Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Fear

Well been away and am back again – between having to travel abroad, afternoon meetings (making the use of the bike impracticable) I have not been in the saddle anywhere near as much as I should have been lately. Last week I only had a chance to ride in once, this week it will only be about 3 times.
The issue perturbing me currently though is the suggestion of a friend at dinner on Saturday. He wants me to join him on a 70 mile bike ride at the end of August, this fills me with dread. I do two 11 mile rides a day – generally speaking that is enough for me – the thought that I could complete 70 miles in one ride totally fills me with dread! Can I really go that far?

Let us take two major points into account 1) I have only been cycling a few months 2) I am in my mid forties 3) I am diabetic.

Point (1) means my muscles are still getting used to the idea that they are supposed to move

Point (2) means that they don’t get fit that easy – every extra mile I add to my daily cycle takes time to get used to

Point (3) just makes everything very complicated – most people don’t understand diabetes and what insulin is and how it all fits together, and to be honest I am not in the mood to explain it all. Basically it is one great big balancing act – inject to burn energy (carbohydrate) and eat more carbohydrate to stop you blood sugar going to low. But it gets vastly more complicated than that – I need to inject to make sure my muscles are getting the energy they require during a long ride – but at the same time the more I inject the lower my blood sugar goes so I need to add more carbs. Then there are factors such as what you ate the day before (complex carbs)  and the delayed effect of a ride – for example after 11 miles of riding my blood sugar levels will continue to plummet for up to 3 hours after and on a long ride this would be compounded by the fact that I would still be cycling!

I have never been a long distance person I have always been a sprinter – I have no idea how my body will deal with 4 or 5 hours of solid riding. To be honest I am finding the whole thing quite frightening.

So here is my take on this – I will go cycling with my friend (we will start with a 20 mile ride this Saturday) and just see how it goes – but if by August I am not doing 50 mile rides with relative ease I will not go for the whole 70 mile thing. At the end of the day I suppose it can do no harm to try!

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