Should Have Gone Swimming

The plan for today was to have an easy aerobic session. I even had a choice between doing a bike ride or a swim/run combination. I was undecided on the night before, so I had my gear ready for either option. On waking my legs were feeling good, and I'm still a long way from where I want be on the bike, so I chose to head out on two wheels.

This morning a bit wet but only a light drizzle. It didn't seem too cold, but I decided to play it safe and put on that many layers I thought I might have trouble actually moving my arms. Lights flashing around my bike I rolled down the driveway and out into the pre-dawn morning.

Now it seemed cold. The wind chill was terrible, and being only five minutes down the road my hands were already starting to suffer. I had triple gloved with a moisture transfer layer next to my skin, a thermal layer and a combination thermal, windproof and water resistant outer shell. The gloves were not doing their job. Sometimes my Raynaud's just plays up. This was one of those times.

The pain in my hands soon became unbearable and I decided to head back in. I was only out for a total of 25 minutes, but in that time the blood supply to my hands had really shut down. It was a slow operation to get out my keys, open the door and get the gloves off. My fingers were as white as I have ever seen them. There was some mild frost damage at the tip of two fingers, and due to a lack of blood supply, and therefore oxygen, I had developed tetany in three fingers. Not fun.

The rewarming process starts out slow using only body heat, then moving to some warmed towels and eventually jumping into a warm shower after I had some movement back. This in itself isn't fun, as during the reperfusion of blood, and therefore removal of waster products from the anaerobic metabolism in the fingers, there is a short, but nasty increase in pain. So much for a nice 2 hour ride before work. I should have gone swimming instead.


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