Bonk — But there were only 5 more blocks

by klassman

I bonked on Saturday. It hurt. It got into my head and the only good that came of it may be that it probably propelled a better run on Sunday.

It was embarrassing. No one watched, but I knew. It can happen to anyone. It only happens to people who make mistakes.

As backdrop, I had ridden fairly well for three hours in the wind. It wasn’t spectacular but my heart rate was steady and in check and I felt in control of how my body reacted to the wind and hills. Then before heading out for the brick run, I stopped for 24 minutes to take care of some things at the house that needed immediate attention.

While I scrambled around, my body cooling off and my mind racing, I was a bit worried about cramps or just tightness on the run. All I had to do was put in another steady 30 minutes of work — tap out a regular cadence on the sidewalks of the neighborhood — and I’d be done for the day well before the sun went down. And at first, all was well. But then it was as if I ran into a brick wall, stuttered back from the blow, and the wall tumbled down onto my head.


Ignore nutrition and you’ll come face to face with this guy.

Dizzy. No mental focus. It was a chore to walk. I wanted to sit down and weep. I was on an uphill near a church parking lot and wondered if anyone would carry me in and minister to my frailty. Pathetic.

There were five meager blocks between where I stood and home. Sadly, I walked three of them.

In retrospect, I fueled properly for the 57 mile ride but did not take anything for the last 30 minutes of the ride nor during the delay. It was a mid-afternoon ride and my lunch was probably insufficient and considering how much fruit I consumed, I’m lucky that I only bonked. It could have been severe cramps and then a bonk. Under normal conditions — starting the brick right away and riding in the morning after a big breakfast — I probably would have coasted in to the house with an empty tank and ready for a meal. These were not normal conditions and I paid.

I’d like to think that running an 11 mile out-and-back course on Sunday and coming within :30 of an even split is redemption, but I had better hang on to the awful memory of the bonk for a while. I don’t want to repeat that bit of history.