I did a bike ride in Florida = 1200 KM from April 30th 4AM and finished in 86 hours and 2 minutes - we rode as a team of 7 (riding faster than I normally ride) to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night that made this is easiest 1200 I have ridden (my 11th) The temperature was 24 - 25 degree C at night with day time highs of 29 and 30 degree C - actually not too bad. The idea of the April 30th ride was to make sure that the route was accurate and facilities set up for the main ride that was to start on May 14th (I would be support for this May ride, which included 53 riders).
The main ride started as planned at the furthest point on the Continental USA = mile "0" at 4AM on May 14th. They had a head wind (pre ride had a tail wind) and it was 29 degrees at 4AM!!! The ride along the causeway from Key West is spectacular and all the riders enjoyed it however some of the macho riders were pushing hard into the wind and as the sun came up the temperature kept going up to around 36 degree C . My friend and I were stopping as a water station along the way and everyone was well hydrated (some too much). We kept telling them to drink once and pour 2 mouthfuls over their head to keep their core temperatures down. By the end of day, those hard pedal strokes, temperature and wind started to take it's toll. One guy knew he had had enough, so he got a hotel in Miami and slept the night before continuing (he missed the cut off at the overnight control and dnf'd). My friend I drove backwards 100 miles to pick up another rider who just refused to continue in the heat and another sag vehicle drove back to pick up a person who had gotten lost. As we were driving our "picked up rider" to the overnight, we got a call. An Australian who was riding with us was found by the police at the side of the road, acting strange and drunk - incoherent. The police took him to the hospital. Diagnosis was hypo-nutrenia = too much water diluting the minerals in the body. He was put in an induced coma (with ventilation)for 3 days until they could bring his mineral levels back to normal. He would have died if he was not found and or someone had given him IV for dehydration. BTW - he was a physician, as was his wife who flew in from Australia to take him home.
SCARY SITUATION - AND - it is even more prevalent in a marathon (and longer races) , especially for those who are out there over 4 hours. The body can only absorb about 600 mils of water per hour and anything more than that starts to dilute the minerals in your body. Pouring the water over your head on a hot day is a safer way to stay cool. EVERYONE should read the book "Waterlogged" by Dr Timothy Noaks. here is a link - please please please (especially those doing the ultra on June 20th) give it a read WATERLOGGED
I also gleaned some important nutrition information as well from this ride. Two riders from Canada (who I give nutritional advice to) were riding using a High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb regime, as opposed to others who were using the standard high carb (gateraide) approach. The carbohydrate approach does not work for these longer rides and runs. They must be fueled from your body fat (this discussion is for another time) I already have converted riders from this ride after they saw how easily the two Canadians finished even with the heat. If you want to read a good book that explains some of this please have a look at "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance"
There are lots of races for the summertime. Pick your poison as they say - all are fun and you can use them as speed work and to measure your fitness against others or against previous results at those distances. For those who are considering a marathon and or half marathon in the fall, a fast 5K or 10K race, will help us set your training speeds your marathon training, so please do a race in June for your training sake
June 7th "Under the Bridge" and June 21st " Boys Home" & St Clair River Run July 18th
So far for Fall training plans we have Detroit Marathon (Detroit Half??) October 18th and Chicago Marathon October 11th. We are working on training plans now - who and what other races???
What beautiful weather to run - get your butt off the couch and just do it - before work and or after work. Come on out and run with us - love to see you!!
NOW - after saying all this, I have to apologize since my weekends are being taken up with cycling. I am working towards qualification to go to France to ride Paris Brest Paris on August 16th. I must complete a 200, 300, 400 and 600 km series before they allow me to go AND probably 3X that riding since this is the only way I will be trained enough to ride it and enjoy it. Just so you know - I am away May 30th and 31st riding a 600 km ride and then away June 6 - 13th doing a full series of 200, 300, 400, & 600 rides in one week (Devil's Week). I will see the Ultra Marathon people in Niagara on June 20th for the 50K - hoping that my cross training on the bike will allow me to finish this event???
Have a great week (Officially SUMMER on June 21st!!)
Dick for FoF