måndag, november 05, 2007

Hot as hell

Next week is the Zambian National Road Championships and I am supposed to participate in the A class. That is the “Elite”. On the agenda is a 150 kilometer race from Lusaka, past Kafue

and down the escarpments towards the Zimbabwean border. We simply turn around at the 75k mark and ride the same way back.

After yesterday, however, I am having second thoughts.

We did basically just that. A 150k ride down the race route. Up until 115 kilometers I was feeling great. But as we turned around at the bottom of the escarpments I immediately started to suffer. As we climbed up the hills the wind practically stopped and it was steaming hot. I was sweating like never before, a continuous dripping from my chin.

Rick took off and I could not follow. Tom dropped back and pretty soon I found myself in no mans land. The water in my bottles did not cool me off anymore, it was that hot. It was probably good that I was alone as if our follow vehicle had been behind me I would have climbed in and called it a day.

After about 30 kilometers of gradual climbing and with no water left I saw Rick who had decided to wait for us. We waited for another few minutes and Tom and the car also caught up. More water. Cold water. I started coming back to life.

By then we only had about 18 kilometers to go and I was starting to think that I would actually make it. After another 8 or so kilometers, however, I started feeling a bit dizzy and nauseous. Why push it? I thought and flagged down Peter in the car, climbed in and my day was over after 153k.

It was by far the hardest 150k ride I have ever done. Not because of the speed (we averaged a very reasonable 30.5), but the heat. My heart rate monitor showed that the average temp during the ride had been 39 degrees and peaking at 48.

So: How the hell will I manage next Sunday? Well, I guess next weeks course will not be exactly as tough as we will turn around earlier and hence skip some of the steepest climbing. But then again, the pace will be higher for sure. I really hope that the rains will have started by then as that will bring the temperature down significantly, and looking out the window today chances for that are good. On the other hand, plenty of rainfall will make the two gravel sections very very interesting indeed.

I am getting nervous.

9 kommentarer:

Stina sa...

Jesper! That was quite an achievement! I am, as always, stunned by your strength and will! You keep inspiring, even as far away as from Zambia.

As for the race, sometimes you need to face your limitations, and sometimes you need to push your boundaries. No one but you will know which way to go, but I wish you the best, whatever you decide to do.

Jesper Sundewall sa...

I am glad my caving in is inspiring... Sunday will most probably push the boundaries - but I am up for it.
Glad to see you having fun on your new friend. The cyclocross I mean of course. Say hi to all the people I know next time you go riding

Anonym sa...

Fantastic web site, I had not noticed jespersundewall.blogspot.com earlier in my searches!
Carry on the great work!

Anonym sa...

Thanks for sharing the link, but argg it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my message if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at jespersundewall.blogspot.com could repost it.


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