Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bonking left and right


After a 1200K the Big Sur Ride is a convenient, social way to get back on the horse! If you ride to the start in Carmel Valley it's three days, ~280 miles total. The second day is the hard one, with 110 miles and ~8K feet of climbing. A hot tub waits at the motel in King City…

Of course, to get to the hot tub you have to climb Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. The first 2 miles are steep. Then it's a regular hill until mile 5.5, where the road tilts up again slightly. That lasts for about a mile, after which it's another three-quarters of a mile to the summit.

Whether this is your first or eleventy-first time up Nacimiento it's always a test.

Today after the first 2 miles my legs are completely, inexplicably out of gas. There is nothing in the tank. Bonnie, who started with me from the bottom, climbs up out of sight. I struggle. Try taking electrolytes. Then an Espresso Love GU for sugar and caffeine. Sweat too much. Push like hell. Get totally dropped.

What's going on?

Hard to tell, but this isn't the first time. In the last few weeks it's happened on both Tunitas and Highway 9 as well. Since I (mostly) gave up gluten. Pretty scary stuff.

Looking back, a couple of possibilities. What I'm learning is wheat has a profound ability to raise your blood sugar and keep it high for a long time. Long enough to climb Nacimiento! After giving it up it's rare now that I actually feel hunger. My thinking also seems clearer.

While avoiding wheat is not as hard as I thought, it might be taking a while for the metabolism to get the message. Steadier, lower blood sugar seems to require an adjustment period. Without ever signaling hunger, my body is bonking big time on the big climbs.

Or maybe I just carelessly ate some gluten and threw everything for a loop.

Either way, no photos after this point, no stories. The GU helps somewhat but finishing the ride takes all my focus. There's the fear of needing a lift in Chuck's white, air-conditioned truck. By taking it easy on Jolon Road, no truck is required.

Just a hot tub, which is indeed hot, and heavenly.

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