Mt. Pwned

Last Saturday was a beautiful day off and a beautiful day outside. After sleeping in a bit, I decided to go for a bike ride. I checked my blood sugar, everything was fine, so I dawned the bike gear, grabbed my road bike and took to the streets. I felt good, and was excited about the ride: Just me, the bike, and the road.

I made it 2.6 miles into the ride and was climbing a steep hill with gusto when I bonked, a term commonly used in cycling or exercise when your body stalls and you just can’t go anymore. I’ve hit that wall before while on long rides, but never less than three miles into a ride.

My heart rate spiked. I couldn’t breathe. I had no power in my legs. I couldn’t catch my breath. I was seeing spots. There was no choice in the matter, I couldn’t even make it to the top of the hill. I had to stop before I blacked out.

I coasted into a driveway, unlocked my cleats from the pedals, and put my feet down. What was happening to me? Was I low? How could I be low after I just checked only a few minutes ago? I laid my bike down, then proceeded to spew what little bit of water that was in my stomach onto someone’s well-manicured lawn. Fortunately, north Florida has had an extremely hot and dry summer, so those nice folks that lived in that house probably didn’t mind the extra water. After I caught my breath enough, I grabbed my phone out of my back jersey pocket and called A-Flizzle to come and get me and my trusty steed.

That. Never. Happens. And to be honest, it scared the spandex out of me. It was probably the worst bike ride I’ve had since I started cycling six years ago, and I’m still not sure what went so wrong. My blood sugar was fine. Maybe I simply got sick. Maybe I didn’t eat enough before the ride. Maybe I’m more out of shape than I thought, even though I’ve done plenty of spin classes and I did a 24 mile road ride less than a month ago. Maybe my extra weight that has been mentally plaguing me has become a physical problem. Maybe I just took the climb too hard and had an adrenaline overload. Maybe I have no clue.

I do know that I’m setting a new rule, effective immediately, to move around for at least 30 minutes every day. If I can do more, like a spin class or a couple hours in the gym, fantastic! But if I’m busy, and I can do nothing else, at least I’ll have that 30 minutes, even if it is just going for a walk. Surely I can find at least 30 minutes to spare.

It’s already cold here in north Florida (or “cold” as all of you in areas that actually see snow would call it), and I hate being cold. What better way to warm up than moving around? I’m declaring this Winter training season. I have to find a way to make moving around a priority, every single day. Mornings and me do not get along at all, but if that means I have to start waking up early to go to the gym before work, so be it. Or if I have to go late at night (which is more likely), so be it. If I don’t make it a priority, then it will never become one. Plus it’s warm in the gym, so there’s that.

That hill scared me, but fear is not a motivator. Now that hill is taunting me, teasing me, begging me to get back on the bike so it can try to beat me again. I’ve got news for it though. It won’t be long before I stamp my name all over that mountain, and declare it Mt. Pwned.

Mt Pwned


  1. FWIW, I can’t climb worth a tinker’s damn. I know my weight is part of the equation, but hardly the whole story. In an area of rolling hills, I can tackle a number of short rises if given a running start, but the longer or steeper ones capture me less than a tenth of a mile into the climb — sore legs, rising heart rate, loss of breath. I believe the issue may be leg strength, and what I need to do is add some weight training to the cycling. Finding the time and inclination to do so is, however, another story.

  2. gusto! bonked! pwned! (who knew there was a wiki entry for that?)

    sounds like a scary experience but it sounds like you’ve got the best attitude for tackling it! training season! whoo! (she said, from her comfortable spot on the couch)

  3. I think there are so many components to a “good” work out that it’s hard to pinpoint what could’ve had you feeling that way. But I tend to struggle more when I work out on the weekends – like you, shortly after getting up and only eating a small snack or meal beforehand. As opposed to during the week which is in the evening after a full day of work and meals. Kudos to you for making a conscious effort to get moving more!

  4. PWN THAT SUCKER! I’ve had a couple runs where I’ve puked (or almost puked) out of nowhere….and plenty where I just all of a sudden feel like s#@& a short ways in for no discernible reason. But I love your attitude….no reason to give up, just a reason to work harder and kick that hill’s ass!

    I’m trying to move around more, too– aside from training, just in day to day life. I go walking for lunch break now. I don’t know how much time you have, but we usually get a full hour for lunch– which is a nice opportunity to have a quick bite and then stroll around for a mile or so while listening to tunes and chilling out before facing the chaos of hospital life.

    Kudos, indeed! You can do this!

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