AIDS/Lifecycle 9: Day 3

Day 3- King City to Paso Robles

What I remember the most about Day 3 was the heat!  It was a short day (67 miles), but the heat took so much out of me.

Photo: Mike Casas

By this time, I was sure that self care during rest stops was essential for this kind of endurance event.  My rest stops usually included the following:

  • “Eat before you’re hungry.” The ride provided many snacks, most of it junk.  They did, however, always carry orange slices and “crack bars” (peanut butter and jelly graham cracker sandwiches).  After a few days, rest stop 1 busted out with the amazing “mystery bagels”!  I never really felt like eating their packaged treats but when they took everything and mixed it with peanut butter and jelly and spread it on a sub-par bagel, something magical happened.  I was really thankful for that snack.
  • “Drink before you’re thirsty.” Every rest stop had water and Powerade.  A lot of rest stops also had ice, which helped a ton on a day like Day 3.  To keep cool, I dipped my scarf it in ice water and wore it around my neck.
  • Port-a-potty.
  • Stretch. As a recommendation from my yoga instructor, Skeeter from Yoga Kula, I did at least one sun salutation at each rest stop.  I feel like this really helped to sustain me through the long days.  Downward dog, forward bend and cobra really helped to stretch my back… Plus the short meditation helped me regain focus and energy.  I also tried to stretch my quads and IT band at every rest stop.

    Reaching for a quad stretch Day 1. Photo: Bob Katz

All of the rest stops were full of enthusiastic roadies who always prepared the rest stops with creative themes.  Rest Stop 4 seemed to always be the most extravagant.  On Day 3, Rest Stop 4 really saved me.  They set up The Price is Right themed performance.  I used this time to sit in the shade, take off my shoes and socks, ice my neck and just relax.

When I got back to camp, after completing my return-to-camp routine, I claimed my 15 minute massage at the massage tent.  All riders are eligible for one sometime during the ride. The line was shorter than expected and I even got an earlier appointment by waiting around and filling in for a no-show.

The massage therapist asked me where it hurt.  I said my shoulders and my thighs.  He practiced some deep tissue massage on my shoulders.  It hurt so good.  After that, he moved to my thighs.  I screamed loudly.  He asked me if I had been using the foam roller.  Truth is, I had used it once on the ride so far.  He walked me over to the foam rollers outside of the medical tent and told me to roll out my IT band, my quads, my calves, the inside of my thigh from my groin to my knee.

Enduring the pain, I followed his instructions.  He came back and told me to repeat this every evening and every morning of the ride to save me from getting an injury.  I did exactly what he told me and had no injuries on the ride.  Infact, I felt great through Day 5 at lunch when I really started feeling it.  I’m sure that all of my training, rolling out, yoga and stretching, all kept me feeling good.

Later on that night, I started to get a menstrual related migraine.  (I’ve been having period related migraines on and off for a long time.  Traditional Chinese Medicine cured it at one point, but they started coming back.  I need to go get treated again.)  I had the tent to myself this night, since my tent mate decided to stay with a friend in a hotel.  If I catch a migraine early, I can usually cure it with a heating pad and over the counter medicine.  So I packed some Walgreen’s Heat Wraps and Excedrin Migraine.  When I woke up the next morning, I still had a slight migraine, but killed it with an overdose of caffeine!