Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cohutta 65..aka Titanic Sinking

So I'm sitting here drinking massive amounts of water, trying to flush my system of whatever caused my full-on body meltdown at Cohutta...we're talking an eyeballs cramping, whole body tingling, can't pedal even on the downhills type of meltdown. The worst part was I had no indication that this was going to happen, since I felt pretty good all week.

The road start didn't feel great, but I had chalked it up to going from zero to hard effort in 6 seconds. I started to feel better towards the top, but I was still a minute slower than my pre-ride. Not a great sign. Once we hit Brush Creek, I started to feel better and just kept pace with the guy in front of me. I was working in the 160 HR range and it felt pretty good, even easy, and since there weren't riders stacking up behind us, I was pretty content. I made it to the Whitewater Center, still in second place, hoping to make up some time once the trail started to steepen. I was able to churn out the steep climb pretty well, but when I hit the double track up to River View, I could tell something was wrong. I went to stand up to crank out the low grade climb and my calf cramped and arms immediately started to tingle. WTF? I never get cramps and I spend enough time on my SS to be able to at least hold myself up on the bike. When I finally hit River View (where is that river view, by the way...), the only thing that was saving me was the fact that I was riding the singletrack well. When I popped out on the double track again, I still had no giddy-up and was sitting and spinning (slowly) instead of cranking. By the time I was out on the main FS road, I was already a couple of minutes down from my moderate pre-ride pace and 5 minutes off my predicted race pace. I was still hopeful though..

When I passed Chris, he said Danielle was only two minutes up. Impossible I say! (Actually I said I felt like I was crawling) My first thought was she must be having an off day, as I figured she'd be at least 10 minutes up from the pace I was going.

I plodded up the forest road and things progressively got worse. Guys kept passing me..I wondered how much longer it would take for girls to start coming by. I kept checking my rear tire, thinking it must be flat. I could barely push my middle ring and now the left side of my body was cramping up. I thought maybe if I busted into my Coke that I had at the drop station, it would make me feel better.

Let me just say that this was a highly inconvenient place to have a meltdown. I started up the Big Frog climb thinking the Coke would kick in and I would become superwoman. Nope. Inhaler puffs? Nope. I actually started to feel worse and pretty much died a slow death up the first big climb. First Ursula came by, then another girl I didn't know. I finally reached the downhill and then realized my legs were so jacked up I couldn't stand up or pedal much, so I basically just tried to stay out of everyone else's way. Namrita came by, then some others later on - I quit paying attention after a while.

From that point on, I'd get the tingles if I got my HR above 140, so I was moving at a snails pace. I had to get off my bike three times on the climb back up to the aid station. I was having serious issues and was thinking about how hard it would be for Chris to come rescue me.

I stayed at the aid station about 20 minutes, borrowing a cell phone and walking to the top of a hill to try to get reception to call Chris. I had to leave a message, so I told my friend Rob to tell Chris to come pick me up when he saw him before the last singletrack. After a few more minutes and assessing again what a pain in the ass it would be for Chris to drive down there, I got back on my bike and continued onward, thinking I would at least be making slow progress back towards the WWC.

With about 2 miles to go, the wind picked up and the thunder and lightening started. Whoopee! An exposed forest road is always where I'd like to be in those circumstances. Since Chris had to drive really carefully, I had already made it to FS 45 and was on my way down the hill when I saw him. I had already decided to bail, since I knew the last singletrack would likely kill me and the monsoon that started made the decision that much easier.

Given that my intensity was never that high, yet I was still having issues, my thought was that this whole miserable experience was diet related or heaven forbid due to a past lung inflammation problem that is resurfacing. Perhaps Thursday's Pad Thai??? Friday's guacamole?? Who knows and unfortunately I probably won't ever figure it out....though I probably won't eat the same stuff before the next race.


Julia Radmann said...

Sorry to hear about your race. Hope you recover soon from whatever bug you caught that slowed you down.

Chris, Brigette and Norah Dusack said...

Lisa, ouch, sounded awful and hate to hear that happened to you! You will be back and even stronger!

Namrita O'Dea said...

Sorry, Lisa. Email me if you want--maybe I can try to help you figure out what happened if it was nutrition related. You'll kick the next one's ass.

Carey said...

Bummer! Hoping you can learn from this one. I am thinking not enough recovery time ... you have had some pretty good intensity the past month. Sounds like you had no upper L3/L4 power. Although I am sure your Coach can tell ya, call me if you cannot figure it out. After all, I am a Mommy, too. Those little ones can be energy-zappers!