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Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
  Bike Sebring 2006 Part II

I didn't leave myself enough time before the race and since my truck was a bit disorganized I was flustered. On the track, I rode alongside a guy who recognized me from last year, I think his name was Mike Krasilovsky, we both had a rough start to the 2005 Bike Sebring. I stopped back at the truck after the 3 laps on the track and an over-eager volunteer tried to help me which flustered me even more. I switched to my sunglasses which immediately fogged up in the morning mist once I started riding. I slowed down to fiddle with my glasses and got passed by a couple doing the 12 hour race. Since I'm not allowed to draft, I had to pass them. I wasn't having much fun at the beginning. Eventually, the mist burned off, I settled into a rhythm and things started looking up.

I hit the turn around and opted to keep going. I had enough supplies to get to the next rest stop. I was Just Riding Along when I pulled up behind a couple of cars behind a cop car. I worked my way up to the cop car and it was keeping people from passing a line of tractors. A Long Line of Tractors. The cop waved me past and then I proceeded to pass 70 tractors.

I was trying something new on this ride; normally, I drink a bottle of Perpetuem (4 scoops) over a two hour period, but on this ride I was drinking that much in one hour and also trying to get some powerbars down. I was pushing the upper limit of how many calories I could stomach and I occasionally had to slow down and let it digest. In the past, I've had a really empty feeling going into the night loops at Sebring and late in brevets so I was hoping more calories would help and it did. I will definitely be doing this on future long rides.

The winds were light this year, so the long stretch that usually harbors a terrible headwind wasn't much of a problem. I made a quick pit stop back at the truck to refill my camelback and grab a bagel then started the 12 mile loops. I got 4 down before I needed another break. Then two more laps and a long break. My legs felt pretty good, but something wasn't right and I felt like I was slowing down. It was then as I watched a rider spin past with a high cadence that I realized my own cadence was slowing and I was trying to push bigger and bigger gears. I switched into the small chainring and started spinning faster. I had a lot of time to think. I remembered from somewhere that the slow twitch muscles (used in high cadence pedaling) can go for a very long time versus the fast twitch muscles (used in mashing gears). I haven't really paid attention to my cadence in awhile, so I'm guessing that my average cadence in training has been pretty low. I was a bit worried that since I haven't been training to spin for long periods I would be slow and suffering during the next 12 hours, but my lap split times for the last few 12 mile laps are quicker than my early laps at low cadence.

After the 12 mile laps, I packed up my truck and drove to the parking lot behind the pits to begin the night loops on the track.

 

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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