Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Col de FAIL

Yesterday, I was supposed to ride 80km (round trip) with Ged to Le Col de La Croix de Fer (“The Iron Cross”) near Bourg.  I made it to about 20km before turning around. 

Before you begin thinking What a weakling! or She’s so lame, let me explain why I didn’t finish the ride.

Gentlemen, you might not want to read further because this post contains material about lady parts.

That said, yes, my crotch was the reason I had to turn around.  The first 10km of the ride was flat and enjoyable, completely misleading of what the rest of the ride was going to be like.  After climbing Alpe d’Huez twice in the last few days, I really wanted a rest from hard climbs.  Well, this ride was anything but a rest from steep gradients.

As the flat part began to end, I turned a corner and WHAM!, the road kicked up and the climb began. 

In all truthfulness, my legs were feeling strong, a sensation that I don’t normally feel.  And I was moving at a good pace.  But as I began to dig deeper and lean forward, all that pressure ended up on my hooha, and after about 10km more, I told Ged I had to stop.  The pain was just too much.

It felt like I could feel the nerve endings dying as I climbed.  Not a good feeling.  I know that probably sounds really dramatic, but guys, I was in some serious discomfort, the kind where your body is deliberately telling you to stop or else you might cause permanent damage.

So Ged kept on while I headed back to the campsite.   I honestly think I just need a couple days of rest before going on another ride like that again.  We're in Avignon for a couple of days, so it's a perfect time to take a break from the saddle.

Here are some pictures Ged took when he reached the summit.  He said the gradient rose to 11 percent and that the climb was a bitch (Almost 30km in total).  

I don’t like giving up, but I don’t look at this ride as raising the white flag.  I see of it more as me listening to my body and respecting the messages it’s sending. 

Where is the line drawn between listening to your body’s discomfort and pushing yourself further despite the pain?


  1. Girl, I completely understand! Last weekend I experienced the same thing... I felt like I was being castrated! Not the best feeling in the world, so I took that as a sign to lay low for a couple days.

    I think our bodies know when we are on the verge of injury. It's up to us to listen to it. You don't want to ruin your whole trip simply because you don't want to take a couple days off... now REST!

  2. I think that it is when rather than discomfort, you're in pain. And I think it is harder to confuse the two when you are working out with someone because you feel more compelled to keep going rather than quit. Personally I'd say it sounds like you made the right decision!

    Amy x