Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fit-Pic: Secret of Post-Century Eats (or Mine Anyway)

Suffice it to say, one look at the photo at the left and I think I lose my credibility as a Fit-Inker. Here we are talking about fitness, healthy eats and the active lifestyle, and I look like a couch potato chowing down on a definite no-no item. Trust me, the photo has a viable explanation, but one that does not make the nutrition gods pleased in the least.

I have a secret: I'm not talented enough to eat while I'm cycling. At triathlons I'll see several bikes in transition with gel packs taped to the frames, Bento Boxes stuffed with treats and bottles loaded with Gu. As for me, I can barely slurp down enough Perpetuem (a Hammer Nutrition product recommended to me last year for its liquid calories that are easy on the digestive tract) to keep me from bonking on the run. And if I'm riding for distance out on the Lakefront Path, at a century or on farm roads, I nix the fancy aerodrink bottle and only sport a 50-ounce Camelbak with emergency sugars stored in my Bento Box. At the centuries I refuel at the rest stops, and on the farm roads and Path I refuel when I return to start, not riding more than 50 miles when I'm out and relying solely on water. point to this long-winded explanation goes back to that torpedo you see entering my mouth as well as another treat that I luckily didn't capture on camera. When I finish those long bike rides, I'm still hungry. Take Sunday, for example, where my husband and I rode the Heatstroke 100, battling some gentle rollers and medium to tough headwinds for the day:
  • Rest stop 1, roughly 9 miles into the ride. Chowed down a banana slathered in peanut butter--my favorite pre-ride breakfast--and drank some Gatorade and water. I ate my last banana the morning before, didn't eat before leaving the house at 6 a.m. and would prefer to skip breakfast than resort to fast food.
  • Rest stop 2, 22 miles later at mile 31-ish. Stole a bite of my husband's apple, more banana and peanut butter, two slices of watermelon, more Gatorade.
  • Rest stop 3, 60 miles in. Handful of trail mix, two more slices of watermelon, three cups of Gatorade.
  • Rest stop 4, 10 miles later. We talked about skipping this stop but we did get off our bikes and I grabbed a cup of Gatorade before continuing onward.
  • Rest stop 5, 80 miles in. Half a banana with peanut butter, a cookie, an apple, more Gatorade and water.
  • Rest stop 6, less than 5 miles to go. A Nutter Butter and water.
  • I think I ate another apple somewhere along the way, and I feel like I ate more at stop No. 5 than what I listed but I can't remember it. Also, I continued to sip from my Camelbak while pedaling.
Some people reading this run down of my food intake might be ready to slap me in the back of the head as they do in the "Should Have Had a V-8" commercials, knowing that there's no way I ate enough out there. I'm convinced I'm a nutritionist's nightmare even though I really don't feel hungry while I'm pedaling and the reward comes after the bike is in the car and the miles are done for the day. I'm the one who caters to the "feed me" stomach by feasting on ice cream. Last year after the Heatstroke 100--easily the longest day on a bike ever thanks to hills, constant headwinds and extreme heat--the Dairy Queen within eyesight of our car was calling our names. But my ice cream needs post-ride didn't end with a one-time Blizzard. After practicing on the Ironman Wisconsin course last August, I'd pass a Culver's on my way out of Verona and I hate to say it but not once did I pass up stopping before driving back to Chicago. I'd spill the concrete on myself trying to drive and eat before ignoring the custard craving.

Alas, the DQ received our business once again at the end of this year's Heatstroke 100. Filled me up too--at least until the following day. Monday morning and I'm famished, and the banana, cereal and then bagel do not want to fill me up and there's no ice cream in sight either. As for what to eat the day after riding 100 miles, two days after logging nearly 50, we figured the massive torpedo in my hands was justified. So the burrito that's twice the length of that from Chipotle and has to weigh close to five pounds became the "I-deserve-it meal." I confess I only nibbled--I passed on ordering my own foot-long brick--but if it my name on it and not my husband's I totally would have chowed down. Maybe not the healthiest of post-race eats--loaded with chicken, easy on the lettuce and beans but just enough guacamole, and two tortillas to build the monster--but it satiated my taste buds. Posted by Kate



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