Bonk & DNF on consecutive days making it a tough weekend in my ironman training journey. As many have said, as long as I learn from this, I will go forward stronger and smarter.
So on Saturday I set off following a round trip route plotted by my new Garmin GPS Touring, its a great bit of kit you select the distance you wish to ride and it provides 3 alternative routes as close to that selected distance as possible. I was amazed that it took me down many previously unknown but local lanes which were virtually traffic free. Operator error struck as I forgot to press Start so that the ride was recorded ! but I did get to follow the route perfectly. The only tricky section was along the Devizes canal path and under a few low bridges. The fields all around were flooded but even the aptly named Puddle Lane was passable with out creating a wash or wake as I cycled through a few puddles. You can see the ride profiles and I chose a hilly route.
It seems I had operator error not only on the Garmin but for myself too. Bad bad fuelling – I just didn’t take on flapjack, gels or anything as I rode. So 2 hilly hours into what seemed a constant icy headwind was done on a bottle of sports drink alone. Inadequate. Irresponsible. Impossible. Imbecile. Idiot – yes thats what I was that day.
Upon returning home I grabbed a recovery drink, scrambled eggs on toast and took a cuppa up to the bubble bath. When getting out of the bath I experienced all the symptoms of the BONK/ Hitting the wall. I then devoured as much as I could to get back on an even keel. I felt awful and only now realised my error in lack of fuelling.
However I managed to correct the error on the Garmin by plotting the route on Garmin Connect when I got home, but seems I did more damage to myself than expected and that came back to bite me the next day.
On Sunday I was signed up for Corsham Challenge a new 6 mile cross-country run. It was a glorious morning with temps hovering just above freezing but the sun was out. Full bowl of porridge, banana, mugs of tea and a gel just before I set off under the big red start/finish inflatable. The mood was light, plenty of chatter and excitement on the start line. Muddy trail shoes at the ready I headed off on the springy but energy sapping grassy trail, the first mile I was feeling OK, ploughing through the muddy puddles, ducking over hanging trees, climbing the first slippery bank. The in mile 2 I start dot fade, I encouraged my firmed Pat to go on ahead as it was feeling like a tough run. Pat stayed with me for another mile then realised I was having a bad run and she knew it was unlike me for pace and positivity so she pulled away as I slide back through the field faster than sliding down the hill on a sledge.
I only managed just 5 of the 6 cross country miles in Corsham, the soft sodden grass sapped the last of my energy. If we had not to run past the finish arch at mile 5 then I may have plodded on. But with the Garmin showing 4.7miles I decided to DNF, I made up run up to exactly 5 miles as I walked under the finish arch with my hand over my number saying I hadn’t completed the last mile loop around the field. The marshals insisted on giving me a medal, which I reluctantly took, but at least it allowed me to grab some finishers food. Now my fiends call me weird as I don’t like chocolate but I scoffed a sugary, sickly caramel & nutty chocolate bar in 30 seconds, it would have been 20 seconds but it was semi frozen !
I just had nothing in the tank, no oomph, no energy just feeling exhausted. Coffee, flapjack, home for a bubble bath and rest & recovery were required big time that night.
Lesson learnt – don’t forget to fuel on the bike- duh!
The rest of the week training went rather well with 3 swim session including one video analysis session by a BTF coach. A trail run in heavy frost around Bowood Estate which looked beautiful in the sunshine. Then I tripped over a molehill and rolled down the frosty grass bank towards the lake. At least a nice soft spongy landing in the mossy grass and amused us all at my para roll. It was time to go long in a chain gang in Swimfit with 800 meters x2 for main set. We managed to keep steady pace & a compact chain, no one flung off the back, meant we benefited from drafting too. A Spin & Condition class with fight night theme focused on hills & sprints on the bikes then boxing gloves pads and boxing style circuits.
Flooded my spin bike area with sweat. Not sure I got best benefit if Pilates & massage from the morning but a fun class and great strength training & cardio.
For those not familiar or lucky enough no to have experienced it here is a definition of BONK:
In endurance sports such as cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy. Milder instances can be remedied by brief rest and the ingestion of food or drinks containing carbohydrates. The condition can usually be avoided by ensuring that glycogen levels are high when the exercise begins, maintaining glucose levels during exercise by eating or drinking carbohydrate-rich substances, or by reducing exercise intensity.