2 weeks to Kanza-the final countdown!

This weekend called for two 4 hour rides.  Funny how 4 hours now seems like a drop in the bucket. Neither of my rides went quite as planned but I still enjoyed myself.

For Saturday’s ride I needed to pick up my bike at Trek store Highland Park where it was getting tuned.  From there I planned to ride to the Des Plaines River Trail, the same trail I rode just 6 days before.  I got to the trail and turned on to the path only to see a sign that said trail closed due to water.  I was trying to recall how this could happen in the last few days then I remembered the storm.  I figured how bad could it really be?  I’ve seen that trail covered in water but didn’t think it could be so bad now so I just ignored the sign.  Just a few miles in I came to my first “water hazard”  It was about a 20 foot stretch of the trail covered in water.  I decided to take my chances knowing that Kanza may have some water passes.  So I entered the water and started to pump my peddles so as not to get my feet wet, unfortunately the mud underneath got so stick that if I didn’t do a full peddle I’d stop and fall over so in my feet went into the water. Great, half hour into the ride and my feet are soaked.  I kept going.

As I kept going I saw sign after sign of “trail closed” or “underpass closed” signs.  Luckily for the most part I remembered how to get around the underpass.  There was a couple of times that I ended up riding up and down a road looking for a way in.  One time I found myself in thick 8 foot tall weeds trying to get around the water, unfortunately it didn’t work and I ended up on the road again and had to pull out my iphone to figure out where to go.  Every time I got diverted I thought oh maybe I’ll just stick to the road, but I just couldn’t divert from my plan.  I really wanted to make it to the end of the trail again.  I just kept hoping that the each following section would be better.  I approached the freeway underpass, not just a road, the actual highway – 94.  I saw the closed sign and again refused to believe that it could be that bad.  I arrived at the underpass and sure enough it was not passable however unlike the other underpasses I couldn’t exactly hike up to 94 and walk across or ride to the next intersection! So rather than going back like a normal person I decided to climb onto the embankment beside the underpass where there was about a 2 foot space clearance.  All I can say is that I’m lucky I had my helmet on because as I got a few feet in I clunked my head on one of the girders.

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The river overflown!

The river overflown!


I definitely went through a lot of water on that trip.  I also did one other underpass caving expidition.  I finally made it to a stretch of about 9 miles that was almost waterless.  I ended up making it to the end of the trail albeit with soaked feet the entire time.  I rode the 9 miles back then took it too the streets.  I had had enough of the water and hike a biking. I made it back in 2 hours vs the 3 that it took to get out there!

I was really happy with my nutrition.  I stuck with the same mix – skratch, sustained energy and hammer gel mix, over 4 hours I ate a pack of blocks and one other gel.  This worked out to be about 44 g carb/hour and 200 calories per hour.  This time I left my basil rates at 100%.  My blood sugar’s were great, they dipped a bit but managed to get it back up.  I figured If I can keep that up for the race then eat real food at the checkpoints I should be good.

I was a little disappointed in that I had to get on and off the bike so much and having to ride on the road on the way home. It ended up being about 62 miles at about 4.5 hours.

Today I had volunteered to be lead biker at the half marathon downtown.  I had done this before and really enjoyed it. I figured I could ride the course a few times then continue on from there.  Well, it never really works out that way.  So I was up at 4:30 putting wet shoes and heading to the start line. As myself and Dave Athans rode back out on the course after taking in the lead runners we ended up riding home with the last racer.  Her name was Cindy,  I couldn’t just leave them despite the grueling 15 min/ mile pace.  I really wanted to see Cindy finish.  She told me that it was her first half marathon and that she had lost over 70 pounds over the past year and works with a group to promote wellness and exercise.  She walked a good portion of the last half of the race.  Still we stuck with her.  As we rounded the corner towards the finish line I saw the tears of joy coming down her face. It just made me so happy to have been a part of her race and her goal, she was amazingly strong.  Because I had been gone already for about 6 hours and not really eating very well I ate some of the race food.  I finally got back on my bike and rode for another 2 hours.  I wonder if that counts as 8 hours in the saddle?  It was definitely a long day!  I figured I did about 60 miles overall albeit over a long time!  So overall not really a quality workout today either.

Bike marshals!

Bike marshals!

Bike Marshals on the course!

Bike Marshals on the course!


This was really it for Kanza training so I hope I did enough. In hindsight I guess I don’t make the best of decisions training wise but I got to see Cindy finish her race. Over all I feel good and my blood glucose control has been good during the rides.

Diabetes Blog Week.

Well I made it through 3 days.  I just couldn’t find the time to write on all the days.  I did however read some pretty cool stuff including another exercise junky!


About Gillian

I am a type 1 diabetic diagnosed at the age of 30. I run marathons, participate in bike races , ironman triathlons and everything in between.
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2 Responses to 2 weeks to Kanza-the final countdown!

  1. nldiabetic says:

    This must be the weekend for Kanza – best of “luck” although you are trained up so you should rock it!! I can’t wait to read about it. Great post here – and it’s quality, not quantity and you wrote three great posts! 🙂

    Let us know how Kanza went!

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