malfunction was.  That medicine that was supposed to clear up my skin?  A diuretic.  Diuretic = severe dehydration.  Severe dehydration + 3 hours in 100+* temperatures = a very sick me.

Who gives an endurance athlete training in 100+* temps a diuretic? 

And what idiot takes a medicine without looking up the side effects?

I think next week’s ride will be a lot better.  After all, I think in the last 24 hours, I’ve consumed enough fluids to have properly hydrated for the next 3 months.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 21, 2011 7:50 PM

    Ah! You poor thing. Im so glad you (and your phone) are ok! Oh and my skin has been awfulll in my 20s, so annoying!

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