Saturday, July 6, 2013

RAGBRAI simulation was successful

When I decided to tackle a 65-mile ride in two separate outings, I did so to avoid carrying a lunch and to venturing so geographically far that surprise storms/mechanical issues could turn me into a cautionary tale.

But, duh, it dawned on me much later that I'd also accidentally planned a mock-RAGBRAI day for myself.

My route took me from my apartment to the Cumming Tap and back (no, I did not stop for a drink), good for 40 miles, and then from my apartment to the Raccoon River Valley/Walnut Creek/Clive Greenbelt trails, for the remaining 25.

Overall, I'd give this adventure a B+ — mostly successful, with a few spots for improvement.

Unsurprisingly, my spirits stayed higher when I had fewer miles to contemplate doing at once. Hooray for manageable chunks!

Surprisingly, my legs rebounded fairly well from the hour-plus stop. I did a few stretches, but nothing out of the ordinary, and not even my complete post-workout routine.

The second ride did end up being noticeably slower, though. I blame a third of that on increased wind/warmth; another third on stops to figure out where I was and where I needed to go; and the last third on minor fatigue.

On the plus side, I was walking just fine that evening. I'd forgotten the magical powers of lying on the floor with legs propped up against the wall. Hopefully now that I've exercised them (ha!) again, I won't make that mistake again.

My sweaty clothing mostly dried off. I'll just leave it at that. The hair definitely did. Hooray for pixie cuts!

The midday reapplication of sunscreen seems to have prevented me from burning. I'm cautiously optimistic, because the majority of my riding came before the fiercest hours.

And now for the biggest mistake I made: heading out too fast after lunch, out of fear that my legs would just lock up. I probably let my food digest for about 30 minutes tops, and I felt it slosh around for about that same length of time during the ride. I tasted it even later than that (thanks to heartburn, not vomiting).

Now that I know my legs won't petrify if I stop for a while, I'll give my stomach more time to settle. But I'll also have far more time on RAGBRAI than on a day when I had early-evening plans. 

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