Farm to Fork Fondo Series

That sounds so good. What a great idea!

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@PaleGail awesome results. I’ve been eyeing the one in the Berkshire’s. Now I’m intrigued.

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Oh that food sounds amazing!! And what a great result on your time and speed compared to last year!! Great job!

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This sounds like so much fun! Congratulations on making such big improvements over last year! All you hard work is paying off! :muscle:

I just wanted to put my experience here. I love reading about so many achievements and PR’s. I did a ride this weekend. I did get some PR’s over last year but I struggled. It want my best. And I tried to not beat myself up.

I did what I had planned to be my big ride of the season a
Women’s fondo. I was looking forward to it and tried to get some friends to join me. In the end, only one out of the 6 who said they would, joined me.
It was a beautiful day weather wise. No humidity. Blue skies and no rain. All should have gone well
Two days before the event I started having breathing issues which I attributed to allergies. Took some medicine. No improvement. Then maybe reflux. Some Tums may help. Got some relief. Woke up the day of with a sharp pain in my back ribs. Hurt to breathe deep. “It’ll go away”.
So we are riding, doing great we have an awesome paceline going. First timed climb I start wheezing. The pain hurts and I can’t breathe deep enough. I get to the top before my friend and wait. Really to catch my breath. Continuing on to climb two. Wheezing is worse. I needed to stop at the top because it was painful. My HR was way too High. I tried all means of breathing to get it lowered during the rollers.
At mile 28 I told my friend that I didn’t think I could finish the 80 miles but I’d try. She was the voice of reason and told me to just do the 50. So that’s what I did.
I spent over an hour in lactate threshold. My legs burning and times where I wanted to just stop. I did walk one part of a hill because of my breathing.
I used as many stop signs as I could to get through to the end.( stop signs to stop negative thoughts) That night I reviewed in my head why this happened. Why was this not my day? Anxiety riding with a new person, psyching myself out? All of the above?
I have terrible recovery and am trying to figure it out. I was so frustrated by my performance that I felt I let my friend down.(we have not ridden together before this).
Good things that happened:
My friend said that we are evenly matched and should ride together more often ( this women does ironmans but ok)
We got to go to the farm stand and buy fresh fruits and play with baby goats.
She loved the ride and wants to do it next year.
And how empowering to ride with so many other women.
By next year I hope to figure this out so I can enjoy these events even more.
This was one day of many and hoping more will be an improvement over this. I know my workouts from @Coach_Theia helped as I was shifting more, changing cadence and trying to stand and climb up over the last part of the hill
Thanks for reading.

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I am sorry you had breathing issues and were not feeling well before the event. I know how frustrating that can be. So much of events and races is completely out of our control. Something similar happened to me last Sunday. I was doing really well riding with the front group/fastest group of guys in a gravel race (even got the QOM for the race) when a nasty crash happened inches ahead of me. I was quick enough to swerve into the grass and avoided it. But by then the group split and I was solo. That was 14 miles into the 62 mile race. At mile 35 I started having stomach cramps that got progressively worse. Debilitating actually. Saw all the other women zoom past me. Had to stop several times to decide if I could continue on. Then at around mile 50 I started to have cramps on my left leg. I haven’t seen the results yet but I probably finished DFL. I had some sort of stomach illness, because I was sick for hours and could not stomach anything.

That is exactly why we need to love the process, the every day of training, the weekly rides, and not be attached to events or outcomes. No expectations, no attachments. Knowing you are giving your best every time you are on the bike is what makes us winners.

More specifically to your situation, @Gossimrr, do you have asthma? Do you use inhalers? Also, how do you know you were above your lactate threshold?

@Gossimrr thanks!! If you can I would definitely go for it!! Berkshires is rated moderate, Finger Lakes was moderate +
Tyler loves his hills, I think he was a climber in his pro road days

Thanks @Coach_Theia!! The for is always great!! I just wish I felt like eating more when riding, especially if it’s hot. I can’t eat too much or I don’t feel good on the next leg of the ride :confused:

Oh @Gossimrr, so sorry your ride did not go as planned! Starting off not feeling well makes it even harder. Did you figure out why you were having breathing problems?

Things might not have gone as well as you had hoped, but you got a lot of positives from it too and a new riding friend by the sound of it. We all have hard days but it really stinks when it happens during a big event. You did your best given the circumstances and that’s something to be proud of!:hugs:

@Coach_Theia that sounds like so much going wrong all at once. Having those stomach pains is awful. Glad you were alert enough to avoid that crash!

For me, I have an inhaler from a past bronchitis episode. I use it rarely. I did use it the day before the event with not much relief. I know that reflux can also contribute to that. In the end I thought it was anxiety. I don’t really know.
I was only guessing I was in lactate threshold. My HR was 162-178 most times it seemed. My legs were on fire. And I walked a bit because I just couldn’t move them effectively up this one climb. I just felt like I was ready to have my legs explode. (My quads anyway). I could be misspeaking.
@Stefanie yes it stinks when it happens at events. This is the second event it happened at this year. That’s why I was thinking anxiety. I do know that both days the pollen counts were above 9. Again. I don’t know.
I do have an annual check up coming and a consult with a pulmonologist so we shall see where that brings me.


