It was an empty parking lot when I got to the Long Lake Outdoor Center on Saturday morning. 2 cars. Surprising for only 2 weeks before the Barry Roubaix...but then again...everyone starts in Hastings now. I just stop at Long Lake and ride the course from there...save some drive time.
Off I went on a solo ride. I had a goal of 13mph for the route because I was almost there the week before....and conditions were way better. The roads were a little soggy in some spots...but mostly spongy gravel that is just soft enough to slow you down some. There was some mud too....but the roads are drying nicely.
The ride went fairly well. I got to the paved road into Hastings and my stomach started to hurt some. Nothing major...just uncomfortable. I rode through town and headed out towards the Three Sisters. Stomach was really starting to hurt by this point....not so much stabbing pain...as....my system wants to empty pings. So...I had a choice....go out into the woods and hope for the best or just keep going. I just kept going and the pings passed. The problem was....I was slowing down because my focus was gone. I was more worried about how I was feeling and how I was going to ride the rest of the way back to my car. When I got to the first sister I slowly churned over the top. About halfway up the second sister my legs quit. I had to stop and walk. Then I didn't even try the third....just got off and walked. Legs were like concrete. It wasn't making any sense to me until I started to think about what I did differently on this ride. Only one thing was different....fluids. I put different fluids into my water bottles...and thinking back I was feeling worse with every pedal stroke after about the 15 mile mark. About long enough for the Gatorade G2 I was drinking to be throughout my system.
The last 12 miles were straight up survival mode. All I wanted to do was get to the car. Knowing that it was the G2 made it worse...because it was all I had to drink and I wasn't going to go without fluids. Ugh. I just plugged away and eventually turned right instead of left to head out to Gun Lake Road. Good choice...only cut 2 miles...but I was glad to back to the car. Ended up with just over 34 miles at a pace of 11.9 mph. So....not terrible considering how awful I was feeling. Lesson learned. A lesson better to learn now than during...say...Lumberjack 100.
Friday after work we took the littles to Lake Michigan to see the remnants of the ice. There was water along the shore....but these huge mountains of ice still in place....covered in sand. Looks like the sand dunes are out in the water. Pretty cool.
We live so close to Lake Michigan...and we never really think twice about how awesome it truly is.