Well, my friends, after over 25 years of cycling and hardly any ill effects from Heat Exhaustion on my rides I succuumed yesterday!
I did an easy 51 miler averaging 14.5 to 15 MPH most of the time on mostly flat terrain and finished in 3:25 drank four Large Bike Bottles of Gatorade in 85 degree heat with some humidity. I also had a couple of Starbucks Iced Coffees, and one bag of salted peanuts at my first rest stop at 3009 and Old Nacogdoches. Before the ride I was hydrated evidenced by my clear pee before I left the house.
Indicators during the ride that something was awry: Did not need to go during the ride and normally on a three plus hour ride I do. My heart rate coming back into town was up around 164 and 170 BPM when pokin' along at 14 - 15 MPH (I thought it was due to traffic woes in the city).
I get home finish off my last bottle, probably 8 ounces of liquid, put the bike away, take the dogs out front for a tinkle and no problem.
I go inside and crouch down to put the diaper on the 17 year old dog, I get up quickly and start to pass out, attempt to steady myself without success, and face plant in the blue bathroom, knocking a chunk out of the terrazite floor, breaking my two front teeth (Now I can sing Thither Thuthie thiting on a thithle from "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" without having to fake it!), breaking my nose, dislocating two fingers in my left hand, a busted lip, a bump on my chin and a mild abrasion on my left knee. As I came to I realized my teeth were touching the floor and my hand was under me doubled back in the wrong direction. All I could think of was, dammit, it's Gayle's turn to go to the dentist. After a few expletives that I'll refrain from sharing due to the fact that my sister Kayzinha hates this word, I collected myself and called Gaylezinha for rescue. Lars, Gayle's brother brought me an ice compact and he and Gilbert were ready to take me when Gayle arrived.
I spent the next 7.5 hours in and out of the waiting room, triage, exam room, x-ray, cat-scan (meow) and the bathroom at the Awesome Northeast Methodist Hospital in Live Oak, North-East part of town.
Initial thoughts were that it happened because of low blood sugar in response to strennuous exercise on a low carbohydrate diet or because of a drug interaction between Claritin, Dextromethorphan & Guaifenesin (Cough supressant/expectorant) and my Lisinopril to lower my blood pressure. Ehhhhnnnn! Thanks for playin'!
I still felt hydrated in the waiting room because I was cold. When I went to pee (Tupi-Panambee, don't ask) the color was dark! Not good! Remember the pee clear speech?
When exercising vigorously one must be sweating and vacating your bladder (sorry, I got tired of seeing the word pee in this post). Heat exhaustion comes before heat stroke. Heat stroke can cause your heart to stop. I had a coworker suffer heat stroke ONCE. He learned his lesson!
Dehydration got me! Even a teacher can be taught!
Lessons learned: I normally time myself on when to drink on a ride, a good idea, but one must adjust the time to your sweat rate depending on conditions.
Rates can be derived through weight checks before during and after exercise. In-fact in ultra events one gets pulled off the course if you lose too much weight during the bout. My Winter sweat rate is anywhere from 12 - 15 minutes for 3 - 7 swallows. My Summer sweat rate is 10 minutes for 3-7 swallows. My race/redline sweat rate is 5 minutes for three swallows.
Plus, caffeine exacerbates the effects of heat exhaustion due to the fact that it is a diurretic just like alcohol. Even though the liquid is in you, it's on the fast track out and not accessible to your small intestines, remember your bioligy?!
Questions: If it's a diurretic then why didn't I have to pee? Does a diurretic affect sweat rates also?
Blessings: I was blessed to finish my ride before the appointed time Gayle and I had decided upon :-)! I am blessed that it did not happen going down a hill at 33 miles an hour! I am blessed that it didn't happen in traffic! I'm blessed that my fingers were not broken! (We'll see what the soft-tissue damage is on Monday). I am blessed that I had a clear cat-scan (meow)!
So, no riding for a while, bike camp is questionable. Doctor says stay away from the bike for a bit. Doctor Gayle says stay away from the bike for a long while. Time to walk the dogs or is it the other way around?!?