@Stefanie I have still not really figured out why my breathing is doing what it’s doing. I have a script for an inhaler so I am hoping that will work. I am also doing an elimination diet to see if there are any food allergies. And have a sleep study awaiting approval and maybe that will shed some light on my breathing and poor recovery. I am quite sleep deprived.

That’s all I got. Keep pushing on.

Thank you for the words of encouragement. I feel at least I haven’t given up and am trying to figure this out. My goal for 2020 is to be better and have more energy.

So frustrating @Gossimrr! Sending good thoughts and wishes and a doctor/s who has a lightbulb moment and puts all the puzzle pieces together for you!

@Stefanie it is frustrating. I have the inhaler now. So I’ll go with that during this time of high pollen.
I am trying to do this along with the muscle pain systematically so I know what it may be and may not be.
I’m hoping for that “ah ha “ moment too. My doctor is ok but not ready to jump in and solve this with me. She told me to seek out a sports MD. After some time on my CPAP for my probable apnea, if recovery is still poor, I’ll pursue that route.
For now, next month I’m doing and elimination diet. And do from there. I’ve tried all the other fixes of magnesium, potassium, is it low iron…
Someone suggested a functional medicine doctor. :woman_shrugging:t2::woman_shrugging:t2::crossed_fingers:t2::crossed_fingers:t2::crossed_fingers:t2:
I’ll get there. It’s my goal and I think I am onto something.


to follow up on my breathing issues. I have been to my MD and she gave me an inhaler. I was reluctant to use it as itincreases my HR when riding, but breathing is better right? Today, though polen was reported “low”, I did a longer ride outside. I did a 72 mile ride with 2,500 feet of climbing. The inclines were not near wher the fondo ride was but I was nervous. This group is a great group to ride with, very supportive guys and girls. Mostly guys. I put it in my head that I would do my pace, not push up any hill. Find a good cadence and breathe. I put on blinders and didn’t care who passed me up “the great wall” and “alpine climb”. I got to the Ranger station which is at the end of Alpine and wasn’t last.
I took each hill at my pace and prepped myself like in our workouts. No PR’s but no wheezing. I took a total of two does of the inhaler. On the way back I felt better. A bit of chest tightness but I felt I could breathe.I got 31 PR’s on this ride. We did take the back roads, but I was able to keep up and was mid pack in the paceline.
My bloodwork showed elevated liver enzymes and potassium. She’s attributing that to dehydration and will retest next week. I had less leg pain today, but again wasn’t climbing as I was in the fondo.
I’m researching some holistic eating/supplements to help with the (supposed) asthma.
So that’s where I am.
But I felt better today than I thought I would and pushed all negative thoughts out, and only positive ones.
Hope you all have a great weekend and Iam hoping for continued progress.


Fantastic ride @Gossimrr! I love how you set yourself up mentally and took those hills at your own pace. Really well done! Congratulations on the PRs! It seems like the inhaler helped. Progress!

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Thank you @Stefanie. In a few weeks I’ll do some of those back roads again, but it was nice feeling good for a change. I’ll try and tackle some climbs later in the season, maybe on a fall foliage ride. One day of progress is making me hopeful.

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Looks like progress here with the inhaler and mindset @Gossimrr ! Focusing on yourself is important.

That is a long ride and it also sounds like you were able to better pace yourself - which is key. You will continue to make progress as you gain confidence from training (knowing what you can do) and as find what the body needs.

@Coach_Theia yes. It is progress. I hope I can do the mental work before each ride as it seemed to help this time.
@Stefanie I am hoping this is a trend.
I’m doing an elimination diet next month to see if that has any impact on the asthma and allergies.
Trying to heal holistically

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Glad to hear your ride went better this time @Gossimrr!!! Hoping your Dr can nail down what’s causing the breathing issues and get you on the right course. Checking out diet and allergies before having to always use an inhaler i think is a great place to start (non-medical opinion here but i hate taking medicine too). Let us know how it goes!

Yesterday was the 3rd for my Farm to Fork Fondo series this year and it was a beautiful day to be on a bike! Cool morning to start with sun, a few clouds but not too hot. Celebs on the ride included Floyd Landis (yes, that Floyd Landis) and Mike Ritcher, NHL Hall of Fame goalie (I got to meet him). Floyd is originally from Lancaster County PA and he’s now working with local Amish farmers there to grow hemp for his CBD products. Got to see a field or two during the ride.

I’m pretty happy that I did not have to walk my bike on this one! When i start to feel like i can’t take in enough oxygen, I just stop, catch my breath and let my heart rate drop. That and @Coach_Theia’s hill climb workout advice playing in my head helped me conquer the hills yesterday and more hills overall this year than last year at the FtFF rides. And I had the best avg mph and avg watts of all 3 of the rides so I must be getting a little bit stronger!