Quad Cramps Suck So Much

Last Saturday my bike gang and I rode the Cinderella Classic. This is a lovely 65 mile ride through the East Bay with a few long but relatively easy hills, but mostly it’s a flat ride. I haven’t participated in an organized ride in a while and forgot how many times you have to stop and how many riders you have to lookout for. So we spent a lot of time trying to pass, safely of course, and a few times, once I got clear, I let the peddles fly and moved along at a pretty good clip. I was feeling solid on the bike, lungs and legs working together nicely and even got a compliment from a woman about how nice it was to follow me, she liked my pacing. Then I hit about mile 40 and I felt a slight cramp in my left quad. Then it was a slight cramp in my right quad. And finally both quads completely seized and I had to get off the bike and lay on the ground stiff as a board. I could not bend my left leg at all and could visibly see my right quad convulsing. My bike gang had stopped ahead thinking I would probably be right up but when I didn’t show my friend Caroline came back to see what was going on. From about 30 feet away she could see my quads freaking out. At this point a SAG vehicle came by and asked if I needed assistance, to which I replied “I’m totally fine, this will pass, I just need to drink and eat.” Caroline was not convinced as she stood with a slight look of horror on her face as my quads continued their fancy dance. It took some reassuring but she finally agreed to leave me there and I promised that I would SAG to the start if my legs didn’t recover. I drank two bottles of water and ate a bar. My left leg finally let go and I could bend it and massage it enough to get up and walk around. I was back in business and ready to go. Thankfully my bike gang was at the next rest stop and waited for me to catch up. I had to refill my bottles with what they were giving out at the rest stop and let me just say when you’re used to Osmo Hydration and you suddenly have to drink what they were calling Gatorade but tasted more like Hi-C it’s quite a shock to the system and just yuck. I don’t mean to be all elitist but HOW CAN ANYONE DRINK THAT SHIT REGULARLY? Thanks to my ladies keeping the pace slow for me I made it to the finish.
Back at my car I was stretching and drinking yet more water contemplating the day and wondering how in the hell I had cramped so bad, I’ve cramped before but this was not normal at all. Then it hit me HOLYSHIT, I’ve been taking Flonase and Sudafed for an ear issue for almost two weeks. I can’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me sooner. All last week I could barely wear my contacts because my eyes were so damn dry and I felt generally dehydrated. Also of note, it was pretty damn hot out there which alone can cause pretty severe cramping but I’m like an old lizard and tend to love the heat. I thought I had a handle on my hydration but obviously I did not, I should have had two more Osmo packets in my pocket. Lesson learned. At least I had a good reason to get that second Margarita post ride, you know, for the salted rim.
Cinderella Classic 2015


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