As many of you know that know me, I have struggled with 100 mile rides, my first two 100 mile rides being last year in 2017.
My first attempt was in February of 2017, I started off with a little bit of a stomach ache, and was way overdressed and overheated quickly. I found that I was not consuming enough of anything and started to really feel the pain. There were multiple times I wanted to stop and call for a ride, but somehow with the aid of Coke and a pickle, I was able to finish the ride. When I arrived home I was unable to do anything, very sick feeling, dizzy, etc. I had to have my daughter run up to the store for pickles, chocolate milk, and a Coke! After about 20 minutes I was starting to come back and feel normal again. I don’t like feeling like I am going to pass out.
Fast forward a few months to June of 2017. I had a few friends ask me to do this 100 mile race on a MTB called the Lumberjack. 100 miles and around 10,000 feet of climbing. I immediately thought of the 100 mile ride I did in the spring and thought it was a bad idea, but I decided to try and train for it anyway. Long story short, I was doing really well in this race, on pace to break the 8 hour mark by a lot, when all of a sudden with about 10 miles to go I got a double leg cramp, one in each adductor. I told my friend I was riding with to go on without me. I probably should have stopped trying to finish this race and found medical attention, but instead I pressed on for things to only get worse. Just after I worked through the cramps by going slow I had to pee really bad. Wow, that was the worst burning urine I have ever experienced, I never knew that you could pee razor blades! Somehow even after that I tried to ride my bike, but started to get dizzy, light headed, and sick to my stomach. The feeling of passing out was right there and I had to manage myself to stay just under. I walked my bike up hills, thankfully I could coast downhill and try for that sub 8 hour mark. I eventually finished, and did so still getting under 8 hours, but I was in rough shape. Way worse than the previous century, and I really thought I was going to die. A nurse had brought over the smelly stuff to keep me conscious, and thankfully I had my wife and friends around who slowly brought me back to life.
I will get to the problem in a second. I had packed a ton of food and drink, bought a bag to go on my bike that held plenty of food. The problem I quickly found, I could not swallow food that I had to chew during a race, so yet again, I did not consume enough and had the biggest bonk of my life. This was a huge learning lesson, and led me to think of what I could do to make it 100 miles and feel good the whole time.
Thankfully on Sunday March 4th 2018 I was able to test out my plan for making it. For me it was really simple, while riding, and having dry mouth, I brought Ensure to consume which worked like magic. Not only did it replenish, but it allowed me to continue to drink the sports drink and stay hydrated. Without the Ensure, my body would normally start to reject all the sports drink, so it was a great combo for me. When we would stop for pee breaks I would eat a recovery bar with liquid, and we also stopped for a quick sweet potato fry snack to recover before finishing up. Because of the liquid food, I was able to ride the whole 105 miles without any cramps, dizziness, or feeling sick to my stomach. I also felt great the whole time.
I am hoping that if you have this problem, this solution will help you! Thanks for reading today, maybe this will cut down on your learning curve!