Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I've been fortunate enough (so far) to have been able to do all my bike workouts outside still. I want to delay the long, long days of trainer riding as much as I can -- so my trusty steed (y'all remember Crash right?) and I have had some fine autumn days together. Oh -- and Susi --- you'd be so proud of me! My courage has blossomed in regards to my mountain biking skills. Granted, I am still not technically on a real trail, but my confidence is at the point now, where I am excited about venturing off the well-beaten logging road. Heh-heh-heh!

That said, I had a helluva bike ride on Saturday morning. I should have known something was wrong when 35 minutes into it, my Camel-bak froze. No amount of gumming the nozzle would coax out even a droplet, but still I pushed on. My ride was to last 2 hours with overgear work during the second hour. Now, as all roads in the Crowsnest Pass lead up, I thought I'd bike for about 1.5 hours up and then sail back down and home. Things were going great -- I was really enjoying myself out there. The dirt road I ride on is a wicked steady climb (starting in Blairmore), followed by a long descent that flattens out in the bottom of a valley. I turn around before this point, however. The road eventually curves back and climbs steadily back to Hillcrest. I think it is a 50km or so loop, that I would like to do in its entirety next year -- gorgeous!

Anyways, things literally went downhill when I turned around. The wind was against me and it was so frigging cold, I couldn't believe it. My fingers and feet quickly froze. I had a really hard time trying to change gears on my bike, and I could feel my core was getting cold. I had layered up with wool and a wind blocking jacket, but my cheap sports bra/tank top was soaking wet and retained all the moisture.

I went as fast as I could go -- but I knew I was getting to be in bad shape when I felt my face scrunch up and start to cry. It was so weird -- it's like my mind was separate from my body. I was thinking to myself, why in the hell is my face trying to cry? I'm not sad or worried, I'm just f$%#ing cold! I had no control over it. It's like trying to stop yourself from sweating when you are working out. Very weird.

By this point, I couldn't feel my legs, my feet, or my hands, and I pedaled like the hounds of hell were yipping at my wheels. I remember looking down at my legs as they were pedaling and thinking, shouldn't I be feeling the exertion of this effort?

Well, I felt it as soon as I got home. It's like I had held my breath while cycling home -- when I finally stopped, I was breathing so hard and fiercely I thought I was going to spew. I also started crying uncontrollably. Poor Mike had to literally undress me and put me in the tub. I was pretty mixed up too. I got in and out of the tub 2 times, all the while crying and saying, "What the hell is the matter with me? I can't stop crying!"

Mike made me a tea and gradually I warmed up. My feet HURT so much -- I couldn't stand the pain of them warming up. I gradually warmed up, until suddenly, I was back to normal. It was like a light switch went off in my head. Mike said to me in his no-nonsense voice -- "That's enough biking outside for this year." Eeeeeeep.

But......yesterday it was so nice outside, I was able to bike outside. I had to pass through the security check-point of Mike however, telling him where I was going, and for how long I was going (only an hour).

Keep warm everyone, or suffer the face-crumpling consequences...


Kelly B. said...

YIkes!! Julie!! Not good...I had an experience of crying for no reason and no control but it was shortly after having my second babe. I think I was post partum but never diagnosed...it was weird. Just could not stop no matter how hard I tried!! A bit scary too...

runningman said...

I've had my eyes water uncontrollebly, not sure if that's the same thing.

Cath said...

I cried uncontrollably after a nasty ski accident where I landed upside on my head (lucky I had a helmet on) - very wierd too though, I kept saying to Jase I don't why I'm crying, but I just couldn't stop!

You poor thing though, you sounded soooo cold. The only thing I can liken it too, is being on the mountain when my feet and hands lose all feeling .....and then thaw - I can hardly breath with the pain - that's had me in tears before too - my brother in law thought I was joking once, but oh no, that hurts big time!

Poor ol' Mike must have been a bit worried (I can imagine the voice.....)

You take care of myself my girl.

Lots of Love and big warm bear hugs!
Us two xxx

Jenna said...

ok...Mike takes good care of COLD confused Julie. I think it is wise you have to pass through his security check point!! Pushing your body does weird things - just take care!!

Susi said...

so, ah, we are going to ride inside next weekend right?! a) poor mike would be in big trouble with two of us crying uncontrollably, and b) i've done the biking in cold thing and don't need to do it again, haha.

glad you got home safe! crazy girl. hugs.