I can't eat like a teenager anymore.
My first stage race would have been the '04 La Ruta, quickly followed up by the TransRockies in '05. Those stage races were quite a bit different than the ones I do nowadays. Most days at the Trans-Sylvania Epic or Breck Epic, I'm only out there 3.5-4 hours. Mebbe a bit longer, but not much. At La Ruta and Trans Rockies, I was out there for seven or more hours on some (or most) of the days.
26" rigid single speed pioneer... the birth of single speeders ruining stage races
I recall thinking of myself as a human food processor, shoving as much marginally nutritious foodstuffs as I could into my body on the daily, as well as pushing just as much out of me every morning. By the end of the week of racing, I still managed to dropp enough weight that I was all like, "eeeeeeesh, take a selfie (but post it nowhere because FaceBook, Instagram and blogs don't exist yet)."
Now I'm 47.
I've really noticed the huge reduction in my metabolism over the past decade or so. I still have the ability to crush it at a Mexican restaurant or when free pizza is available.
when they only one piece pizza left
If you've personally witnessed what I'm capable of, I'm sure it's frightening to onlookers. Too bad my body doesn't know what to do with everything I'm capable of putting in me.
Actually, it does. It stores it... well. Around my midsection. Proper dad-bod placement.
I remember an article (that I can never find when I'm looking for it) that Selene Yeager wrote about "bloated tick syndrome." Said that it was totally normal to finish such a long event weighing quite a bit more than when you started. I've used this for justification/validation for the past few years. I don't think I can go for that anymore. I do realize some weight gain is okay, but mine is... considering my size, extreme.
If you've read my blog long enough, you might recall that I've had some of my best days when I didn't really eat or drink as much as a normal person might for the amount of effort required that day. I've always chalked that up to... determination... stupidity? Dunno. Prolly the latter.
The last few years at the Breck Epic and TSE, I've eaten like I always have at stage races. Chow down hardy in the morning, eat throughout the day, live off the land at aid stations, cross the line and grab Pringles or whatever, eat first supper, eat second supper... eat a late snack. By the end of the week, I'm choking back the breakfast portion of the day. Never really hungry, just pushing food down my gullet. I finish the week double-bloated and have a hard time slowing down when I get home.
This year's Tour de Burg is going to be an experiment of sorts. I'm going to try to cut back on my daily intake, especially in the evenings... which will be hard.
Look at those meal times.
So, I'm gonna have to do my best to limit what I put in me on the daily. This seems like as good a time as any to give this thing a try. Come out of the race fitter, leaner... stronger? And for what?
I've got nothing on the calendar until the Shenandoah Mountain 100, which is far enough away to lose all the hard-fought benefits of the Tour. Then again, maybe I'll be totally shelled if things go sideways.
Which they might.
Viva Le Tour.
Can't wait to get mocked when I break out the squeezy leg bags and various old man elixirs at Carp's house.
Speaking of old man elixirs, I've gleaned a certain amount of good information from the Apex Nutrition Podcast on Mountain Bike Radio over the past few months. Ben Welnak manages to draw a wealth of information out of Kelli Jennings on a somewhat regular basis, and it's worth a listen... most of the time, thus it gets my
Seal of Semi-Approval
Not doing that.
That said, I've taken at least three things from what I've heard, applied them, and benefited from it. I'd tell you what exactly, but I feel like I earned it by sitting through yogurt and kombucha recipes as well as listening to Ben and Kelli talk about their kids.
And trust me, don't listen to the one called "Does Alcohol Affect You?" Srsly. Figurative and literal buzzkill. I know it's bad. You know it's bad. Let's get past that.
Because it's good.
Should be back up and running here... on July 8th? Mebbe. Your guess is as good as mine.