Pain Freeze

A few days ago Mad Mark invited me to road ride with him today. The forecast was for a high of 40, and 40 is my lower limit for road riding. I sensed danger, but agreed since Mark has gone along with some of my less sensible rides.

15 minutes before I need to leave my house, the temperature had just barely hit 30. I text Mark and asked if insanity runs in his family. He replies asking if wimpiness runs in mine. So I had to go, but I submit that I was entrapped.

Rolling off the Orem bench I was shocked to see the outside temperature read 24. This is not good. Fortunately it was only 21 at the ride start. I put on more layers than an onion and off we went.

The first thing we noticed was the cold air stinging the exposed skin of our faces. Then our hands got cold. Then my feet got cold and only got colder.

The route was nice, but the cold made it hard to get to into the ride. I had some fun and it was weird to be out on a day like today so that added some spice. But what concerned me most was how sluggish I felt. Mark seemed to have some spring in his legs - mine felt like lead. Could this be because Mark has been working out and I've been pigging out? Of course not.

We did a few hills over in Woodland Hills, but my legs hurt in a weird place - behind the knee, especially the two tendons of the hamstrings. It bothered me the rest of the ride. This is where we had the high of the ride, 36 degrees.

We made two stops - one near the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon, the other in Payson. My feet warmed up at Spanish, but even with vigorously rubbing my left toes they were still cold after leaving the Payson stop. On the long ride back my left toes got even colder and I couldn't feel them at all. To be honest I was concerned I had frostbite, but I kept going. I just wanted to get back to the car. With this motivation I did one fairly good pull going north out of Payson, but after that I followed Mark's lead.

It seemed to take forever to get back to the cars. When we arrived I took off my shoe and socks and felt my left foot - it was ice cold and white, but no weird discoloration so I felt relieved that my toes were probably OK. (They warmed up and I got feeling back 45 minutes later.)

When we left, Mark asked me to be kind to him in my blog. Did I really look that down? Probably. I was wiped out. My knees ached, my leg muscles were OK but I didn't finish strong, and my neck and shoulders were starting to hurt. I was pretty bummed out - how could I lose so much biking form so quickly. I guess I've been fooling myself that my little ski outings once or twice a week were keeping my fitness up. I could blame the cold or the bulk of clothes, but the sad fact was I rode like crap. I'll be bummed out for a day or two, but hopefully this will be a wake up call to get on the trainer and start working out. With STP this year I've got to get in form or it will be a miserable ride.

Ride stats:
52 miles
3 hours 25 minutes in the saddle
15.2 mph average speed
1400' climbing


Eat Sleep MTB said...

Ouch, that sounds horrible. Thanks for the invite, but I must say I am glad I missed that. I did a ride like that 2 winters ago, the next weekend I went to the Park City Pearl Izumi outlet and dropped $600 on pure winter riding gear. Money well spent!

Forrest said...

Mark gives me a hard time for boarding when its below zero, but to be honest, I am warmer boarding any day than I am on the bike when its only 30 degrees out.

KanyonKris said...

eat sleep mtb: I read your blog about riding in St. George. I hate you. ;-)

forrest: I tried to talk Mark into XC skiing up AF Canyon. It would have been warmer and better air. But he was set on riding. I enjoyed parts of the ride, but the cold dampened my enjoyment. And as I said, the worst part is that I didn't feel strong on the bike, and the cold didn't have much to do with that.

Forrest said...

You dont see me trying to snowboard in August, so why try to bike in Feb? Go with the flow.

UtRider said...

You guys are wimps. It was a sweet ride!

UtRider said...

Todd - If you're interested in selling a pair of your PI winter bibs, I wear size Medium and would love to take them off your hands.

KanyonKris said...

Don't mind Mark (utrider) - his brain still hasn't thawed. ;-)