Saturday, August 05, 2006

Dogs, chickens, and burning feet

That about sums up my longest bike ride ever (to date). On Wednesday, August 2, I set out for another long bike ride around Wye Mountain. I have to say that having done that climb 3 or 4 times now, it's not as bad as it was the first time. And at least most of it is in the shade, huge difference! Aside from the usual dozen or so dead snakes on the side of the road, I got chased by my first dog. And what a stupid dog at that. First, he/she scared the hell out of me because I was on the part of the ride that is flat-to-mildly downhill so I was in my aero bars and the next thing I know this dog is running along side me. Naturally I got up and hit my brakes, which I guess made him/her think I was slowing down to hang around and play because instead of going away he/she got in FRONT of my bike! The dog was actually cute and not at all vicious looking. The thought of it chomping into my gastroc didn't even enter my mind, but I could see myself sprawled out in the middle of the road because I lost my balance. It doesn't take much to make me fall with those darn clipless pedals. Anyway, I eventually shout the dog away, only to come up on some chickens that made themselves a whole in their fence with access to the road. At least they're smart enough to go the opposite direction when someone is approaching. I guess they're born with the whole head chopping thing.

I got back to Pinnacle Mtn park where my van was parked and I had completed 40.5 miles. I decided to go back the way I came on Hwy-300 even though the dog potential was there. I was amazed at how different everything looked from the opposite direction. I also realized that riding east is a lot easier than going west. But hey, I'm tough and I managed to climb those hills even after riding 60 miles and with burning feet!

That brings me to my other issue, burning feet. For some strange reason my feet start to burn (the balls) after about 60 miles of riding. Yeah, I know, any normal person is saying "Well maybe that means you've ridden far enough", but to prepare for an Ironman it's not enough, and the last thing I want to have to deal with in the Ironman is burning feet. I'm sure I'll have all sorts of other stuff to fight through. After thinking about what could be causing this, since after all I am almost a 2nd-year doctorate of physical therapy student, I decided to consult my friend who is already a PT and 3 time IM finisher. She suggested wearing a metatarsal pad. So I'm going to give that a shot. If it doesn't work I'll just continue shaking my legs out like I've been doing, which isn't a bad idea anyway after cycling so many miles.