Beat by the heat

I’ve not once in my life been drunk, but this morning I woke up with a hangover. My morning motivated wife’s alarm went off and sounded like it’s volume was turned up to 11. It felt like strands of muscles starting at my shoulders and stretching over to my forehead were in a state of cramping. The light coming on was the final straw. I put the pillow over my head.

So, for this teetotaler, how did I end up feeling this way? It had to be last evenings ride. It was a painful experience and I’m still feeling it this morning.

I went out after work to check out a Strava segment that had been pointed out to me. It was one along a route I infrequently ride, and I not once have attempted it at speed. I figured I would try it a couple of times before to get a feel for how to approach it when capturing my video for the YouTube Strava Segment series.

On the way out it was nearly 95 degrees even though the sun was getting lower on the horizon. By the time I reached the location of the segment thirty minutes into the ride, I had emptied one of my water bottles. A slight wind helped as long as I kept moving, but stopping at a traffic light would leave me feeling like I was melting from the inside out.

Looking back, I can see I went pretty hard on my effort — though I didn’t think it was any harder than many others (max wattage 1400 with 899 watts average for 29 seconds). Still, my heart rate went from 150 to 183 bpm in less than 30 seconds. As I turned off the segment to recover, I was feeling okay.

I decided to give it another try with a different tactic. Turns out the tactic did not help me bring the time down any and as I neared the end of the segment, I was feeling pretty weird. My head felt very hot inside my helmet and my legs — especially the top of my calves running up the back of my knees — were… I wouldn’t say cramping… it almost felt like they were paralyzed. They were stiff like rigor mortis was setting in cialis 5 prix.

There wasn’t a moment of blacking out, but I did feel disoriented. It was a burden to lift my head. I wasn’t nauseous, but I was just uncomfortable all over.

I headed for the shade. Thankfully, because I was on the edge of the Furman campus I was able to duck onto the Swamp Rabbit Trail where there would be shade for a good number of miles. For a good majority of the time along the slight downward grade I didn’t pedal at all. There just wasn’t much strength to do it.

It really wasn’t until about 20 minutes after my last effort that I began to stop questioning whether I should just stop and ask someone to come get me. The last time I could remember feeling like this was back during my Memphis to Raleigh ride. However, that was seven days of centuries… this was just two measly 30 seconds efforts!

Turns out the heat index here last evening was 108 degrees. I can only assume it was the heat. This morning my legs feel fine. However, my shoulders and neck up into the base of my head are still stiff and sore.

Word is that next week is supposed to bring a break in the heat. We should be back in the 80s for a bit. I think I’ll save any segment hunting until then!

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About Jonathan Pait

Jonathan started riding mountain bikes in the early 1990s. After discovering the ride can start at the end of his driveway, he moved to the road in 2006. Little did he know that first pedal stroke would lead him on an adventure that has become much larger than the bicycle.